“The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey” Smashes Records as It Ventures to the Top of the Worldwide Box Office

  “The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey” Smashes Records as It Ventures to the Top
  of the Worldwide Box Office

First film in Peter Jackson’s epic “The Hobbit” Trilogy takes in an estimated
                worldwide $223 million in its opening weekend.

Business Wire

BURBANK, Calif. -- December 16, 2012

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” soared to the top of the global box office
in a record-breaking opening, dominating the weekend with an estimated $84.775
million domestically and $138.2 million internationally, for a worldwide
estimated total of $223 million, including a record-breaking $15.1 from IMAX
theatres worldwide. Domestically, the film broke records for largest December
opening in motion picture history, including Christmas/holiday weekends. It is
also the largest opening for any film in the canon of “The Lord of the Rings.”
The joint announcement was made today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief
Operating Officer, New Line Cinema; Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios; Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros.
Pictures Group; Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros.
Pictures; and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International
Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The CinemaScore coming out of the weekend was an overall A from all audiences,
with an A+ from moviegoers under 18. Opening day showings, starting at
midnight on December 14, were sold out, some weeks in advance, and thousands
of fans waited in line to be among the first to see the movie.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a production of New Line Cinema and
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Pictures, is the acclaimed first film in
Oscar^®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic “The Hobbit” Trilogy, based on
the timeless novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Internationally, the film opened in 56 markets, representing approximately 70%
of the total projected final screen count, with such major territories as
Australia, Russia, China and others still to come.

Shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second, the film was released in High Frame Rate 3D
(HFR 3D) in select theaters, other 2D and 3D formats, and IMAX^®.

In making the announcement, Emmerich stated, “It has been a long journey for
New Line and our partners to make ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy a reality. We’re so
privileged to continue the journey we started with Peter Jackson on ‘The Lord
of the Rings’ Trilogy.”

Barber added, “MGM is so proud to help bring ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected
Journey’ to audiences the world over. This film is truly a global event, and
touches people in every language.”

Robinov remarked, “Along with our partners, we congratulate the extraordinary
Peter Jackson and his entire team of actors and filmmakers on a remarkable
start to this grand adventure. We could not be more proud of this film or more
thrilled that fans, old or new, have embraced it.”

Fellman said, “This is such a tremendous start heading into the holiday
season. This time of year always presents a very competitive landscape, so we
are incredibly pleased that ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ performed so
well across every demographic.”

Kwan Vandenberg noted, “This incredible journey has inspired passionate fans
around the world who could not wait to return to Middle-earth, this time with
Bilbo, Gandalf and the Dwarves. These impressive results speak to the
universal appeal of this story.”

From Academy Award^®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An
Unexpected Journey,” the first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly
popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a
continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,”
which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the
blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar^®-winning “The Lord of the
Rings: The Return of the King.”

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord
of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo
Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Also reprising their
roles from “The Lord of the Rings” in “The Hobbit” Trilogy are: Cate Blanchett
as Galadriel; Ian Holm as Old Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving
as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The international
ensemble cast of the Trilogy also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Sylvester
McCoy, Barry Humphries, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam
Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher,
Stephen Hunter, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett and Conan
Stevens.

The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is by Fran Walsh &
Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by
J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne
Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn,
Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran
serving as co-producers.

The creative behind-the-scenes team returning to Jackson’s crew included
director of photography Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah,
conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, editor Jabez Olssen, and makeup
and hair designer Peter Swords King. The costumes were designed by Ann
Maskrey, Richard Taylor and Bob Buck. Taylor also oversaw the design and
production of armour, weapons, creatures and special makeup, which were once
again made by the award-winning Weta Workshop. Weta Digital took on the visual
effects for the film, led by senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri. The
visual effects supervisor was Eric Saindon, with David Clayton serving as
animation supervisor. The film features the song “Song of the Lonely
Mountain,” performed by Neil Finn.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films
Production, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” All three films in “The
Hobbit” Trilogy, also including “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and the
final film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” are productions of New Line
Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing
production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical
distribution, with select international territories as well as all
international television distribution being handled by MGM.

                              www.thehobbit.com

Contact:

Warner Bros. Pictures / New Line Cinema
Candice McDonough, 310-967-6991
candice.mcdonough@newline.com
 
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