Bilbo Baggins, you’re in some pretty elite company.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” crossed the $1-billion threshold this weekend, boosted by the film’s recent opening in China where it raked in $37.3 million in 10 days.
The box-office haul means that the first installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel stands as one of the most successful movies of all time.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opened in the U.S. in December and went on to gross more than $300 million at the domestic box office. The film chronicles the initial leg of Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) trek over the Misty Mountains to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarf followers reclaim their lost treasure and their homeland.
Despite its outsized performance around the world, it still falls short of the most well-heeled members of the $1-billion club: Director James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which has made more than $2.78 billion worldwide since its 2009 release, and his “Titanic,” which has made more than $2.16 billion worldwide since its 1997 release.
Like Cameron, Jackson now has several entries on the list of the highest-grossing movies of all time. “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” has made $1.1 billion worldwide.
Our sister blog, Company Town, notes that the film’s performance offered a bit of solace over at Warner Bros.: The milestone came as the studio was coming to grips with the big-budget flop of “Jack the Giant Slayer.”
Late last week, Warners announced a new release date for the final movie in Jackson’s trilogy. “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” will open Dec. 17, 2014.
The film originally had been set to open July 18, 2014.