'Tangled' Bumps 'Green Hornet' Out of No. 1 Spot at Int'l Box Office

David Strick

UPDATED: Disney's animated film had an exceptionally strong No. 1 debut in the United Kingdom.

With the month's international box office finishing significantly down from the total registered in January 2010 -- when Avatar exploded on the foreign theatrical circuit -- Disney Animation's Tangled snatched the No. 1 spot away from The Green Hornet, grossing just $17.2 million from 4,404 locations in 43 markets.

A stronger than anticipated U.K. opening for the 3D animation reworking of the classic Rapunzel tale pushed its take $2 million past the gross registered by Sony's The Green Hornet, the film which had been declared Sunday the weekend's reigning box-office champ.

As a result, Tangled takes over the No. 1 box-office perch for the second time this year. The Disney Animation title finished first on the weekend of Jan.9, again at the expense of Hornet, declared the winner initially but dropped to No. 2 when all overseas gross numbers were counted.

What did it for Tangled this time was the film's exceptionally strong No. 1 debut in the U.K., which yielded $8.2 million from 445 venues. Overseas gross total for the 3D animation reworking of the classic Rapunzel tale stands at $256.4 million with about 20% of the international market yet to play.

Hornet finished the weekend with $15.2 million drawn from 5,160 venues in 64 markets. Foreign gross total for the Seth Rogan vehicle, a 3D reworking on a popular radio series about a masked vigilante and sidekick Kato, stands at $59.8 million, boosting the worldwide total to $138.8 million.

Blessed with 10 Oscar nominations, True Grit made its overseas debut in Australia, drawing $2.4 million from 201 situations. The figure exceeds the comparable market opening of same directors Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men in 2007 by 200%, said distributor Paramount. A Mexico debut for Grit is set for this week.

With its 12 Oscar bids, The King's Speech sailed to $11.2 million from 1,180 screens in 17 territories, enough for a No. 4 weekend ranking. The film's foreign gross total to date stands at $67 million.

The historical drama grabbed the No. 2 position in the U.K. with $5.8 million garnered from 536 locations in its fourth round for a market cume of $38.6 million. In Australia and New Zealand, via Paramount, The Weinstein Co. co-production starring Colin Firth secured $2.2 million from 251 screens. A No. 5 Italy opening provided $1.3 million from 165 sites.

Foreign box office so far for other Oscar-related title is a mixed bag. Sony and other distributors' The Social Network has accumulated $117.7 million so far offshore, while director Danny Boyle's 127 Hours has rolled up about $11.2 million in limited runs via 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., with $10.6 million of the total coming from four rounds of U.K. playoff. Pixar/Disney's Toy Story 3 grossed $649.4 million overseas.

Paramount's The Fighter will open overseas this Friday in the U.K. Focus Features' Biutiful made its U.K. debut over the weekend, grabbing the No. 15 market spot with $247,390 derived from 47 locations. The vehicle for best actor nominee Javier Bardem has grossed $11.8 million so far from foreign playoff. Focus Features' The Kids Are All Right, which provided Annette Bening a best actress nomination, has grossed just $4.3 million in foreign playoff.

No. 1 in Russia was The Mechanic, director Simon West's remake produced by Millennium Films/Nu Image Entertainment of the 1972 Charles Bronson action vehicle. Universal, which handled the Russian release with Jason Staham as a ruthless hit man, reports the opening market gross was $4.26 million drawn from 469 locations. Opening No. 4 in the U.K. via Lionsgate, The Mechanic drew $1.48 million from 301 sites.

Third was Fox's Black Swan, which pushed its early foreign box-office total to $29.3 million thanks to an $11.6 million weekend at 1,293 screens in 16 territories. The Natalie Portman vehicle from director Darren Aronofsky drew third place in its second U.K. round with $4.1 million garnered from 429 screens.

Taking the top spots in Germany and Austria ($7.2 million from a total of 554 sites) – as well as the No. 5 slot on the weekend overall -- was Disney's Tron: Legacy, which grossed $11.1 million from 5,172 situations in 48 markets. With about 7% of the international market yet to play, the 3D sequel to 1982's Tron has accumulated $195.1 million so far on the foreign theatrical circuit.

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