MANILA, Philippines – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” soared to the top of Philippine box office in its opening weekend, earning P55 million on more than 300 screens, including six IMAX theaters, Francis Soliven, general manager of Warner Bros. (F.E.), Inc., reported on Monday.
That figure represents the biggest opening ever for any film in the canon of “The Lord of the Rings.”
"The Hobbit" is the acclaimed first film in Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings.”
“Audiences everywhere have been excited by the prospect of returning to Middle-earth and these results speak to the incredible enthusiasm out there for this new adventure,” Soliven said in a statement.
In the U.S., “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” dominated 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 theaters worldwide.
In the Philippines, the top-performing cinemas are SM Mall of Asia (P4.16 million), SM North EDSA (P3.16 million), Trinoma (P3 million), Greenbelt 3 (P2.22 million), SM Cebu (P2.16 million), Glorietta 4 (P2.02 million), SM Megamall (P1.82 million), Power Plant (P1.73 million), Newport (P1.64-M) and Eastwood (P1.53 million).
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings,” 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” 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.