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`Hobbit` to in billion dollar club by March

Los Angeles: Peter Jackson`s `Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey` is on its way to become the 15th film to join the billion dollar club by March this year.

The New Line-Warner Bros production hit USD 921 million on Monday, with USD 288.7 million domestic and USD 632.2 international after a sixth weekend total of USD 21 million.

With several more weeks to go and a final release in China on February 22, the film is expected to cross the billion-dollar threshold by March.

James Cameron`s `Titanic` was the first film to cross the billion-dollar mark in 1998, grossing USD 1.8 billion. In 2003, Jackson`s `The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King` became the second member of the club, followed by `Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man`s Chest` in 2006, `The Dark Knight` in 2008 and `Avatar` in 2009 with a stunning collection of USD2.78 billion, the Variety reported.

The membership of this club has added eight more films over the last three years thanks to a better performance in international markets. `The Dark Knight` is the only film that grossed more domestically than internationally.

`Toy Story 3` and `Alice in Wonderland` hit the mark in 2010, followed by the eighth and final `Harry Potter` film, the third `Transformers` and the fourth `Pirates of the Caribbean` in 2011. `Star Wars Episode I -- The Phantom Menace` originally released in 1999, topped USD 1 billion early last year thanks to its 3D re-release.

Jackson will be returning to the middle-earth again with `The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug` on December 13 and `The Hobbit: There and Back Again` on July 18, 2014.


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