'Inception' topples 'Toy' at No. 1 overseas
3D pic dips almost 40%; Jolie's 'Salt' simmers at No. 3Registering a strong Germany opening bolstered by dazzling holdover engagements in the U.K., France and South Korea, "Inception" claimed the No. 1 spot on the foreign theatrical circuit, grossing $55 million on the weekend from some 7,610 screens in 51 markets.
Warner Bros.' release of director Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio has racked up an accumulated gross total overseas of $17l.5 million. The first-place Germany debut surged to $6.8 million from 567 locations for a rousing per-screen average of nearly $12,000.
In France, "Inception" finished No. 1 in its second market round, eliciting $5.6 million from 628 sites for a cume of $17.5 million. The U.K. provided $5.1 million from 459 locations in the film's third frame for a market cume of $33 million. South Korea kicked in $4.4 million from 565 sites, enough for a No. 2 ranking and a market cume of $16.3 million. Brazil and Spain openings are due this week.
Dipping nearly 40% from its prior weekend's No. 1 gross figure, Pixar/Disney's "Toy Story 3" in 3D dropped to the weekend's No. 2 spot, capturing $39.2 million drawn from 7,705 screens in 47 markets and hoisting the film's accumulated foreign tally to $436.7 million.
The animation threequel finished No. 1 in its second U.K. round with $12.9 million drawn from 564 locations for a market cume of $63 million after 14 days, making "Toy Story 3" the third biggest-grossing animation title ever to play the territory. "Toy 3" also continues No. 1 in Japan where the fourth weekend provided $7.1 million from 524 venues for a market total of $62.6 million.
"Toy Story 3" now ranks as the seventh biggest-grossing animation title ever released overseas from any distributor.
Stretching out overseas with openings in at least nine markets was the weekend's No. 3 title, Sony's "Salt," which grossed $24.5 million overall on the weekend from 2,850 screens in 29 offshore territories, hoisting its early international cume to $32.8 million.
Director Phillip Noyce's Cold War thriller starring Angelina Jolie -- who is displaying offshore drawing power -- took the No. 1 spot in six territories, including South Korea ($5.9 million from 636 sites), Russia ($5 million from 704 situations), the Philippines ($1.25 million from 80 screens) and Malaysia ($1.1 million from 110 spots).
A No. 3 Japan opening provided "Salt" with $4.2 million from 326 locations while the film's Brazil bow came up with $2.3 million from 252 screens.
DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek Forever After" in 3D came in at No. 4, exceeding the $400-million overseas gross mark (actual total is $405.4 million) since its May 20 foreign opening. Weekend tally was $19.3 million collected from 5,443 venues in 40 territories.
Opening No. 2 in France, 20th Century Fox's "Knight and Day" grossed $13.5 million on the weekend overall from 5,393 screens in 58 territories and pushing its accumulated overseas total to $110 million. The French take was $4.65 million from 612 sites. The Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz action comedy, No. 5 on the weekend, opens the U.K. on Aug. 6.
"The Karate Kid" update is winding down its run in China via a local distributor (market cume, $6.8 million), and took in $12 million overall on the weekend from 2,373 screens in 31 markets handled by Sony. The Jackie Chan-Jaden Smith vehicle has compiled a foreign gross total of $81.7 million (including China) since opening overseas on June 9.
So far Summit International's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" has drawn an estimated $356.7 million in foreign boxoffice after a weekend estimate of $11.2 million drawn from 5,963 screens in 67 territories. The film landed (via local distributor Concorde) the No. 3 spot in its third Germany stanza with $2.9 million derived from 769 sites for a market cume of $26.8 million. An India opener provided "Eclipse" with an estimated $965,000 from 350 situations.
Setting distributor records in Latin and South America was "Despicable Me," which gathered $10.4 million overall on the weekend from 1,572 situations in 20 markets, pushing its overseas gross total to $29 million. The family-oriented, 3D animation title featuring the voice of Steve Carell recorded Universal's biggest opening weekend ever in Mexico, where it drew $4.1 million from 805 playdates.
No. 1 debuts were also logged in Argentina ($1.36 million from 136 sites for a $10,014 per-screen average) and in Peru, both record market openings for Universal. "Despicable Me" has 42 overseas territories yet to play, with openings in Brazil, Hong Kong, India and Israel teeing up this week.
Disney's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," playing about 30% of the international market, bagged $9.8 million on the weekend from 2,855 screens in 29 markets for an overseas gross total so far of $41.8 million. A No. 2 Mexico opening provided the Jerry Bruckheimer production starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel $2.2 million from 490 screens. Debuts in six markets, including Hong Kong, are due this week.
Director M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender" from Paramount opened in seven markets, including France where the No. 3 debut tally was $4.2 million from 612 sites. Overall, the fantasy adventure based on a Nickelodeon TV series claimed $9.38 million on the weekend from 1,706 situations in 16 markets for an overseas gross total of $39.4 million.
Opening at No. 3 in the U.K. ($5.7 million bagged from 451 locations) was Fox's "The A-Team, " which grossed $7.1 million on the weekend overall from 744 screens in four markets. Overseas cume stands at $68.3 million.
Premiering in Russia, Holland, the Ukraine and Israel was Warner Bro.'s "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore." The family-oriented title drew $2.8 million from 875 screens with more than 70% of the take coming from 3D venues. Openings in the U.K. and France loom this week.
Propelled by openings in Spain ($1.9 million from 328 locations) and Venezuela, Sony's "Grown Ups" laughed all the way to $3.8 million on the weekend from a total of 1,113 screens in 16 markets. Early international cume for the comedy stands at $18.2 million.
Opening at 253 screens in Australia via Roadshow was Lionsgate's romantic comedy "Killers" costarring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. Debut tally was $1.9 million, enough for a No. 2 market ranking.
Hottest local-language newcomer in France was "L'age de raison" ("The Age of Reason"), director Yann Samuell's comedy-fantasy starring popular French actress Sophie Marceau. The Mars Distribution release bowed at 361 screens nationwide, ranking No. 7 with an estimated gross of $1.4 million.
Other international cumes: Universal's "Get Him to the Greek," $22 million; Fox's "Predators," $54 million (after a $2.85 million weekend at 2,432 screens in 43 markets); Universal's "Robin Hood," $205 million; Fox's "Marmaduke," $27.5 million; Universal's "Hanni und Nanni," $4.7 million in Germany and Austria only; and Sony's "The Back-Up Plan," $39.6 million.
Also, C.J. Entertainment's "Moss," $18.2 million over three rounds in South Korea only; Universal's "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," $61.7 million; Fuji TV/Toho's "Bayside Shakedown 3: Set The Guys Loose," $60.8 million over five frames in Japan only; Universal's "Black Lightning," $22.4 million in eight markets; Paramount's "The Rebound," $1.4 million; Optimum Releasing's French import "Gainsbourg (vie heroique)," $214,008 opening in the U.K. at 59 screens; and Universal's "Fatal," $8.8 million over seven rounds in France only.