'Robin Hood' steals int'l boxoffice

9:42 AM PST 05/16/2010 by Frank Segers, AP

Russell Crowe-Ridley Scott collaboration earns $75 million

After premiering May 12 at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, where critics gave the Universal epic largely muted reviews, "Robin Hood" conquered the foreign theatrical circuit, grossing $75 million from 7,147 screens in 56 markets.

Director Ridley Scott's reimagining of the Crusades-era outlaw costarring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett opened a resounding No. 1 on the weekend overall, making it Universal's second biggest international opening weekend ever behind the $84.3 million debut gross compiled by director Peter Jackson's 2005 "King Kong" remake.

Premiering in the top spot in 52 of its 56 markets, "Robin Hood" drew a resounding $8.3 million in the U.K. from 537 spots, registering a 42% market share. In France, the boxoffice was $9.5 million elicited from 648 locations. The Germany bow generated $6.1 million from 712 screens for a 31% market share.

An atypical No. 2 finish in Korea for "Robin Hood" generated $3.5 million from 645 locations. (No. 1 in the market was Sidus FNH's release of Mirovision's "The Housemaid," fresh from its main competition screening at Cannes. Opening tally for the remake directed by Sang-Soo Im of a 1960 Korean thriller was a giant $5.4 million from 679 screens.)

Italy provided "Robin Hood" $6.1 million from 496 locations, the biggest opening weekend market gross for any Universal title ever. In Russia, where the gross was $6.4 million from 604 sites, it was Universal's fourth-largest market opening. Australia generated $5 million from 463 sites.

With its costly production budget, reportedly well above $200 million, it's vital that "Robin Hood" perform at least as strongly overseas as "Gladiator." The 2000 Scott-Crowe-teamed Roman epic grossed $460.6 million worldwide with $272.9 million coming from foreign playoff. Worldwide, "Robin Hood" has grossed $112.1 million so far.

Universal said "Robin Hood's" opening overseas gross beat "Gladiator's" comparable figure ($43.1 million) by a full 74%. "Robin Hood" has seven overseas territories yet to play with a China debut due next month and a Japan opening scheduled for November.

Marvel Studios' "Iron Man 2" is second on the weekend, grossing $29.8 million in its third weekend of foreign play, raising its offshore gross total to date to $244.4 million.

Paramount is handling the Robert Downey Jr.-Gwyneth Paltrow-costarring sequel to the 2008 original in 49 markets at 8,998 screens, which provided a weekend total of $26.2 million for a cume of $238.1 million.

"Iron Man 2" scored especially well in China where it grossed an estimated $4.4 million from 3,000 situations for a market cume of $16.7 million. In France, the No. 3 weekend registered $3.4 million from 650 screens for a cume of $19.9 million. Australia in "Iron Man 2's" third round registered a No. 2 ranking thanks to $2.4 million from 459 spots for a cume of $18.1 million.

"Iron Man 2" finished No. 2 in the U.K. in its third stanza, with $2.3 million drawn from 491 locations for a cume of $26 million. In Korea, the cume reached $25.4 million thanks to a $2.1 million weekend at 602 situations.

Third on the weekend was Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," which registered an 11th weekend tally of $11.1 million from 3,334 locations in 55 markets, with Japan, Brazil, Spain and Chile driving the boxoffice action.

The 3D reworking of the Lewis Carroll classic from director and Cannes Festival jury president Tim Burton was No. 1 in Japan in its fifth weekend, scoring $4.75 million from 858 spots and pushing its market cume to $101.2 million. A Chile opening produced $1.1 million, a remarkably large figure from this market. Overseas cume stands at $649.5 million.

"Alice" now ranks as the seventh biggest international boxoffice hit ever released. With its worldwide gross of $981 million, "Alice" ranks as the sixth biggest boxoffice success of all time.

No. 4 was Warner Bros./New Line's "A Nightmare on Elm Street, " which had solid openings in France (No. 5 in the market with $2.1 million derived from 244 locations) and in Mexico (No. 3 with $1 million from 290 sites). Weekend overall generated $8 million from some 2,300 screens in 25 markets pushing the horror sequel's early international cume to $17.2 million.

Fifth was "The Back-Up Plan," the CBS-Films-produced romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, which grossed $5.2 million on the weekend, of which $3.9 million came from 1,577 screens in 31 territories handled by Sony. A No. 4 opening in Germany via Concorde generated $1.1 million from 367 screens. Overall international cume stands at $14.1 million.

Twentieth Century Fox's "Date Night" had a No. 6 opening in France ($2 million from 330 locations) and generated $4.7 million on the weekend overall from 2,425 sites in 39 territories. The overseas gross total for marital action comedy with Steve Carell and Tina Fey is $48.2 million.

Warner Bros.' "Clash of the Titans" pushed its foreign gross total past the $300-million mark ($304.1 million) thanks to a $4.4 million weekend tally generated from more than 4,665 screens in 59 markets. The 3D spectacular opens in Brazil this Friday.

"Green Zone," Universal's Iraq war drama starring Matt Damon, opened No. 3 via Toho-Towa in Japan, grossing $2.4 million from 258 locations. Overall weekend tally was $2.8 million from 560 sites in 22 territories for an international cume of $54.2 million.

Finishing No. 2 in its fourth France weekend was Pathe's release of "Camping 2," which registered $4.5 million from 703 situations. Market cume for the French-language comedy, the sequel to 2006's "Camping," totals $31.4 million.

"Letters to Juliet," which opened No. 3 domestically, dipped its toes in international waters in Australia and New Zealand for a combined $1.4 million from 271 screens (including previews) in both markets. The Summit Ent. production of director Gary Winick's Verona-set romantic drama starring Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal and Vanessa Redgrave premiered No. 3 in Australia with $1.2 million from 222 venues.

Other international cumes: Disney's "The Last Song," $#19.6 million; Fox's "Avatar," $1.982 billion; Paramount and other distributors' "Shutter Island," $167 million of which $125.1 million came from Paramount territories; Sony's "The Bounty Hunter," $66.6 million; EuropaCorp. Distribution's "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec," $13.7 million in France only; Optimum's "Four Lions," $2 million in the U.K. only; and MGM/Fox's "Hot Tub Time Machine," $6.95 million.

Also, Sony's "As Vidas de Chico Xavier," $16.8 million in Brazil only; Universal's "L'arnacoeur," $26.1 million in France only; Fox's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," $25.2 million; Lionsgate/Universal's "Kick-Ass," $25.7 million; Universal's "Nanny McPhee," $53.7 million; UGC Distribution's "Imogene McCarthery," $3.7 million in France only; Studio Canal's "L'amour c'est mieux a deux," $6 million in France only; DreamWorks/Paramount's "She's Out of My League," $10.3 million; and Universal's "Die Teufelskicker," $4.3 million from Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.
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