Global Box Office: 'American Sniper' Knows No Borders; 'Hobbit' Hits $800M

Keith Bernstein

Elsewhere, 'The Imitation Game' crosses $100 million.

Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is proving a potent player overseas despite its decidedly pro-U.S. slant.

The Oscar-nominated movie grossed $9.3 million over the weekend as it opened in a number of key markets, pushing its early foreign total to $25.4 million. In North America, Sniper — starring Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle — is shattering records with a projected $105.2 million debut over the long MLK weekend.

From Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, American Sniper launched to $3.6 million in the U.K., by far the biggest opening of Eastwood's career as a director, and ahead of recent war films including Zero Dark Thirty and Green Zone. American Sniper amassed $1.2 million in South Korea, likewise more than most recent war films.

Eastwood boasts a strong following in Italy, where Sniper finished its third weekend with total earnings of $18.8 million, one of the best showings ever for a non-franchise title released in Italy by Warners.

The studio scored a second victory over the weekend as Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies crossed the $800 million mark globally (it has yet to open in China). Overseas, the final installment in the Middle-earth trilogy grossed another $9.8 million over the weekend from 62 markets for a foreign total of $558.6 million and global haul of $803.1 million.

Topping the foreign chart overall was Fox and EuropaCorp's Taken 3. The Liam Neeson action film grossed $31.4 million for an international total of $99 million, pushing its global cume north of $160 million. In the U.K., the threequel beat Sniper with $5.4 million.

Elsewhere, Oscar player The Imitation Game jumped the $100 million mark globally. The drama, from Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive, has earned $51.5 million internationally, while its projected domestic total through Monday is $50.8 million (The Weinstein Co. is releasing the film in the U.S.).

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