'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.