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International Box Office: Paramount's 'Thor' Claims No. 1 With Stellar $87 Million Opening

It's the May Day weekend, and summer is already in second gear on the foreign theatrical circuit.

Paramount's Thor decisively claimed the weekend's No. 1 box office spot on the foreign theatrical circuit with a gross of $87 million -- $4 million more than was projected on Sunday -- from some 7,500 locations in 56 overseas territories.

The Thor take represents 2011's biggest opening weekend tally on the foreign circuit by more than $30 million.

Director Kenneth Branagh's 3D interpretation of a Stan Lee comic book about an otherworldly renegade warrior defending planet earth opened No. 1 in the U.K. and Ireland ($9 million from 500 situations over five days), in France ($83 million from 608 locales), South Korea ($5 million from 446 spots), Italy ($5.5 million from 455 locations) and Spain ($5 million from 377 situations).

Thor also recorded first place openings in several smaller markets including Taiwan ($1.5 million from 51 sites for a per-screen average of $29,411), Singapore and the Philippines. In Vietnam, the opener yielded $308,000 from 19 sites, which Paramount said was a three-day debut record for the market.

So far, Thor has tallied an overall foreign gross of $97 million. The Marvel Entertainment outing, budgeted at a reported $150 million, opened last round in Australia where this time it drew a second-weekend tally of $3.2 million from 391 locations, hoisting the Down Under cume to $12.6 million.

Universal's Fast Five, which like Thor opened overseas last weekend (in the U.K., Australia, South Korea and New Zealand), drew $45.9 million this time from 3,139 playdates in 14 territories, running up its early foreign gross total to $82 million.

Fast Five ranks No. 2 on the weekend overseas; in the U.S. and Canada it opened No. 1 on the weekend. Worldwide, the fifth sequel in the turbocharged car action franchise grossed a weekend total of $132.1 million for a $168.2 million cume overall.

The action title starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker grabbed No. 1 slots in each of its 10 new overseas markets with Russia leading the pack with $11.6 million drawn from 714 sites, the distributor's biggest market opening ever.

Other No. 1 debuts included Germany ($10.5 million from 633 spots), Austria ($1.6 million from 87 situations) and Turkey ($1 million from 175 venues, Universal's biggest opening weekend in the market ever).Biggest Fast Five holdover was Australia where it commanded the No. 1 slot with $4.5 million from 230 sites, off 44% from the opening round. Down Under cume stands at $20.7 million.

Thor is set to open in Finland and China by next weekend while Fast Five will open in 45 markets this week including France, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.

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Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox's Rio, which had been the No. 1 box office champ overseas for the past three weekends, finished its fourth stanza in the weekend's No. 3 spot with $31.5 million 10,608 locations in 67 markets.

International cume for the family-oriented animation title stands at $264 million, more than two-and-a-half times its domestic gross total.

Rio continues to have thriving No. 2 weekends France, Brazil and Mexico, with the France tally coming in at $4.6 million from 781 sites, an increase, says Fox, of 31% from the prior round. Rio has grossed a market total of nearly $36 million in Brazil so far.

Fourth on the weekend was Red Riding Hood, which grossed $6.4 million from 2,875 screens in 45 territories. The Warner Bros. medieval-period werewolf fantasy starring Amanda Seyfried has grossed a total of $46.2 million overseas so far.

Despite having no new overseas openings, Universal's Hop snared $5.7 million from 3,965 sites in 52 territories, lifting its foreign gross total to $58.5 million. The Easter bunny title blending animation with live action has five more markets to play over the next few months, says Universal. Hop ranks fifth on the weekend.

Fox's Depression-era drama Water for Elephants picked up its box office pace offshore with a $4.6 million weekend at 1,830 screens in 23 markets. The Fox 2000 drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson opened No. 4 in Germany with $1.76 million elicited from 411 situations. Foreign cume so far stands at 8.1 million.

A solid Italy opening plus steady holdover action in France drove the weekend tally of Summit International's thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhall, to $4.5 million from about 1,525 screens in 36 territories and a $35 million offshore gross total to date. The Weinstein Co.'s Scream 4, the latest sequel in the horror franchise, secured $4.1 million on the weekend, lifting its offshore cume to $43.7 million.

Warner's Arthur starring Russell Brand managed $2.7 million overseas on the weekend at 830 screens in just eight markets. Cume for the update of the 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore comes to $9.1 million so far.

Biggest local language title in France was La fille du Puisatier (The Well Digger's Daughter), actor-director-scenarist Daniel Auteuil's update of Marcel Pagnol's 1940 romantic drama. The Pathe release nabbed the No. 3 market spot with $2.45 million drawn from 522 screens.

Just Go With It, Sony's comedy starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, pushed its overseas cume safely past the $100-million mark ($107.6 million) thanks to a $1.89 million weekend at 1,157 screens in 54 markets. Universal British-made road comedy Paul, with 34 markets still to play, bagged $1.9 million from 914 situations in 17 territories, lifting its overseas gross total to $49million.

Liongate's Limitless opened in Portugal, Sweden, India and Italian-speaking Switzerland, and grossed $2.4 million on the weekend. Overseas cume for the mystery thriller starring Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel and Robert De Niro stands at $56.8 million.

Other international cumes: the Weinstein Co.'s The King's Speech, $277.7 million; Warner's Sucker Punch, $53.4 million; Focus Features' Biutiful, $18.9 million; Sony's World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles, $118.1 million; Fox's Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, $44 million; Focus Features/Universal's The Eagle, $16 million; Pathe's Le Film Titeuf, $10.9 million over four rounds in France only; Fox's Black Swan, $191.6 million; Universal's The Adjustment Bureau, $52.7 million; Focus Features' Another Year, $14.9 million; Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $6.2 million; Toho's Detective Conanan: Quarter of Silence, $22.5 million in Japan only; Universal's Scream 4, $2 million over 10 days in Spain only; Fox's Gulliver's Travels, $188 million; and Toho's Gantz Part II: Perfect Answer, $22.5 million in Japan only.