'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' Dominates Overseas Box Office With $219.8 Million Bow

12:56 PM PST 07/03/2011 by Frank Segers
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Paramount Pictures
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

Michael Bay's movie, starring Shia LaBeouf, becomes Paramount's biggest foreign opening ever; meanwhile, "Larry Crowne" earns $3 million, while "Monte Carlo" takes in $1.3 million.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon exploded on the foreign theatrical circuit over the July 4 weekend, commanding $219.80 million -- nearly $10 million more than estimated on Sunday -- in its resounding No. 1 opening surge at 11,565 overseas locations in 58 territories.

The third installment of director Michael Bay’s noisy, special effects-laden sci-fi adventure series – which has grossed a worldwide total of $1.545 billion thus far – took off like a roman candle overseas after midweek openings in many territories.

'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' Scores Third-Best Global Bow Ever

Distributor Paramount International said the film soared to the No. 1 spot in 57 of its opening markets with 70% of the action derived from 3D venues.  Dark of the Moon is Paramount's biggest foreign opening ever, surpassing the $147 million offshore debut of 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Eye-popping debut numbers were logged throughout Asia. In South Korea, the take was $21.2 million from 1,402 situations, the market’s biggest opening ever. In Hong Kong, the per-site average was nearly $35,000 for a $5 million gross, another market opening record. 

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All-time debut highs were also set in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore plus the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Panama. Opening records for a Paramount title were set in Brazil ($5.2 million from 660 situations), India and in Turkey.

Dark of the Moon’s mega-opening ranks as the second biggest of the year overseas after Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which recorded $260.4 million in its first five days at 18,210 screens in more than 100 offshore territories. (Disney said Tides passed the $1 billion worldwide box office mark, grossing $1.008 billion with $774 million of the total coming from the foreign circuit after a $6.9 million weekend.)

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The first two Transformer titles were more popular abroad than in the U.S. and Canada.  2007’s Transformers drew $389.8 million offshore versus $319.2 million domestically.  2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen grossed $434.2 million offshore versus $402.1 million domestically, as per Paramount figures.

Dark of the Moon’s opening surge beat by 51% the foreign debut of Revenge of the Fallen. Openings in China and Japan are due later this month.

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Opening offshore day and date with its domestic bow was Summit International’s Larry Crowne, the comedy costarring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which grossed a mild-mannered $3 million from some 1,220 locations in 10 overseas territories. 

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