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.
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.
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