I have learned a thing or two about gambling this past month. The first lesson is: don’t make a wager with your spouse unless you know with certainty that you can win (seriously, this should be a maxim in life). The second is: don’t bet on the film version of a worldwide fantasy classic if you’re limiting the playing field to the U.S. box office!
my bet over which movie would do better between The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 to the U.S. Domestic box office. How stupid could I have been? J.R.R. Tolkien was British! Of course he’d have more fans across the pond. And what about the rest of Britain’s European neighbors? Certainly they’d have affection for a classic story by a fabled European writer. And it was filmed in New Zealand, by a New Zealander. My self-imposed limitation was foolishness beyond folly!
Had I merely expanded my thinking and my geographic perspective, I would have won hands down! The Twilight film, which came out in mid-November, has grossed $290,281,174 domestically and $822,755,791 worldwide. By contrast, The Hobbit, which debuted in mid-December – a full month later – has grossed $279,689,070 domestically, but a whopping $877,689,070 worldwide. That’s about $55 million more than Twilight, which had a month’s head start!
I view this as a victory for all Hobbit fans and for classic works of fantasy fiction in general. I just wish I had realized this before I made my wager ...