The producers of The Hobbit take the welfare of all animals very seriously and have always pursued the highest standard of care for animals in their charge. Any incidents that occurred that were brought to their attention as regards to this care were immediately investigated and appropriate action taken. This includes hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent on upgrading housing and stable facilities in early 2011.
The producers completely reject the accusations that twenty seven animals died due to mistreatment during the making of the films. Extraordinary measures were taken to make sure that animals were not used during action sequences or any other sequence that might create undue stress for the animals involved. Over fifty five per cent of all shots using animals in The Hobbit are in fact computer generated; this includes horses, ponies, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, deer, elk, mice, wild boars, and wolves.
The American Humane Association (AHA) was on hand to monitor all use of animals by the production. No animals died or were harmed on set during filming.
We regret that some of these accusations by wranglers who were dismissed from the film over a year ago are only now being brought to our attention. We are currently investigating these new allegations and are attempting to speak with all parties involved to establish the truth.
Monday: The official domestic weekend total for came in a bit lower than expected: $141,067,634.
Sunday Update: Summit estimates that Breaking Dawn - Part 2 opened to $141.3 million during its debut frame. The opening pushed Lionsgate pass the $1 billion domestic mark for the first time. The distributor has grossed $1.09 billion in 2012. Key stats:
o Breaking Dawn - Part 2 posted the second highest weekend opening of the Twilight franchise behind New Moon at 142.8 million
o Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is the 8th largest Opening of all time
o The Twilight Franchise has 3 of the top 9 openings of all time
o 1st time ever that a Studio has opened two films to over $125 million in the same year (Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and The Hunger Games)
Saturday Update: The official Friday estimate for Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is $71.2 million. Summit estimates "in the range of $135 million" for the weekend.
$71.2 million represents the sixth highest opening day of all time, and it ranks behind Breaking Dawn - Part 1 with $71.6 million and New Moon with $72.7 million.
Friday Update: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 took in an estimated $30.4 million from Thursday night and midnight shows in North America. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 still holds the midnight record with $43.5 million.
Here's how the other Twilight films performed at midnight:
Breaking Dawn - Part 1: $30.3 million
Eclipse: $30 million
New Moon: $26.2 million
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- This weekend, SkyfallTM, the 23rd James Bond adventure, became the best-performing film of all time in the longest-running film franchise in motion picture history, with a global cume of $669.2 million and passing the $599.2 million worldwide total taken in by Casino Royale in 2006. The box office success of Skyfall has helped to push Sony Pictures Entertainment to its biggest year ever at the global box office, surpassing $4 billion worldwide for the first time in its history and besting the studio's previous high $3.585 billion, set in 2009. The announcement was made today by Jeff Blake, chairman of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures.
The studio's slate of hits this year, in addition to Skyfall, included The Amazing Spider-ManTM (appx $754 million worldwide), Men in BlackTM 3 (appx $624 million worldwide), and Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania (over $270 million worldwide). The studio also had strong performers in Resident Evil: Retribution, Underworld: Awakening, and 21 Jump Street. In total, the studio is ranked #1 in North American market share, had nine #1 films at the domestic box office, and a slate that as of today totals $1.628 billion domestically and $2.4 billion overseas. The international box office figure is also a record for the studio.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has one more film on its release calendar, Zero Dark Thirty, from the Oscar®-winning team behind The Hurt Locker, director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal. Zero Dark Thirty will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 19.
Commenting on the announcement, Blake said, "Exceeding $4 billion globally is a true rarity in this industry and it's an extraordinary accomplishment for all of us at Sony Pictures. From The Amazing Spider-Man and Skyfall to 21 Jump Street, Resident Evil, The Vow and Hotel Transylvania, we couldn't be more proud of the way our films have performed all over the world."
Skyfall is from Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.