New Line and MGM get to make a ton of money #OneLastTime. The final installment in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, kicked off Wednesday with $24.5 million.

Tuesday night showings (which were included in the number above) were especially strong at $11.2 million.

The final Hobbit film is expected to bring in somewhere around $70-$75 million during its first five days in U.S. theaters.

How That Stacks Up

Hobbit film openings have been down-trending since the first one. An Unexpected Journey pulled in $84.6 million in 2012 and that opened on a Friday. The Desolation of Smaug snagged $73.6 million during its 3-day opening weekend last year.

Stiff Competition

New Line and MGM probably opted for a Wednesday opening due to this weekend’s competition. On Friday, Sony’s ‘Annie’ and Fox’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb hits theaters. These films are expected to gross $15 million and $25 million respectively. Previous Hobbit films didn’t have this kind of competition during their opening weekends.

Move execs across the industry are hoping this slate of films can boost ticket sales. The entire industry is reeling after theaters decided not to show The Interview and Sony pulled the movie.

Some theaters opted to show Team America in its place, but even that was canceled by Paramount. Gizmodo puts it best, ‘because everyone’s a coward.’ No kidding. What kind of precedent does this set? Movie theaters, Paramount and Sony should be ashamed. Never capitulate to fear and terror.

Anyways, back to The Hobbit. I think $70-$75 million might be too conservative. This is the last Tolkien film, for a while at least. I imagine moviegoers will be out in force to say goodbye.

Plan on seeing the final Hobbit movie? Seen it already? Let me know in the comments.

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