The second film of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy, 'The Desolation of Smaug,' launched in U.S. cinemas last night at midnight where it generated $8.8 million in preview runs.
In comparison, the first of the trilogy "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" earned $13 million from midnight preview runs.
Jackson has also revealed to EW exactly where the split would've occurred if "The Hobbit" had been two films instead of a trilogy:
"The split was going to occur where Bard appears on the river bank as a silhouetted figure with a bow. So the whole barrel sequence was going to be the climax."
He added that the ending just didn't feel right, especially as they wanted to tie the films into "The Lord of the Rings" where possible.