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UPDATED, 1/3/11: The opening weekend of 2011 on the foreign theatrical circuit saw 20th Century Fox’s Gulliver’s Travels narrowly taking the No. 1 box office spot for the first time, collecting $24.9 million from 3,964 venues in 33 territories.
In general, the box office take of the year’s first weekend paled in comparison with that of 2010’s initial round. Powered by 20th Century Fox’s Avatar — which alone grossed $136.8 million — last year’s opening stanza on the foreign circuit collected well more than double this year’s opener.
Opening in 19 markets – all relatively small except in the U.K. and India — Gulliver’s generated most of its weekend action in the U.K. where it tallied $10.9 million (including previews) from 503 locations. The 3D adaptation of Jonathan Swift‘s 18th century classic has grossed a total of $48.9 million in 10 days of foreign release. The Jack Black vehicle opens this week in a half-dozen new territories, including Russia.
No. 2 was Tron: Legacy, which drew $24.4 million — $700,000 more than was projected on Sunday — from 5,325 locations in 43 territories for an international gross total of $110.7 million since opening overseas in mid-December. A high-budget 3D sequel to 1982’s Tron, Legacy premiered in six markets on the weekend of which Korea was the biggest.
Opening launch there delivered $3.2 million from 250 locations. Disney expected a No. 1 market ranking although Legacy experienced strong competition for the top spot from a trio of Korean productions: C.J. Entertainment’s The Last Godfather, an English language gangster drama starring Harvey Keitel; comedy Hello Ghost; and Showbox Mediaplex’s action thriller The Yellow Sea.
Third was Paramount’s Little Fockers, last round’s top box office draw offshore, and the current domestic box office champ. The third edition of the Meet the Parents comedy franchise collected an estimated $22.5 million from 4,683 locations, hoisting its foreign cume to $72 million and its global take to $175.2 million. A No. 1 Australia tally came to $3.7 million from 262 spots for a market cume of $10.5 million.
Fourth was Fox’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which played almost exclusively holdover engagements and grossed $21.5 million on the weekend from 7,786 locations in 68 territories.
Top market was France where it ranked No. 2 with $4.1 million drawn from 739 locations for a market cume of $20.8 million over four rounds. Narnia‘s overseas gross total stands at $211.4 million, nearly two-and-a-half times its domestic cume. A China opening is due Friday.
No. 5 on the weekend was Sony and other distributors’ The Tourist, which collected $18.6 million from 3,550 screens in 43 territories. Co-starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, the action drama opened in first place in Spain ($4.4 million from 428 locations), Singapore and Vietnam. Overseas cume stands at $64.2 million, $9.6 million more than its domestic gross total.
Disney Animation’s Tangled has grossed $146.7 million overseas thanks to another $15.3 million take — $500,000 more than Sunday’s estimate — in its sixth weekend at 3,145 venues in 24 territories. Robust holdover market action pushed the 3D animation retelling of the classic Rapunzel tale to the No. 1 market spots in its fourth stanza in France ($4.9 million from 730 spots) and in Germany ($4.2 million from 616 sites). Tangled has crossed the $300-million in global box office, the 20th Disney animation title to do so.
Coming in with a $14.3 million weekend take ($3.3 million more than was estimated on Sunday) take was Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, which played 5,375 screens in 63 territories. Foreign gross total for the seventh Harry Potter title now stands at $617.8 million.
DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind in 3D pushed its international gross total to $134.5 million after an $11 million weekend at 4,938 in 56 territories. The Paramount release lured $2 million from 725 France sites in its third round for a market cume of $8.6 million.
Fox’s romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs opened in eight territories over the weekend, including a No. 3 bow in the U.K. ($2.5 million including previews from 412 sites) and $1.9 million debut from 280 sites in France for a No. 7 notch. Weekend as a whole generated $7 million from 1,156 locations in 11 markets.
Paramount is releasing the Weinstein Company’s co-production The King’s Speech in Australia, where the British royal drama drew $2.39 million from a mere 94 locations — for a robust per-screen average of $25,427 per screen. The film is also playing via local distributors in Greece and Spain, and the entire weekend take was $2.9 million for an early foreign cume of $7.4 million.
Other international cumes: Sony’s The Social Network, $103.5 million ($10.3 million more than its domestic cume); Fox’s Unstoppable, $58 million; Focus Feature’s Biutiful, $10 million; Warner’s Yogi Bear, $3.6 million; Universal’s Robin Hood, $215.6 million; and DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Shrek Forever After in 3D, $506 million.
Also, Focus Features/Universal’s The American, $30.8 million; Sony and other distributors’ Machete, $17.2 million; Studio Canal’s Les Emotifs Anonymes, $5 million France only; Universal’s Despicable Me, $290.5 million; Sony’s Burlesque, $11.5 million; Focus Features’ Somewhere, $6.5 million; Universal’s Un Altro Mondo, $2.4 million Italy only; EuropaCorp. Distribution’s Un Balcon sur la Mer (Balcony Overlooking the Sea), $5.5 million France only; Universal’s Devil, $23.4 million; and Universal’s Julia’s Eyes, $9.7 million France and Spain only.
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