bilbo on gold Here’s a story for the bean counters. offers the following analysis of what they believe is The Desolation of Smaug’s likely box office potential, supported by social media metrics and some insider industry tracking. My take, it looks good. Well, I think it’s good — I certainly wish I could write something that earned $75 million in a day in one small corner of the world. And if it’s underhyped, well we all know that it’s better to undersell and over-deliver than the converse.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is raring up for its December 13 domestic launch, and the anticipated film is tracking for a possible debut north of $75 million. Last year’s An Unexpected Journey set the current December record with an $84.6 million bow.

Industry tracking suggests interest in Smaug is about 8 percent behind where Journey stood at the same point before release. According to the survey, men over the age of 25 represent the sector where the most anticipation has been lost (though not by a significantly large margin), while women under 25 have retained the most interest of the four quadrants (giving it a slightly higher “first choice” score than Journey at the same point before release).

A few other interesting facts:

* 12 million people have “Liked” the official page for The Hobbit on Facebook in the last 12 months.
* The Desolation of Smaug is more highly anticipated on Flixster than an Unexpected Journey, but by fewer people.
* The Desolation of Smaug is getting more commentary on Twitter, and more of it is of a positive nature.

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