Hobbit dominates world box office for fourth week UPDATED

The final instalment of Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies, continues to dominate the global box office, taking its total over $US700 million.

It has been the world’s most popular film for the fourth successive week and is showing in 65 territories. It has just set a record for the biggest debut by a Warner Bros film In Argentina and is expected to do well in China when it opens there on January 23.

Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie revenue, says this should tip outside North America takings over the $US700 million mark, while the US box office total reached $US220.8 million last weekend.

This brings the grand total to $US723 million at January 4, making it the second biggest film of 2014 after Guardians of the Galaxy.

New Zealand Motion Pictures Distributors’ Association figures show Battle of the Five Armies hit a cumulative $7 million in the week to January 8, $1 million ahead of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II with $6 million

After taking $2.4 million in its first week, Battle’s takings have dropped to $820,00 in the fourth week just a head of new releases The Imitation Game ($745,000) and Exodus: God and Kings ($730,000).

In the US and Canada, Battle of the Five Armies held the top spot in its third week ahead of Into the Woods, the Walt Disney adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, and Unbroken, the Angelina Jolie-directed story of World War II bomber Louis Zamperini.

The year’s most controversial film, The Interview, starring Seth Rogen in a comedy about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, is now on wider release in 581 locations in the US.

This is up from the 331 theatres that agreed to showed the film, which was initially pulled from release because of unrealised threats of violence. Sony Pictures Entertainment says the movie pulled in $US1.1 million over the weekend compared with $US2.8 million in the previous week.

Sony didn’t release updated figures on The Interview’s online grosses, which were more than $15 million in the first week.

Meanwhile, annual moviegoing revenue in the US and Canada ended 2014 off 5.3%, according to preliminary figures from Rentrak – the worst result since 2011.

UPDATED 9/1/2015 to include latest MPDANZ figures

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