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While it’s still springtime in the rest of the world, it’s early summer as far as Hollywood is concerned.
Two major studios – Universal and Paramount — got a seasonal jump on the foreign theatrical circuit on the weekend, releasing a pair of tentpole titles designed as big time summertime draws.
20th Century Fox’s Rio, meanwhile, claimed the weekend’s No. 1 box office spot overseas for the third consecutive round, pushing in the process its foreign gross total past the $200 million mark.
Universal’s Fast Five, the fifth sequel in the turbocharged car action franchise, premiered in the U.K. ($8.9 million from 437 spots), Australia ($10.7 million from 229 locations), New Zealand and South Korea ($3.4 million from 239 situations) for a weekend tally of $24 million drawn from just 960 locations – for a robust per-screen average of slightly more than $25,000. The film ranks No. 2 overall on the weekend.
Directed by Taiwanese-born Justin Lin and starring Vin Diesel, Dewayne Johnson and Paul Walker, Fast Five claimed the No. 1 box office spot in each market played and set an opening record in each. It was the biggest bow of any title in the action series so far. The openings were also Universal’s third highest ever in the four territories.
The swift Fast Five start augurs well since the last in the series, Fast & Furious, which also started the summer season early in April 2009, went on to gross an overseas franchise record of $208 million. Other titles in the series are 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), which grossed $109 million on the foreign circuit; 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, $96 million; and 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, $63 million.
This week, Fast Five’s foreign run picks up steam with openings in 10 markets including Germany, Russia and Spain. The following weekend will see debuts in Latin America, Asia and the rest of the world, said Universal.
Also having a concentrated rollout in Australia was Paramount’s Thor: The God of Thunder, which kicked off its market run at 220 venues, drawing $5.8 million on the weekend – for a mighty per-screen average of $26,363. The market bow was 1% ahead of the opening in Australia of 2008’s Iron Man 1, said Paramount.
“With the public holidays (Down Under) continuing on Monday and Tuesday, and school holidays in three states through next weekend, Thor should continue to score outstanding results as it heads into its wide international release next weekend, a week ahead of its domestic bow,” said Paramount.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins, Thor is a Marvel Entertainment outing, an action drama based on a Stan Lee comic book about a renegade warrior from another realm who winds up defending planet earth. It ranked No. 5 on the weekend overall.
Fox’s family-oriented 3D animation title, Rio, grossed $45 million (about $800,000 more than Sunday’s projection) from 12,901 locations in 67 markets. Directed by Rio native Carlos Saldanha, Rio maintained No. 1 holds in Brazil (where it has grossed just under $30 million in three rounds), Mexico (market cume is $17.9 million in three frames), France (cume $9.6 million in two stanzas), Spain and in Italy.
Rio has grossed a total of $208.2 million so far offshore.
Not having much impact overseas so far is Fox’s Great Depression-era drama Water for Elephants, which played 13 markets (including five that opened last round) for a weekend tally of $1.6 million from 836 screens — for a per-screen average of $1,884. Foreign cume for the Fox 2000 film version of Sara Gruen’s novel — starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson — stands at $2.7 million.
Ditto for Warner Bros.’ Arthur, the update of the 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore. The Russell Brand vehicle played at 800 screens in seven markets to $3.3 million including $1.3 million from 437 situations in the U.K. and $1.4 million from 227 screens in Australia. Early offshore cume is $4 million.
Finishing third on the weekend was Universal’s Hop, which landed $10.4 million from 4,190 venues in 53 territories, with a No. 3 Brazil bow generating $1.1 million from 296 sites. Foreign gross total for the Easter bunny title blending animation with live action comes to $46.7 million.
No. 4 was the Warner Bros. period werewolf fantasy, Red Riding Hood, which drew $9.4 million from 2,965 screens in 43 markets for an international cume of $34.6 million.
Taking the No. 1 box office spot in Japan was Gantz Part II: Perfect Answer, a manga-based action title from Nikkatsu-Nippon Television and distributed via Toho. Opening round was an eventful $6.7 million from 375 locations, enough to qualify as the weekend’s No. 5 title overall.
Summit International’s thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhall, pushed its total foreign gross to $27 million thanks to a $5.1 million weekend at 1,500 screens in 32 markets.
Coming in No. 2 in Japan was NTV’s production of the 15th installment of the Detective Conanan manga and anime series, Detective Conanan: Quarter of Silence. The Toho release drew $4.4 million in its second round at 332 venues for a market cume of $14 million.
Warrner Bros.’ drama Sucker Punch nabbed $3.2 million from 3,235 screens in 52 markets. Overseas cume stands at $50 million.
British-made road comedy Paul from Universal pushed its foreign cume to $45.3 million thanks to a $3.1 million weekend at 964 situations in 17 markets. Universal is also distributing Dimension Films’ Scream 4 in Spain, opening the horror sequel at 319 playdates for a No. 7 weekend tally of $1.35 million.
Sony’s Just Go With It broke the $100 million gross barrier, becoming the second highest-grossing Adam Sandler comedy on the foreign circuit, grossing $2.87 million on the weekend from 1,329 sites in 55 offshore markets and pushing its overseas gross total to $102.6 million. World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles, also from Sony, pushed its foreign cume to $115.4 million thanks to a $2.86 million weekend at 1,449 locations in 59 markets.
Other international cumes: Warner’s The Rite, $63 million; Paramount’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, $24.2 million; Fox’s Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, $43.4 million; Pathe’s Le Film Titeuf, $6.5 million in France only; Fox’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, $311.9 million; Universal’s The Adjustment Bureau, $51.9 million; Paramount’s Rango, $117.5 million; Fox’s Gulliver’s Travels, $183.9 million after a 1.9 million weekend at 631 Japan screens; Paramount’s No Strings Attached, $75 million; Fox’s Black Swan, $190.8 million; and Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $4.6 million.
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