The Hobbit may be small in stature, but he sure knows how to pull down some solid box office numbers! Crossing the $300 million mark in North America this past weekend put The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over the top as it joins the very exclusive ranks of the Billion Dollar Club with $1.001.4 billion in total worldwide theatrical revenue ($301.4M N. Am/$700M Int'l). Only 15 films in box office history have earned the bragging rights that go along with reaching this monumental milestone.
More importantly, it is the overseas revenues (which often dwarf the N. Am revenues) that can often make the difference between a movie being a hit or an out and out flop. Some key examples: John Carter ($73.1M in N. Am/$210M overseas), Battleship ($65.2 N. Am/$238.7M overseas), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($241.1M N. Am/$802.6M overseas).
The most recent example of a film that will need major help overseas to bolster its profit margin is Jack the Giant Slayer which debuted with a disappointing $27.2 million this past weekend and has now banked just $42.6 million worldwide. To be fair, the film is just starting to grow in the overseas marketplace so we will have to wait and see if it can suddenly take off and take some of the edge off the reported $200 million budget.
Here is a list of the 15 members of the Worldwide Billion Dollar Club:
1 2009 Avatar $2.783B
2 1997 Titanic $2.185B
3 2012 The Avengers $1.514B
4 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II $1.328B
5 2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $1.141B
6 2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $1.123B
7 2012 Skyfall $1.108B
8 2012 The Dark Knight Rises $1.079B
9 2010 Toy Story 3 $1.063B
10 2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $1.060B
11 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $1.043B
12 2010 Alice in Wonderland $1.024B
13 1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace $1.007B
14 2008 The Dark Knight $1.002B
15 2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $1.001B