Foreign Box Office: 'Looper' Opens No. 1 Overseas With $36 Million, Worldwide Winner

1:16 PM PST 09/30/2012 by Frank Segers , Pamela McClintock
TriStar Pictures

UPDATED: "Taken 2" blasts off in South Korea while "Hotel Transylvania" opens nicely in 13 markets.

A generally quiet weekend on the foreign theatrical circuit still managed to provide Looper a robust No. 1 opening sendoff with the time-traveling thriller costarring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis landing an estimated $36 million from about a dozen markets.

 

Opening figures received Monday put director-writer Rian Johnson’s sci-fi pastiche in the top spot overseas thanks largely to a muscular China debut gross estimated at $24 million. Final weekend numbers from the market will not arrive until Tuesday. The film elsewhere has performed less strongly.

 

Playing at 104 screens in Iceland, Sweden, Hong Kong and Greece, the total weekend tally was about $430,000. (The coventure of Endgame Entertainment and DMG Entertainment Of China is being handled overseas by Filmnation Entertainment.)

 

But in Russia, the wekend action was swift -- $5.1 million at 1,010 locations. The film also opened No. 1 in the U.K. (grossing $3.9 million) with the Australia debut registering $3.9 million. So, the firmness of the $36 million estimate rests on the numbers out to come of China. 

 

Resident Evil: Retribution, after its second third consecutive No. 1 box office win last weekend, drew a relatively modest $20.7 million this time from 6,460 venues in 65 markets.

 

That brings the total overseas gross for the fifth title in director-producer Paul S.W. Anderson’s action/sci-fi series starring Milla Jovovich to $137 million, putting the sequel $99 million shy of the foreign franchise record ($236.1 million) set by 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife.

 

A No. 3 U.K. opening at 355 locations delivered $1.25 million while a No. 2 Italy debut came up with $1.4 million at 290 spots. Retribution opened No.1 in India, and held top rankings in Germany, Austria, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand and Venezuela.

 

The latest Resident Evil is being distributed in most foreign markets by Sony, which has tallied a cume of $127.1 million. Another distributor, the film’s German coproducer Constantin, has raked in 9.9 million in all thus far.

 

Several newcomers to the foreign circuit provided at least a soupcon of box office spice to the otherwise bland session. Twentieth Century Fox’s Taken 2, the action vehicle from Europa starring Liam Neeson, blasted off in South Korea’s holiday season to $6.4 million at 665 sites. The film opens this week in 47 markets worldwide of which 27 are handled by Fox.

 

Sony Pictures Animation premiered Hotel Transylvania at 2,214 screens in 13 markets, and drew $11.2 million overall on the weekend.  A No. 1 Mexico debut for the family animation outing in 3D delivered $3.6 million from 978 spots while a No. 3 Australia opening generated $2.1 million at 465 situations. 

 

The No. 1 title in France was Warner Bros. France’s release of Les Seigneurs (The Dream Team), director Olivier Dahan’s soccer comedy about veteran players reuniting to assist Brittany fishermen. First round at 608 screens drew $8.7 million (including previews).

 

Schutzengel, a Warner Bros. thriller directed and starring Til Schweiger about a troubled soldier protecting a hunted orphan, grossed $2.1 million in its opener at 513 screens in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. It opened No. 2 in Germany and No. 3 in Austria.

 

Ted, director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg, was buoyed by three openings, and registered $9.5 million in all on the weekend at 2,655 playdates in 46 territories. A No. 1 Hong Kong debut delivered $1.4 million at 40 sites for a lusty  $35,000 per screen.  Ted has grossed a total of $216.3 million overseas thus far with nine territories still to open.

 

Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Driftis winding down a lengthy overseas run with distinction.  An Italy opening generated a whopping $7.7 million at 906 locales. Weekend overall came up with $8.5 million at 1,084 sites in four markets.  Foreign cume for the animation sequel comes to $694.4 million -- making the family film the highest-grossing animation titled ever to be released on the foreign circuit.

 

Universal’s The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner raked in $7.5 million at 2,969 situations in 51 markets, hoisting its foreign gross total to $112.6 million.  That puts the action sequel’s cume ahead of those of two of the three previous franchise titles starring Matt Damon. 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, grossing a total of $215 million, remains the franchise b.o. champ.

 

After 17 frames on the foreign circuit, DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted continues to chug along, generating $6.75 million on the weekend at 1,836 locations in 34 markets.  Overseas gross total now stands at $423.3 million.  Openings in Germany and Austria are due this week.

 

Pixar’s Brave, the animation title handled by Disney, pushed its foreign cume to $281.9 million thanks to a $5.2 million weekend in its 15th overseas round in 55 markets.

 

Opening No. 2 in Spain, after director Oliver Stone was feted at the San Sebastian Film Festival, was Universal’s Savages, which grossed $2.8 million on the weekend at 1,659 sites in 32 markets.  The Spain bow contributed $1.1 million at 310 locales.  Overseas cume stands at $13.2 million.

 

Fox’s The Watch, the sci-fi/comedy starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn boosted its foreign cume to $27.3 million after a $2.6 million weekend at 1,711 sites in 28 territories. Laika Entertainment’s ParaNorman, distributed offshore by Universal, drew 2.4 million at 1,494 situations in 38 territories for a foreign cume of $32.6 million.

 

Other international cumes: Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises, $630.7 million;  Fox’ Ruby Sparks, $2.1 million over two rounds in three markets; Focus Features’ To Rome With Love, $47.8 million; Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $19.8 million; Disney’s Finding Nemo 3D, $10.2 million; Fox’s Raaz 3D, $18.3 million; Paramount’s Tad, The Lost Explorer, $16.7 million in five rounds in Spain only; Fox’s Stefan vs. Kramer, $11.3 million in Chile only; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $7.6 million over 24 days in U.K. only; Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $67.6 million; Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $18.4 million, and Fox’s Prometheus, $276.1 million.

Correction: This article originally reported that Resident Evil placed No. 1; information was incorrect.

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