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The increasing box office clout of the China market was fully on display on the weekend as the territory provided two franchise titles significant opening pushes, with The Dark Knight Rising coming out second locally but first overall on the foreign theatrical circuit.
Distributor Warner Bros. said that of its estimated overseas weekend take of $49.8 million – from a total of about 10,000 venues in 64 territories – the Batman sequel pulled $31 million from Monday through Sunday from nearly 4,081 situations in China.
A Rises opening in Italy also generated $9.1 million (including previews) over five days at 836 situations, which Warners said is “already 73% of the entire (market) box office run” of 2008’s The Dark Knight. Total international box office for Rises is now $574 million.
Also opening in China was the weekend’s No. 2 title, Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, the fourth title in the blockbuster series, which made its international debut on June 27.
Of its total $32.5 million take from 7,140 sites in 59 markets, $32.5 million came from China over a seven-day period. That was more than 2007’s Spider-Man 3 grossed in its total China run, said Sony. Foreign cume for Amazing now stands at $474.5 million.
“China has continued to be extremely strong,” said Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, Warner Bros. International’s president of distribution. “The top 10 films through June 30 in China are already 85% of the top 10 films for the entire year in 2011.”
Another weekend demonstration of China’s box office power was the opening there of Twentieth Century Fox’s Prometheus, which drew $4.2 million from some 2000 venues – nearly half the film’s entire weekend draw ($8.5 million) from 3,756 sites in eight territories. Overseas cume stands at $229.5 million.
New to the foreign circuit this round was The Possession, the Sam Raimi-produced horror title opening No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada. It overseas introduction was less spectacular at 1,600 screens in 17 markets. Debut gross came to $5 million, as per distributor Lionsgate.
Millennium-Nu Image Films’ The Expendables 2, last weekend’s No. 1 title on the foreign theatrical circuit, wound up No. 3 this round, grossing an estimated $24.2 million at 5,596 sites in 42 markets. Overseas cume comes to $85.1 million.
The action sequel costarring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Dammes andArnold Schwarzenegger opened No. 1 in Brazil ($3.7 million at 655 spots), Germany ($3.4 million at 515), Australia ($3.1 million at 276 locations), and in Austria ($747,448 from 70 sites).
The Expendables 2 also remained No. 1 in its second France round ($3.3 million at 535 situations) and extracted $2 million from Italy and Russia via Universal, pushing the two-market total to $22.7 million.
Meanwhile, for summer 2012 season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), Twentieth Century Fox is by far the foreign box office leader of the ‘big six” Hollywood majors.
The distributor said it grossed an estimated $1.060 billion over the period, a whopping 171% increase from summer 2011 when the summer tally was $623 million. Fox’s year-to-date foreign take is put at an estimated $2.062 billion.
Disney said it has racked up a total foreign gross this year to date of $1.675 billion of which $1.025 billion was taken in from May 1 through Labor Day, the standard summer time period. The studio expects to cross the $2 billion YTD-mark in late October or early November, which would make 2012 the third consecutive year that Disney has grossed more than $2 billion offshore.
Warner’s said it registered $872 million in summer box office overseas, of which $574 million is accounted for by Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which is the director’s biggest title internationally. YTD offshore tally for the studio is put at $1.830 billion.
Universal reported summer box office of $634.9 million overseas, a 150% increase from summer 2011. YTD foreign tally is $1,325.
Paramount said it expects to take in $465 million this year in summer box office, a huge drop from summer 2011 when it bagged $1.55 billion offshore. “Last year was a huge summer for the studio,” said Paramount, which has recorded $1.090 billion YTD foreign. Summer and offshore year-to-date box office of Sony has not yet been disclosed.
Taking the No. 4 spot was Brave, drawing $12.9 million from 51 territories. The Pixar animation title released by Disney 11 weeks ago lifted its offshore cume to $237.6 million while its worldwide tally stands at $469.3 million.
Opening No. 1 in the U.K. ($3.9 million at 699 venues), Sony’s Total Recall generated $12.6 million on the weekend at 5,219 screens in 79 markets.
The remake starring Colin Farrell of the 1990 Carolco Pictures original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, made its foreign debut on Aug.1, and has collected a foreign gross total of $98.3 million thus far. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend.
The Bourne Legacy, co-starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton, broadened its run by 14 territories, and drew $12.4 million overall from 3,449 locations in 36 territories in all. No. 1 debuts were recorded in Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates. This week, the action sequel opens in 10 markets including Italy, Brazil and Korea. Cume stands at $62.1 million.
DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted elevated via Paramount its foreign box office total to $388.6 million thanks to $9.5 million weekend in its 13th round offshore, playing at 2,944 spots in 34 markets.
Summit Ent./Lionsgate’s Step Up Revolution has rolled up a foreign gross to date of $71 million after a $9.3 million weekend at 2,100 situations in 42 markets. A No. 2 Germany debut delivered $3.3 million while openings in Austria and German-speaking Switzerland registered another $1.2 million.
Universal’sTed, director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg, pushed its international gross total to $169 million (with 24 territories still to play) thanks to a $7 million weekend at 2,305 locations in 34 markets.
Beginning its Latin American push was Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,
which collected $5.95 million on the weekend from a total of 3,025 screens in 21 territories, moving its foreign cume to $53.8 million. No. 1 openings were recorded in Mexico ($1.74 million at 1,044 playdates), Colombia and in Panama.
Premiering No. 2 in the U.K. was Fox’s sci-fi/comedy costarring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, The Watch, which grossed $5.2 million at 1,618 situations in 20 markets. The U.K. bow delivered $3.6 million from 419 situations. Foreign cume stands at $9.8 million.
Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift elevated its foreign cume to $676.3 million thanks to a $5.4 million weekend at 4,777 situations in 40 territories.
Taking the No. 1 spot in Japan was Ruroni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Roman Tan, the latest title in a series based on a manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The samurai action drama, released locally by Warner Bros. International, grossed $5.1 million at 327 sites, a 2% increase from its opening round. Market cume stands at $17.9 million.
Grossing $3.1 million was Focus Films/Universal’s ParaNorman, which played at 2,164 spots in 20 markets and moved its foreign cume to $17.6 million.
Paramount’s Tad, The Lost Explorer, latest title in the Tadeo Jones animation series, opened in Spain to $3.3 million at 456 spots, taking the market’s top box office spot.
Other international cumes:Paramount’s The Dictator, $115.4 million; Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers, $882.3 million; Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $12.4 million; Lionsgate’s The Cold Light of Day, $13.1 million; Fox’s The Three Stooges, $8.85 million; Universal’s Savages, $4 million; Paramount’s Katy Perry: Part of Me, $7.1 million and Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, $240.9 million.
Also, Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, $88 million; Lionsgate’s Hope Springs, $4 million; Focus Features’ To Rome With Love, $35.3 million (worldwide, $51.2 million); Fox’s Stefan Vs. Kramer, $9.56 million in Chile only; Focus Features’ Jane Eyre, $23.5 million; Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, $125 million; Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting, $39.9 million; and Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $16.3 million (worldwide $60.6 million).
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