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By Frank Segers
This is beginning to sound like a broken record.
The Smurfs took the weekend’s No. 1 box office spot on the foreign theatrical circuit, grossing $12.9 million from 6,151 locations in 82 markets.
This is the seventh consecutive stanza that the Sony Animation coproduction finished on top overseas. And while the weekend in general was in one of those pallid, in-between periods (after summer and before fall gets underway in earnest), an offshore win is still a win. No other title this year has won the top foreign box office spot more often than has The Smurfs.
Since it opened foreign on July 27, the 3D live action/computer animation
hybrid about lovable blue creatures in New York City has grossed $364.5 million – more than 2.6 times its domestic tally — enabling its worldwide box office to exceed the half-billion mark ($502.9 million).
In second place was Sony’s Friends With Benefits, which was buoyed by a No. 1 Spain opening ($1.975 million from 356 sites). Overall weekend take for the romantic comedy costarring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake was $9.5 million from 2,970 screens in 51 markets, raising the film’s foreign gross to $55.5 million.
Second round on the foreign circuit for Universal’s Johnny English Reborn drew $8.1 million from 1,747 play dates in 19 territories. The latest Rowand Atkinson spy spoof had solid bows in India and Greece, and a No. 2 holdover in Australia ($2 million at 239 sites for an 11-day market cume of $5.6 million).
With 44 markets yet to play including Hong Kong, Norway and Spain beginning this week, Reborn has rolled up an early overseas gross total of $24.3 million. (The film’s domestic bow is set for Oct. 28.) It finished No. 3 on the weekend.
No. 4 on the weekend and registering a dominant No. 1 opening in South Korea was C.J. Entertainment’s Silenced, a drama based upon a 2009 book covering a series of grisly events that actually occurred at a rural school for the hearing impaired. Director Hwang Dong-Hyuk’s outing bagged an estimated $6.8 million over five days at 634 locations.
Fifth was Warner Bros./New Line’s horror sequel Final Destination 5, which grossed $6.7 million from 2,940 situations in 53 markets. A Mexico opening generated $709,000 from 336 sites. Total foreign cume comes to $98.6 million.
Twentieth Century-Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes collected another $6.19 million at 3,529 situations in 35 markets. An Italy bow generated $1.9 million from 541 sites. Overseas gross total for the latest in Fox’s longstanding Apes series stands at $230.9 million.
Grossing $6.15 million was Warner’s Crazy, Stupid Love, which played in 2,610 screens in 47 territories. Cume for the romantic comedy comes to $35.4 million. A No. 2 U.K. opening provided $1.35 million from 395 locations.
Beaucoup French media attention to the highly unusual release a week apart of competing local language films from different distributors — both titled Le Guerre des Boutons (War of the Buttons) and both recreations of director Yves Robert’s 1962 classic — resulted in respective No. 1 and No. 2 box office weekends.
Opening No. 1 was the latest La Guerre produced by Thomas Langman, directed by Christophe Barratier and released by Mars Distribution. It collected an estimated $4 million from some 539 situations. No. 2 in its second France weekend was UGC Distribution’s La Guerre, directed by Yann Samuell, which drew $2.2 million in its second round at 500 screens for a market cume of $8.1 million.
Maintaining its No. 1 hold in the U.K. was Optimum Releasing-Studio Canal’s update of the John le Carre spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which collected an estimated $3.28 million in its second round at 422 screens. The Gary Oldman-Colin Firth costarring vehicle has collected a market cume of $10.8 million so far.
DreamWorks’Fright Night in its sixth round pushed its foreign gross total to $15.6 million due to a $3.5 million weekend in 28 territories, which distributor Disney says is “73% of our potential performance.” And although Disney’s The Lion King 3D continues No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, its foreign gross total stands at just $16 million after a $1.9 million weekend, its seventh round offshore, in 19 territories.
Other international cumes: Warner’s Horrible Bosses, $89.3 million (after a $3.1 million weekend at 1,725 screens in 43 markets); Marvel Studios/Paramount’s Captain America: The First Avenger, $186 million; Warner’s Mannerherzen 2, $5.5 million in Germany only; Fox’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins, $116.4 million; The Weinstein Co.’s I Don’t Know How She Does It, $6.9 million after a $2 million second weekend at 2,490 screens); Lionsgate’s Abduction, $6.5 million; Paramount’s O Homem Do Futuro, $5.6 million in one market; Fox’s What A Man, $14.8 million in Germany only; Constantin’s The Three Musketeers, $14.2 million in Germany and Austria only; Fox’s Anytime, Anywhere, $1.45 million in India only; Paramount’s The Guard, $2 million; and Fox’s You Are The Apple of My Eye, $12.5 million.
Also, Paramount’s Super 8, $131.3 million; DreamWorks/Disney’s The Help, $7.2 million; Warner’s Don Gato, $5.7 million in Mexico only; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2, $495.6 million; Fox’s Monte Carlo, $12 million; Paramount’s Cowboys & Aliens, $66 million; Universal’s Bridesmaids, $117 million; Pixar/Disney’s Cars 2, $362.5 million; Fox’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, $5.6 million; The Debt, $6.4 million (Universal territories only); Sony’s Zookeeper, $77.5 million; The Weinstein Co.’s Spy Kids 4, $23.3 million; Warner’s Contagion, $6.45 million; The Weinstein Co.’s Apollo 18, $6.1 million; and Universal/Focus Features’ Jane Eyre, $13.8 million.
In addition, Paramount’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, $766.6 million; Universal/Focus Features’ One Day, $24.5 million; Fox’s La Cara Oculta, $1.9 million in Spain only; Focus Features’ Beginners, $7.5 million; Universal/Focus Features’ One Day, $24.5 million; and Entertainment’s Killer Elite, $748,899 in opening round at 387 screens in the U.K., ranking No. 7 in the market.
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