"They were the first victim of my career," sighs Luke Evans ruefully.
Delivering £11m between them, top titles The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Life of Pi both posted sensational holds, helping UK box office overall to achieve its fifth biggest weekend haul of 2012.
"Unexpected" is right, for a couple of reasons. Peter Jackson, the man who brought Lord Of The Rings to the big screen to eardrum-shattering acclaim 10 years ago, is now taking just the same approach to Tolkien's much slighter, slimmer children's book The Hobbit. It's getting expanded into three movie episodes of which this whoppingly long film is the opener.