The Hobbit’ expected to make $1 billion worldwide by March

Peter Jackson's film will become the 15th member of the so-called 'billion dollar club'

The Hobbit is on course to become the 15th movie to earn over $1 billion (£630 million) at the box office worldwide.

Since opening in December, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has already raked in a whopping $921 million (£581 million) at cinemas across the world. Peter Jackson‘s film is still on general release, and has yet to open in China, so Variety predicts that it will cross the $1 billion barrier by March.

Back in 1998, Titanic became the first film to make over $1 billion at the box office worldwide. Last year, three films joined the so-called “billion dollar club”: The Avengers ($1.51 billion to date), The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 billion) and Skyfall ($1.04 billion).

However, only two films have ever crossed the $2 billion threshold: Avatar with $2.78 billion and Titanic with $2.19 billion. Both were directed by James Cameron.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in Jackson’s new trilogy of JRR Tolkien adaptations. The second instalment, subtitled The Desolation Of Smaug, opens in cinemas on December 13 this year, before the series concludes with There And Back Again on July 18, 2014. Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins, heading up an ensemble cast featuring Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett.