'Dawn Treader' No. 1 at Soft Overseas Box Office; 'Tron: Legacy' Debuts at No. 2

1:07 PM PST 12/19/2010 by Frank Segers
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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Soft weekend stalled by European snow storms still sees notable newcomers "Burlesque" and "Love and Other Drugs" receive relatively warm welcomes.

UPDATED

Crimped by severe winter conditions in Europe, foreign box office was soft on the weekend with 20th Century Fox's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D finishing a mild-mannered No. 1 with $31.5 million -- $1.6 million more than was projected Sunday -- from 10,107 screens in 61 territories.

A Germany opening provided the third title in the Narnia series $2.55 million from 893 locations. International cume stands at $126 million, nearly triple the film's domestic take.

Tron: Legacy, Disney's expensive 3D sequel to 1982's more modestly budgeted Tron, drew $24.3 million -- $1.3 million more than estimated Sunday -- in its overseas launch from 4,683 venues (for an average of $5,189 per screen) in only 27 territories. The higher gross tally boosts the Tron sequel to the weekend's No. 2 spot.

A very close No. 3 was Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, which nabbed $24.2 million from some 9,630 screens in 65 markets – nearly 2 1/2 times the number of territories playing Legacy.

A No. 1 Korea opening provided $5.9 million from 517 spots while a first place Hong Kong bow came up with $2 million from 156 spots for a per-screen average of more than $12,800. Deathly Hallows' foreign cume is $558.4 million.

The weekend's other notable newcomers on the foreign circuit included Sony's release of De Line Picture/Screen Gems' musical drama Burlesque starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. Opening stanza at 930 screens in nine markets produced about $2.4 million. Also, Fox opened Love and Other Drugs at 245 screens in three markets with the romantic comedy starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway coming away with a gross of $2 million.

Opening day-and-date with its domestic bow and with Jeff Bridges repeating his Tron role as a video game designer sucked into cyberspace, Legacy grabbed the No. 1 slot in most every market it played in Europe, Latin American and Australia, grossing from 30% to 70% ahead of the No. 2 title in each market, said Disney.

About 70% of the overall gross came from 3D and IMAX venues. Disney said 65% of the opening gross came from five markets: Japan, Australia, U.K., Brazil and Spain.

Best market was Japan where Legacy bagged the market's No. 2 spots with $4.36 million originating from 533 locations, tracking about 65% ahead of the market opening of Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which grossed in 2009 a total of $436 million on the foreign circuit.

Battling paralyzing weather in the U.K., Legacy managed to land $3 million from 454 venues, enough for a No. 1 market ranking. In Australia, the opening take was $3.4 million from 325 sites while Brazil contributed $1.9 million from 440 situations. Spain provided another $1.9 million from an unspecified number of screens.

As the only 3D action title playing into the Christmas school holidays, Disney believes Legacy is "exceptionally well positioned," said David Kornblum, vp international theatrical sales. The film is "the action alternative in a sea of family fare. We are very pleased with our start considering Mother Nature was against us in Europe."

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