'Eclipse' still has bite at No. 1 overseas
'Airbender,' 'Despicable,' 'Predators' make notable debuts"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" ruled the foreign theatrical circuit for a second straight session, grossing $81.1 million -- a 22% drop from its opening launch -- over five days from 9,440 screens in 63 markets. Overseas boxoffice total stands at $219 million in 12 days.
The 20th Century Fox sci-fi/action film "Predators," the latest spinoff of director John McTiernan's 1987 title starring Arnold Schwarzenegger -- this one co-produced by Robert Rodriguez and directed by Nimrod Antal with Adrien Brody starring -- opened in 22 markets for $17.3 million from 3,155 locations.
A No. 3 bow in the U.K. led the way with $3.3 million drawn from 396 locations. A Japan debut provided a No. 4 slot and $2.7 million derived from 373 locations. "Predators" also landed the No. 4 spot on the weekend overall.
"The Last Airbender," director M. Night Shyamalan's fantasy adventure based on a Nickelodeon animated TV series, premiered in four offshore territories for a weekend tally of $9 million from a total of 923 sites. The biggest territory was Russia, where the opening gross was an estimated $8 million from 870 spots, easily qualifying "Airbender" for the No. 1 market spot. A Japan opening is due this week.
Also dipping its toes offshore into four markets (Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) was "Despicable Me," Illumination Entertainment's computer-generated animation in 3D from Universal, with Steve Carell voicing the principal role. Opening gross was $5 million from a combined 726 screens, with Russia leading the way ($3.4 million from 547 locales). "Despicable Me" had the third biggest Russia opening this year for an animation title.
"Eclipse," the third installment of Summit Entertainment's "Twilight" franchise defied toasty summer weather in France and the U.K., opening No. 1 in these two key markets. U.K. take was a jaw-dropping $20.7 million from 523 locations (including previews), the market's biggest opening of 2010 and about $2 million more than "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" grossed in its market bow late last year.
The France gross opening tally was $12.5 million from 765 locales, also the highest opening market take of this year. "Eclipse's" No. 1 opening in South Korea generated $6.4 million over four days at 603 locations, while its No. 2 sophomore session in Australia produced $4.7 million from 533 screens for a market cume of $20.2 million.
No. 2 on the weekend was "Shrek Forever After" in 3D, which took first place in 16 of its 17 new markets on the weekend, grossing $54.5 million overall from 6,682 venues in 37 territories. Foreign cume for the fourth and presumably final title in the "Shrek" franchise stands at $207.7 million so far, with openings due this week in four new markets, including Mexico and Belgium.
In Brazil, "Shrek Forever After" set a market opening record for an animation title with an estimated $7.4 million from 456 spots. In World Cup-crazy Spain, "Shrek" still managed an estimated $5.2 million from 626 venues, while it drew $3.1 million in its Argentina bow at 141 spots (for a $21,642 per-screen average), a market opening gross record.
Pixar/Disney's "Toy Story 3," also in 3D, took the weekend's third spot with $35.2 million derived from 6,055 venues in 39 territories. Overseas gross total for the animation threequel stands at $210.4 million extracted from a slightly more than half of the international marketplace. Openings this week are due in France and Hong Kong, territories Disney characterizes as "representing approximately 10% of our potential business."
In Japan, "Toy Story 3" set a market opening record for a Disney animation title ($11 million from 530 venues). The film continues strongly in Latin American markets, which have provided $110 million of the film's $213.1 million foreign cume.
No. 5 on the weekend was Sony's "The Karate Kid," which grabbed $11.6 million (including the China territory handled by a local distributor). Sony played the remake starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith of the 1980s original at 1,513 screens in 26 markets. Overseas cume stands at $43.5 million. A No. 1 Mexico bow generated $3.37 million from 451 sites while a No. 3 debut in Australia provided $3.2 million from 241 sites.
Fox's "Knight and Day" drew $10.9 million from 3,224 locations in 30 markets. International gross total to date is $39 million. Per the distributor, the action comedy starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz opened No. 1 in China with $4.8 million drawn from 1,158 sites over six days.
Opening No. 7 in France (but No. 3 in Paris) was Mars Distribution's release of "Copacabana," director Marc Fitoussi's comedy about the rocky relationship between a freewheeling, unconventional mother and her straight-laced daughter. The Isabelle Hupert vehicle, which played in the Cannes Festival's Critics Week sidebar this year, drew $400,000 from 125 sites.
In Paris, director Olivier Assayas' feature edition of his lengthy TV miniseries on terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (aka "Carlos the Jackal") -- which also played Cannes this year -- opened at just 14 sites and finished No. 12 in the city-suburbs market. "The Killer Inside Me," director Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of the Jim Thompson crime novel starring Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson, opened at No. 7 in South Korea with $239,460 drawn from 144 screens.
Other international cumes: Fox's "The A-Team," $58 million; Disney's "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," $236.3 million; Universal's "Get Him to the Greek," $18.2 million; Warner Bros.' "Sex and the City 2," $185.5 million; Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D," $689.1 million; Universal's "Robin Hood," $202.9 million; Sony's "Grown Ups," $7.9 million; Universal's "Fatal," $7.2 million (in France only); and Fox's "Marmaduke," $18.3 million.
Also, Sony's "Grown Ups," $7.8 million; Focus Features/Universal's "A Serious Man," $22.3 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "She's Out of My league," $16.9 million; Fuji TV/Toho's "Bayside Shakedown: Set the Guys Loose," $28.2 million (over two rounds in Japan only); Universal's "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," $61.2 million; Lionsgate's "Killers," $4.5 million (U.K. only); Universal's "Hanni und Nanni," $2.8 million (Germany and Austria only); and Marvel Ent./Paramount's "Iron Man 2," $305.9 million.