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Paul W.S. Anderson‘s big-budget disaster movie Pompeii struggled in its international debut, taking in just $22.8 million from its first 37 markets, including a third-place finish in Italy.
In North America, the movie fared even worse, grossing a meek $10 million.
Considering Pompeii‘s $100 million budget, it needs to generate substantial returns. Germany’s Constantin Films fully financed Pompeii, billed as one of the biggest independent productions ever mounted (Summit International sold off foreign rights on behalf of Constantin).
Set in A.D. 79, Pompeii recounts the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed the Roman city. Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Jessica Lucas star alongside Jared Harris and Kiefer Sutherland.
Constantin — which also financed the ill-fated The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones — continues to hope that Pompeii will ultimately rack up big grosses overseas, despite a troubling start.
Pompeii‘s overseas take was led by South Korea, where it came in No. 2 with $3.6 million, followed by France ($2.3 million), Brazil ($1.5 million), Italy ($1.4 million) and Mexico ($1.3 million). Figures for Russia, a leading market for 3D action fare, weren’t immediately available. Major markets left to open include Germany, Australia, the U.K., Spain and Japan.
Pompeii faced formidable competition from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s The Lego Movie, which trumped it in France and Italy. For the weekend, Lego took in $23.1 million from 48 markets for an international total of $92.5 million and global haul of $257.7 million.
With school holidays in full swing, Lego continued to top the box office in the U.K., where it fell just 5 percent to $9.4 million for a market cume of $35.4 million. In France and Italy, Lego opened in the No. 1 spot with $3 million and $2.3 million, respectively.
Lego is besting DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman in the U.K. and France, where the two films are going up against each other (Peabody doesn’t open in the U.S. until March 7).
For the weekend, Peabody & Sherman took in $5.3 million from six markets, including $2.7 million in the U.K., where it opened three weeks ago and has amassed a total of $17.1 million. In France, the 3D animated film took in $1.5 million for a cume of $3.6 million. Next weekend, Peabody opens in an additional 14 markets, including Germany and Mexico.
The Lego Movie wasn’t the only weekend victory for Warner Bros. Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened to $32.7 million in China, the studio’s best three-day opening ever. Desolation of Smaug has now earned $893.7 million worldwide, but it remains to be seen whether it can match the $1 billion grossed by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men, from 20th Century Fox and Sony, grossed $13.6 million internationally from 48 markets, including a strong $2.4 million in Germany. The film has now earned $26.5 million overseas for a pleasing global total of $84.5 million.
Several milestones were reached over the weekend. Sony and MGM’s holdover RoboCop hit the $100 million mark internationally, pushing its global total to $143.6 million (the sci-fi remake is faring far better overseas).
Disney’s Frozen crossed $980.4 million globally, becoming the No. 2 animated film of all time behind Toy Story 3 ($1.1 billion), not accounting for inflation.
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