Foreign Box Office: 'Paranormal Activity 4' Narrowly Takes No. 1; 'Taken 2' Places 2nd in Soft Offshore Session
The fourth film in the horror franchise narrowly took the top spot with $26.2 million, followed by the Liam Neeson-starring action sequel at $25.3 million; "Argo" opened in eight markets to $1.2 million.
Just in time for Halloween is Paranormal Activity 4, co-producer Oren Peli’s horror sequel, which narrowly emerged as the weekend’s No. 1 attraction on the foreign theatrical circuit with an opening take at 3,963 locations in 33 countries of $26.2 million.
That’s about 11.5% better than the opening gross of 2011’s Paranormal Activity 3 and 24.8% above the opening tally of 2010’s Paranormal Activity 2 “for the same bucket of territories,” said distributor Paramount, which did not handle the 2007 original title overseas.
Paranormal Activity 3went on to gross a foreign total of $102.8 million while Paranormal Activity 2 tallied $92.8 million overseas. The original drew via various local distributors a total of $87 million offshore.
Opening No. 1 in nine territories, Paranormal Activity 4 scored best in the U.K. (although it ranked No. 2 ), which is typical market showing for the small-budget horror franchise. Opening round drew $4.1 million from 416 sites over five days. The average U.K. total market gross for the previous three Paranormals is $17.2 million.
Russia contributed $4 million from 650 spots while Australia came up with $3.7 million at 321 locations. Germany kicked in $3.3 million at 316 situations, sufficient for a No. 1 market opening. The Mexico debut generated $2.2 million from 530 cinemas.
Dipping its toes lightly in international waters was Argo, actor-director Ben Affleck’s international thriller, which drew $1.2 million from what distributor Warner Bros. describes as “eight smaller markets.” In Taiwan, the film opened No. 2 with $276,243 drawn from 64 screens.
Grossing $25.3 million – a 48% drop from the prior weekend’s take – at 7,819 venues in 66 markets via two distribution companies, Taken 2 slipped to second place this time while pushing its total foreign gross to $177.8 million.
20th Century Fox is handling the thriller starring Liam Neeson in most foreign markets while co-producer EuropaCorp is distributing the sequel in 32 markets accounting for a weekend tally of $9 million and a cume of $47.9 million.
Solid openings in Central America and Uruguay buoyed Taken 2’s overall weekend take as did a No. 2 third round in the U.K., providing $3.6 million at 492 spots for a market cume of $29.7 million.
After playing the foreign circuit for 20 weeks, DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is winding down with a bang with a No. 1 opening in the U.K., drawing a sinewy $9.66 million from 532 venues. Weekend overall at 2,673 situations in 32 countries provided distributor Paramount $14.6 million, lifting the animation title’s foreign cume to $482.9 million.
Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, a comedy voiced by Adam Sandler and Kevin James about a boy who discovers Dracula is real, launched No. 1 in Russia with $5.9 million elicited from 797 situations. Weekend overall pulled $15 million from 4,586 locations in 35 markets, lifting the animation title’s foreign gross total to $68.8 million.
In Spain, Warner Bros. Espana’s release of Lo Impossible (The Impossible), director Juan Antonio Bayona’s action adventure costarring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, dominated the market for the second consecutive weekend. Second round at 643 screens yielded $9 million and a No. 1 ranking. Cume stands at $26 million over 10 days of release, which Warners says, makes Lo Impossible the “highest grossing film for 2012” in Spain.
Ted, director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg, pushed its international gross total to $262.9 million (with three territories still to play) thanks to an $8.3 million weekend at 2,365 locations in 42 markets. A France holdover stayed No. 3 in the market with $2 million at 348 situations for a 12-day cume of $5.3 million. (Worldwide tally is $481.6 million.)
Dominating France on the weekend was Wild Bunch Distribution’s release of Astrerix et Obelix: Au Service De Sa Majeste, the fourth comedy adventure directed by Laurent Tirard based on a series of popular French comic books. The live action title in 3D starring Gerard Depardieu opened at 762 locations for a No. 1 gross of $9.3 million.
Frankenweenie, director Tim Burton’s comedy animation with horror overtones, drew $4.1 million in its second round overseas playing in 19 territories, raising its foreign cume to $11.9 million. Taking $4.8 million from 6,492 venues in 19 markets was Sony’s release of Total Recall. A China launch at 6,100 sites delivered just about all of the action, an estimated $3.6 million. The sequel’s foreign cume now stands at $125.7 million.
Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth installment in the action-sci/fi franchise starring Milla Jovovich, drew $2.3 million on the weekend from 2,141 situations in 53 markets, lifting its foreign cume via Sony and Germany’s Constantin Film to $175.5 million. Foreign b.o. champ of the series is $2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife, which tallied a foreign total of $236.1 million.
Other international cumes: Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $1.96 million; Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, $710.3 million; Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, $126.4 million; Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $72.6 million; Universal’s Savages, $22.8 million in Universal territories only; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $9.8 million after a $1.3 million China debut over six days at 500 spots; and Universal’s ParaNorman, $37.7 million.
Also, Focus Features’ To Rome With Love, $53.5 million (worldwide, $70.1 million); Fox’s Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $26.3 million; Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $19.2 million; Universal’s Dr. Suess’ The Lorax, $132.3 million; and Fox’s The Watch, $30.9 million.
Opening this week: Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 4, 12 markets including South Korea, India and Taiwan; Warner Bros.’ Argo, Australia, Japan, Spain; Universal’s Ted, India; Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, Chile, China, Paraguay; Universal’s Savages, Italy, Greece; and Universal’s ParaNorman, Argentina, Venezuela.