'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' Dominates Overseas Box Office With $219.8 Million Bow
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
20th Century Fox’s romantic comedy, Monte Carlo, also entered the foreign fray with an even milder $1.35 million from 362 screens in 11 markets.
Pixar/Disney’s Cars 2, which topped foreign box office last weekend, finished in second place internationally this time, grossing $22.1 million from 19 territories, down by nearly half from the opening session. Foreign cume for director-coscripter John Lasseter’s animation adventure comedy stands at $82.2 million while the worldwide total gross is $198.3 million.
Disney notes that so far, the Cars sequel has played about 35% of the international market and is outpacing in the same territories such previous Pixar outings as the 2006 Cars original by 123%, 2007’s Ratatouille by 67% and 2009’s Up by 57%. The biggest markets are Mexico (cume $16.4 million), Russia ($15.6 million), Brazil ($11.8 million) and Italy ($10.2 million). Openings in nine markets including Argentina and Spain are on tap this week.
DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda, No. 3 on the weekend, pushed its international gross total to $377.8 million thanks to a $20.1 million round at 9,297 overseas locations in 52 territories. The Paramount release held well in France, drawing $3.4 million at 760 venues for a market cume of $17.5 million.
Fourth was Warner Bros.' The Hangover Part 2, which woke up to $9.6 million elicited from some 4,300 screens in 56 territories. Foreign cume for the highest-grossing R-rate dcomedy ever overseas comes to $301.4 million.
No. 5 was Sony’s Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, which nailed $7.27 million from 1,557 screens in 25 markets, for an overseas total take so far of $29.2 million. Universal's romantic comedy Bridesmaids yielded $7.2 million from 1,198 playdates in eight markets, raising its foreign cume to $35.8 million.
Fox’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins starring Jim Carrey opened in five offshore markets (including a No. 5 bow in Australia), grossing $5.76 million overall from 1,607 screens in 21 territories. Early foreign cume stands at $11.1 million. Fox’s X-Men: First Class came up with $4.6 million from 4,200 spots in 52 territories for an overseas gross total of $196.9 million.
Super 8, the sci-fi adventures directed by J.J. Abrams, is slowing overseas, grossing $3.9 million on the weekend from 1,623 sites in 28 markets. The film held the No. 1 spot in Japan with a second weekend take of $2.5 million from 523 locations.
Cannes Festival top prizewinner Tree of Life tallied $1.1 million from some 960 spots in 21 markets, as per Summit International. A U.K. opening for the Terrence Malick title is on tap this week via Fox.
Top-grossing local language title in France was UGC Distribution’s L’eleve Ducobu (The Student Ducobu), a comedy about an amiable school dunce, which drew from 471 screens an estimated $2.1 million in its second round, up 10% from the prior weekend. It also played Switzerland and Belgium for an overall weekend take of $2.7 million from 508 screens. Opening No. 4 in the market was another comedy, Pathe’s Les Tuche (The Tuches), about a slacker family that hits the lottery. Weekend take was an estimated $2.5 million from 429 sites.
Other international cumes: Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern, $33.2 million; Universal’s Fast Five, $391.9 million; Mars Distribution’s Omar m’a tuer, $2.8 million over two rounds in France only; Universal’s The Adjustment Bureau, $63.9 million; Mars Distribution’s Midnight in Paris, $13.6 million over eight rounds in France only; and Universal’s The Debt, $1.4 million.
Also, Paramount’s Thor, $261.5 million; Focus Features’Beginners, $2 million; Universal’s Senna, $7.7 million from seven markets; Focus Features’ Hanna, $17.5 million; Fox’s 127 Hours, $26.5 million; Focus Features’ Biutiful, $19.6 million; Universal’s Hop, $69.4 million; Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, $17.9 million; Focus Features’ Another Year, $15.3 million; Universal’s Honey 2, $3.1 million from four markets; and Fox’s Black Swan, $221.2 million.