Desolation_-_Bard_poster The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug finally opened in Australia on Boxing Day, and promptly took the second-highest Boxing day box office ever to add to the Smaug-like hoard that it’s already amassed globally.

Peter Jackson has confirmed his position as Lord of the Ringing Tills with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug recording the second-highest Boxing Day opening in Australian history.

The only film to have topped the $5.465 million that the second film in his Hobbit trilogy racked up at the Australian box office on Thursday is the first Hobbit film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opened with a staggering haul of $5.9 million last year.

Jackson now holds the top five places on the Boxing Day chart, with his three Lord of the Rings films filling out the next three positions.

Australian fans were, however, made to wait for their chance to see the New Zealander’s latest J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation. But they’re used to that: his films are typically released here close to a fortnight after they hit cinemas in most other territories of the world, in order to capitalise on the biggest day on the Australian film calendar.

Jackson has come a long way since his first feature, the ultra-low-budget sci-fi horror comedy Bad Taste. Shot on weekends over four years, with Jackson playing a couple of characters and his close mates the rest, the film cost an estimated $NZ25,000 to shoot (a further $NZ235,000 was stumped up by the New Zealand Film Commission to get it cinema-ready).

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