Box Office Report: 'Pirates' Makes $260.4 Million Overseas, Largest Offshore Debut Ever

 Disney Enterprises

If Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had any chance of breaking opening box office records previously set by the Jerry Bruckheimer franchise, it had to clean up on the foreign theatrical circuit.

And clean up it certainly did.

Distributor Disney says the fourth Pirates sequel's initial international surge through the weekend -- it opened offshore Wednesday -- drew a five-day overseas gross of $260.4 million, a full $4.1 million above the estimate provided Sunday. 

The tally marked the biggest-grossing offshore debut of all time.

The five-day figure exceeded by more than $24.4 million the previous record set by 2009's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from Warner Bros.

The total five-day figure at 18,210 screens in more than 100 foreign territories was almost triple Tides' domestic three-day opening weekend ($90.1 million), and beat by more than 20% the opening surge of 2007's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, the biggest-grossing Pirates title to date with total foreign box office of $654 million.

Disney said Tides set opening box office records in Russia, Latin America (where the gross from 13 territories totaled $29.9 million), the Middle East, Norway, Turkey and the Ukraine while setting franchise opening records in a host of territories including China, Czech Republic, Croatia, German-speaking European territories, India and South Africa.

Tides drew double-digit opening grosses in at least 11 key markets with Russia heading the list -- $31.4 million from 1,123 venues for a per-screen average of $27,961. That opening gross exceeded the total market tally of At World's End.

According to Disney's weekend updates, China provided $19 million from 2,225 situations, the U.K. came up with $18.7 million from 569 venues, Germany took in was $19.7 million from 793 sites, and Japan kicked in $18.5 million from 354 locations. France provided $15.6 million from 726 venues, South Korea $12.2 million from 163 locations, Italy $10.5 million from 1,028 situations, Australia $10.5 million from 266 spots and Spain $10 million from 1,072 locales.

Tide's opening foreign gross is easily 2011's biggest to date. The worldwide take of $350.5 million is the fourth largest on record.

In other action, director Terrence Malik's Tree of Life – which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival – opened No. 5 in France grossing $1.7 million from 303 screens via Europa Film, and drew $658,000 in Italy from 103 locations. Limited runs in these market plus engagements in Belgium, Switzerland and Denmark netted a very early foreign cume of $2.6 million, as per Summit International. 

The top Cannes citation should spur results this week from openings in Greece, Portugal, German-speaking Switzerland, Sweden, Israel and Bulgaria. Tree of Life opens domestically May 27 via Fox Searchlight.

Still No. 2 in France is Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which collected via Mars Distribution $2.45 million in its second round at 467 playdates. Market cume stands at $7.7 million.

Best-grossing local language title in France is La conquete (The Conquest), director Xavier Durringer's biographical drama tracing the rise of French president Nicolas Sarkozy (played by Denis Podalydes). The Gaumont release grossed $2.1 million in its opening round at 281 sites, ranking No. 4 in the market.

No. 2 on the weekend was Fast Five, Universal turbo-charged car action title, the fifth sequel in the franchise, grossed $26.2 million from 7,696 locations in 60 territories for an international cume of $321.2 million. Top holdover market was China where the weekend generated $5 million from 1,500 sites, pushing the 11-day market cume to $19.3 million. Worldwide tally stands at 507.4 million.

Third was Marvel Entertainment's Thor, which via Paramount lured $9 million from 10,064 locations in 60 markets. Foreign cume for the director Kenneth Branagh's special effects-laden comic book adaptation stands at $247 million after four weeks of offshore release. In China, Thor has grossed $14.8 million in two rounds. A Japan opening is due in July.

No. 4 was Fox's family animation title Rio, which has amassed $317.3 million thus far overseas thanks to a $5.6 million weekend at 4,800 venues in 64 territories.

Fifth was 20th Century Fox's Water for Elephants, the Depression-era drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, which grossed $5.1 million at 3,131 screens in 49 markets. Foreign cume stands at $45.5 million.

Priest, Sony's sci-fi thriller starring Paul Bettany, drew $4.2 million on the weekend from 2,746 locations in 50 markets, pushing its international gross total to 37.3 million accumulated since May 6.

Other international cumes: Fox's Black Swan, $204.6 million (thanks to a $2.19 million weekend in Japan at 328 screens for a market cume of $11.9 million); Universal's The Adjustment Bureau, $54.2 million; Summit International's Source Code, $57.8 million due to a $2.2 million weekend at 1,350 screens in 32 arkets); Fox's Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, $45.4 million; Universal's Hop, $64.7 million; Fox's Gulliver's Travels, $195.5 million; and Universal's Paul, $52.2 million.

Also, Paramount's Rango, $119.3 million; Warner Bros. and other distributors' Unknown, $67.1 million; Focus Features' Biutiful, $19.1 million; Lionsgate's Season of the Witch, $60.3 million; Warner's Red Riding Hood, $52.3 million; Universal's Bridesmaids, $110,542 in 10 days in Romania and Slovenia only; Focus Features' The Eagle, $19.4 million; Universal's Your Highness, $2.6 million; Warner's Hall Pass, $39 million; and Universal/Focus Features' Hanna, $9.4 million. 

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