'Transformers' rocks overseas boxoffice

Strong run puts sequel at $390.1 mil globally

'Transformers' tops $200 million domestically

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" blanketed the international circuit during the weekend, recording an explosive $164.7 million from 9,745 screens -- a per-screen average of $16,904 -- in 58 markets for an overseas total of $188.9 million. The film's global gross is $390.1 million.

Still, the sci-fi action sequel to "Transformers," director Michael Bay's 2007 blockbuster that grossed $389 million overseas, failed to notch a record for a foreign boxoffice launch.

Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" drew $251.1 million during its first six days on the international circuit in May 2007. Two years ago, Warner Bros.' "Spider-Man 3" recorded $230.5 million in six days, and the same studio's 2006 release "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" registered an opening of $193 million.

"Transformers" actually opened the previous frame -- a week before its domestic bow -- in the U.K. and Japan, grossing on the prior weekend $19.6 million from 833 locations. Its initial saturation blitz overseas easily qualifies as 2009's biggest foreign boxoffice weekend, besting by $62.6 million the year's second-largest introduction, Sony's "Angels & Demons," in 96 markets in mid-May.

With a reported $200 million price tag, it is critical that "Transformers," a special effects-laden saga of shape-shifting robots co-starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, draws significant numbers overseas. So far, that is happening in spades.

"Transformers" was No. 1 in all markets opened, Paramount said, with China topping the list with an eye-popping $21.9 million from 1,000 sites, the market's highest opening-weekend gross for an English-language title. Korea contributed $14.9 million from 1,038 situations, Australia came up with $12.9 million from 242 spots, Russia produced $11.8 million from 564 spots and Germany contributed $6.3 million from 673 locations. Mexico contributed $5.1 million from 462 locations.

Asia action was particularly intense: Opening-weekend records were set in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, where "Transformers" played in 62 locations for a per-screen average of more than $98,000.

In second place during the weekend was Warners' comedy "The Hangover," which benefited from strong weekends in the U.K., France and Australia. Its overall gross was $10.7 million from 2,133 sites in 29 territories for an international cume of $46.7 million. Third was Sony's action vehicle "Terminator Salvation," which generated $10.4 million (from all distributors) from 7,470 screens in 70-plus markets for an international cume of $218.3 million.

At No. 4 was Disney's "The Proposal," which is showing traction overseas. Its weekend estimate is $7.2 million from 1,650 screens in 13 markets for an early cume of $22.7 million. Finishing fifth was Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," with $5.6 million generated from 5,800 sites in 62 markets for a foreign total of $202.4 million.

The year's first half appears to have been strong for most major studios, particularly Sony, Fox and Paramount. Mark Zucker, president of Sony Pictures Releasing International, said overall boxoffice for Sony films year-to-date is nearing $875 million. With several strong titles in the hopper, he expects Sony to fly past the $1 billion-gross mark by the end of next month.

For its part, Fox said it anticipates surpassing the $1 billion benchmark as early as this week, when the studio saturates the overseas circuit with "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." With many of the heavyweight summer titles from the big six studios still to come, 2009's first-half action portends a strong year overseas for the studios.

Sony's biggest grosser of 2009, with a foreign cume of $336.9 million, is "Angels & Demons," which grossed $4.7 million during the weekend from 4,068 situations in 75 markets. Pixar/Disney's "Up" raised its early overseas cume to $47.1 million also with a $4.7 million weekend at 2,064 screens in 15 territories.

Universal's "State of Play" registered a weekend total of $3.4 million from 1,413 sites in 32 markets for an overseas cume of $40.5 million. Disney's "Hannah Montana: The Movie" drew $3 million from 2,232 screens in 35 markets for a cume of $56.1 million, and Sony's Jack Black-Michael Cera comedy "Year One" generated $2.3 million in its second weekend from 573 screens in five markets for a total of $4.4 million.

Japan boxoffice continues to cook for local language product. No. 1 was Klock Worx/Color's "Evangeerion shin geki joban: Ha" (Evangelion: You Are Not Alone), the latest theatrical version of the hit Japanese anime series. Opening weekend produced $5.4 million from 120 screens. No. 2 was teenage sports drama, "Rookie" from Toho, which generated $4.4 million in its fifth frame at 428 sites for an astonishing market cume of $71.2 million.

No. 4 in the U.K. via Entertainment Releasing was director Nick Cassavetes' drama "My Sister's Keeper" co-starring Carmeron Diaz, Jason Patric and Abigail Breslin. Opening tally was $1.5 million from 355 screens. Also making its U.K. debut via local distributor Anchorbay was indie "Sunshine Cleaning," which claimed the No. 10 market spot with $207,562 from 104 sites.

In France, general boxoffice was lower thanks to La Fete du Cinema observance offering the general public discounted admission tickets ($4.25 each). La Fete got under way June 27 for the 25th consecutive year, and will continue until July 3. U.S. titles took the market's top three spots: "Revenge" followed by "Hangover" and "State of Play."

But Mars Distribution's "So Near," a comedy about a husband coping with pushy in-laws, grabbed the No. 4 spot in its second week with $1.2 million from 395 situations, down 42% from its opening round. Its market cume is $3.6 million. In the No. 5 birth was Bac Films' "Lascars," an animation title based on a French TV cartoon series, which grossed $884,837 from 319 dates, down 41.7% from its opener. Cume is $2.8 million.

Other international cumes: Paramount's "Star Trek," 124.1 million; Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," $184.6 million; Universal's "Land of the Lost," $7 million; Fox's "Notorious," $6.7 million; Mandate International/Universal's "Drag Me to Hell," $22.4 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "I Love You, Man," $17 million; Universal's "The Boat That Rocked," $25 million; Fox's "Dragonball Evolution," $48 million; New Line's "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," $16.5 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Coraline," $36.1 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens," $173.6 million; Fox/Pathe's "Slumdog Millionaire," $218 million; New Line's "17 Again," $65.2 million (vs. $62.9 million domestic); Fox's "12 Rounds," $5 million; New Line's "He's Just Not That Into You," $72.4 million; New Line's "Coco Avant Chanel," $1.9 million; Fox's "Taken," $74.6 million (including non-Fox territories); and New Line's "Inkheart," $40.3 million.
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