Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has become a billion dollar baby.
Propelled by China, the New Line and MGM epic crossed the milestone over the weekend, becoming only the 15th film in history to hit $1 billion in global ticket sales, not accounting for inflation. It's the second Jackson film after The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.12 billion).
The milestone was welcome news for New Line and parent company Warner Bros. after the soft domestic debut of Jack the Giant Slayer over the weekend.
Unexpected Journey has grossed $301.1 million domestically and just shy of $700 million internationally. The 3D tentpole, the first in a trilogy, has grossed roughly $37.3 million in its first 10 days of play in China, the movie's final major market.
"We could not be more proud to have reached reached this amazing benchmark. Together with our partners at MGM and New Line, everyone at Warner Bros. congratulates Peter Jackson and his entire cast and crew on the extraordinary success of this film," said Warners president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman.
Added Warners president of international distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg: “From Berlin to Beijing, it is so gratifying to see how the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journsey has been such an event with audiences around the world. We know that moviegoers everywhere are already excited about the next film, as are we.”
Unexpected Journey's top foreign market is Germany ($90 million), followed by the U.K. ($84.3 million), France ($44.9 million), Australia ($44.3 million) and Russia ($43.8 million).