'Ice Age' repeats overseas
'Transformers,' 'Bruno' round out the top three'Bruno' tops U.S. boxoffice
With "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" monopolizing family filmgoers from Uruguay to China -- easily replicating its No. 1 overseas showing last round -- it was open season for R-rated newcomer "Bruno" over the weekend with audiences in 28 foreign territories seeking raunchier fare.
While third-ranked "Bruno" bagged $25 million on the weekend, the "Ice Age" digital animation threequel from 20th Century Fox grossed $101.9 million from 12,057 screens in 102 markets, down from the $151.7 million generated from 11,791 screens in 101 territories in its opening launch the prior weekend.
"Dawn of the Dinosaurs' " strictly 3D China debut drew an estimated $5.3 million from 340 sites, elevating the film's overall international total to $322.6 million, $134.4 million shy of the $457 million total tallied by the biggest offshore grosser of the series so far, 2006's "Ice Age: The Meltdown."
The Sacha Baron Cohen comedy about a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion correspondent in Los Angeles who shocks unsuspecting interviewees opened simultaneously with its No. 1 domestic debut at 2,278 screens overseas, according to "Bruno's" three key foreign distributors: Universal (which is also releasing the film in North America), Sony and Mandate International.
Cohen, a British comedian, made his international mark three years ago with his first mockumentary, "Borat." For a comedy, "Borat" via Fox did especially well abroad drawing a total of $133.1 million versus $129.2 million domestically.
The eight Universal territories (1,435 screens) playing "Bruno" were dominant, providing 80% of its total weekend tally. Particularly strong were the U.K. and Ireland, where the comedy opened No. 1 with $8 million from 456 sites, a record bow for an "18-rated" film in the U.K. Australia also did especially well, bagging $5.7 million from 334 screens, 55% larger than the comparable "Borat" opening in the market.
Germany contributed $2.8 million from 469 locations while Bruno's "native" country, Austria, produced $627,000 from just 76 sites, for a per-screen average of nearly $7,500. All Universal-handled territories for "Bruno" opened over the weekend; Sony and Mandate Int'l. will release the comedy in 30 foreign markets over the next few months. A France opening via Sony is due July 22.
The 16 mostly smaller markets handled by Mandate, including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and German-speaking Switzerland, produced $3.75 million from 450 sites or $8,333 per screen. Sony chipped in with 1.2 million from 375 screens Spain, Greece and Portugal.
The early "Bruno" returns may be good news for Universal, which has collected $600 million in 2009 foreign boxoffice as of the weekend. That trails Sony's $890 million total as of July 5, and Disney's $630 million as of July 10.
Disney expects to cross the $1 billion overseas boxoffice mark for the 14th consecutive year by late September or October. Fox passed the milestone last week, the first of the big six studios to do so.
With "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" still in high gear, Paramount is expected to shoot past the $1 billion overseas over the weekend. Warner Bros. says it anticipates crossing $1 billion sometime during the run of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which saturates the international circuit beginning Wednesday.
The "Transformers" sequel from director Michael Bay opened in India ($1.3 million from 270 sites), claimed the No. 1 spots in Italy and Korea, and generated $31.5 million on the weekend from 8,226 screens in 59 territories, enough for a No. 2 ranking overall. Foreign gross since June 19 stands at $363.9 million, just $25.1 million shy of the original's entire overseas gross.
Tied for No. 4 was Universal's "Public Enemies," directed by Michael Mann, which drew $7.5 million from 1,646 locations in 17 markets for a cume of $16.4 million. The Johnny Depp vehicle opened No. 2 in France with $3.8 million garnered from 473 screens. The period crime drama has yet to play 47 overseas territories.
Also registering $7.5 million was Warner Bros.' "The Hangover," which played 1,931 screens in 33 territories for a solid international cume, especially for a comedy, of $74.7 million.
Thanks to solid starts in Brazil, South Africa, the Ukraine and Spain, Disney's comedy "The Proposal," co-starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, finished No. 5 on the weekend, with $7 million from 1,818 sites in 19 markets for an overseas cume of $40.7 million.
Summit International's "Knowing," a sci-fi mystery title starring Nicolas Cage, opened No. 3 in Japan via local distributor Toho-Towa at 320 screens, grossing $3.1 million. International cume now stands at $86.8 million.
Topping the Japan charts with $5.3 million extracted from 409 screens was Toho's opening of "Gokusen the Movie," based on the Japanese manga and tv series about a fighting but compassionate schoolteacher. No. 4 in the market was Toho's teen baseball drama "Rookies," which has accumulated a total of $82.8 million in Japan alone since May 30.
In France, Woody Allen's comedy "Whatever Works," from Mars Distribution, collected $850,000 in its second round at 221 locations, down 50% from its opener. Market cume is $3 million. Pathe's "L'Elegance du Herisson" (The Elegance of the Hedgehog), based on Muriel Barberry's best-selling novel about a plump concierge in a deluxe Parisian residence, drew $1 million from 290 locations.
Other international cumes: Disney's "Up," $52.5 million; Sony's "Year One," $8.7 million; Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $209.1 million; Sony's "Angels & Demons," $345.9 million; Universal's "State of Play," $46.4 million; Sony's "Terminator Salvation," $232.8 million (including non-Sony territories); Disney's "Hannah Montana: The Movie," $64.4 million; Universal's "Land of the Lost," $ 7.8 million; Paramount's "Star Trek," $125.6 million; Mandate Int'l./Universal's "Drag Me To Hell," $24 million; Pathe/Fox's "Slumdog Millionaire," $218.7 million; Universal's "Last House on the Left," $8.7 milllion; Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," $184.8 million; Sony's "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," $5.8 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Coraline," $38.8 million; and DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens," $175.7 million (thanks to a fourth-place, $1.35 million opening in Japan at 397 sites).