Halloween got a jump on the foreign theatrical circuit over the weekend as Paranormal Activity 2 claimed the No. 1 boxoffice spot by scaring $22.2 million out of audiences at 2,752 screens in 21 offshore markets.
Director Tod Williams‘ sequel to the 2009’s Paranormal Activity, which grossed more than $92 million overseas, premiered No. 1 in at least four key markets notably in the U.K., where the weekend tally was $5.9 million from 389 locations — which distributor Paramount Pictures said outperformed the opening market tally of the horror original by as much as 103%.
Paranormal 2, which also opened No. 1 on the weekend in the U.S. and Canada, drew first-place rankings in Australia ($2.7 million from 179 spots), Mexico ($1.83 million from 452 screens), and Russia ($1.8 million from 360 locations).
Paramount also said the sequel outdrew the opening box office of the original – directed by Oren Peli who co-produced and co-scripted Paranormal 2 — in France ($2.28 million from 199 spots, ranking No. 4), Korea and in Spain.
The sequel to the boxoffice phenomenon — produced for a reported $10,000 and grossing domestically more than 10 times that figure — continues its foreign rollout this week with openings in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.
Also new to the foreign circuit this round were Sony Animation’s Open Season 3, a family outing about a grizzly and a deer teaming up during hunting season; and Focus Features’ Biutiful, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s drama about a terminally ill man scrounging in Barcelona back streets.
Sony introduced Season, voiced principally by Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher, at 456 overseas screens for an opening gross of $2.27 million or a $4,983 average per screen.
Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem, played in competition at this year’s Cannes Festival and is Mexico’s bid for a foreign-language Academy Award. It opened No. 3 in Mexico via local distributor Videocine, generating $659,920 from 259 sites, an average of $2,548 per screen.
Ranking No. 2 on the weekend was Universal’s Despicable Me, which had been the foreign circuit’s top grosser in the prior stanza. After 16 weeks of overseas playtime, the family-oriented 3D animation title voiced principally by Steve Carell has just surpassed the $200 million offshore gross mark.
At the same time, Universal reported that its 2010 international box office total overall exceeded $1 billion.
Despicable Me’s weekend gross was $20.6 million from 4,540 situations in 449 territories. It opened No. 1 in Portugal, Latvia and Slovakia with the U.K. as the top holdover market ($4.1 million from 549 venues for a 10-day total of $12.3 million). A No. 1 fourth weekend in Germany provided $2.9 million from 697 sites for a market cume of $21.6 million.
Despicable has openings in five territories including Japan and Belgium on tap this week.
Opening No. 1 in Sweden, Norway and the Ukraine was the weekend’s No. 3 title, Sony’s The Social Network, which grossed $9.9 million at 2,129 screens in 25 markets. Overseas cume for director David Fincher’s drama starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stands at $32.1 million since opeing overseas on Sept. 30. .
No. 4 was director Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which drew $9.6 million on the weekend from 4,131 sites in 53 markets. Offshore gross total for the Michael Douglas-as-Gordon Gekko vehicle from 20th Century Fox totals $62.5 million.
No. 5 was Warner Bros.’ Life As We Know It, costarring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, which drew $8.5 million from 2,446 screens in 22 markets. The romantic comedy opened No. 1 in Austria and No. 4 Germany, with the latter providing $2 million from 403 screens. Overseas cume stands at $17.9 million.
With unspectacular openings in the U.K. and Spain, Warner’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole drew $8.3 million on the weekend at a total of 4,600 screens in 54 markets. Overseas gross total for director Zack Snyder’s animation fantasy stands at $53.6 million. Openings in France, Korea and Italy are due this week.
Crossing the $100-million overseas gross mark was Sony’s Eat Pray Love, which has collected $100.4 million since opening on the foreign circuit on Aug. 12. Latest weekend box office tally for the romantic drama starring Julia Roberts was $8.15 million from 3,201 screens in 67 markets.
Le petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies) was the weekend’s dominant No. 1 opener in France, grossing an estimated $7.85 million from 555 locations. The EuropaCorp. Distribution release, directed by Guillaume Canet and costarring Marion Cotillard and Francois Cluzet, played the recent Toronto International Film Festival, and is being hailed as a French variation of The Big Chill, director Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 title.
Summit International’s RED drew an estimated $7.1 million on the weekend from 1,804 situations in 19 markets, with a No. 3 opening in the U.K. looming ($2.7 million from 403 sites). Early cume for the action title — costarring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren as retired spies back in action — stands at $15.3 million after two rounds. Openings in 10 territories including Germany and Australia are due this week.
Director-actor Ben Affleck’s heist vehicle, The Town, drew $5.75 million from 1,800 screens in 31 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $34.4 million. Brazilian-made action title Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad 2) grabbed $5.3 million from 689 screens as well as the No. 1 spot in Brazil, lifting its market cume to $33.3 million over three stanzas.
Still No. 1 in Italy after four frames is Benvenuti al Sud, an Italian version of the French comedy Welcome to the Sticks. The Medusa Film release laughed all the way to $3.8 million from 514 locations for a market cume of $28.9 million.
No. 2 in France was director Luc Besson’s Arthur 3: la Guerre des Deux Mondes (Arthur 3: The War of Two Worlds), which collected $3.44 million from 778 locations and a market cume of $9.2 million over two frames. Constantin Film’s Resident Evil: Afterlife pushed its foreign gross total to $213.2 million via Sony and other distributors thanks to a weekend gross of $3.1 million.
No. 1 in Japan after six rounds was Fuji TV/Toho’s Umizaru 3: The Last Message, the disaster epic in 3D which grossed $2.58 million drawn from 467 locations for a market cume of $86.6 million.
Sony’s cop comedy, The Other Guys, laughed all the way to $2.4 million from 1,295 screens in 40 markets; cume is $37.5 million.
Japan is Tom Cruise country and Fox’s Knight and Day, the action comedy with Cruise and Cameron Diaz, maintains a strong No. 2 spot in that market ($2.076 million from 577 sites) for a weekend total of $2.2 million 696 screens in Japan and Italy. Knight and Day’s cume totals $177.6 million.
Ranking No. 4 in its second Japan round via Shochiku was Millennium/Nu Image’s The Expendables, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, which grabbed $1.46 million from 280 sites for a market cume of $6 million. The action title is closing in on the end of its international run, which began on Aug. 12.
Other international cumes: Warner’s “Inception,” $524.5 million; Sony’s Easy A, $5.6 million; Fox’s Avatar: Special Edition, $2.021 billion; Summit/Universal/Disney’s Step Up 3D, $119 million; Mars Distribution’s Des Homes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men), $21.2 million over seven rounds in France only; Universal’s Charlie St. Cloud, $12 million; Fox’s Ramona and Beezus, $424,799 in U.K. only; Pixar/Disney’s Toy Story 3, $646.1 million, the eighth most popular release overseas ever; Fox’s Vampires Suck, $38.4 million; and Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, $151.6 million.
Also, Sony and other distributors’ Machete, $6.8 million; Touchstone/Disney’s You Again, $3.6 million; Universal’s Devil, $12.6 million; Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $11.1 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s Dinner For Schmucks, $12.6 million; Universal’s Senna, $826,973 in Japan only; Lionsgate’s The Switch, $14.4 million; Paramount’s The Last Airbender, $184.5 million; Fox’s Nosso Lar, $20.6 million in Brazil Only; and Lionsgate’s Alpha and Omega, $5.2 million (after a No. 6 U.K. bow for $1 million at 391 locations).
And, Focus Features/Universal’s The American, $19.3 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Shrek Forever After, $497 million; Paramount’s Made in Dagenham, $4.8 million in the U.K. only; Universal’s 13, $1.17 million in opener at 291 Russia locations; Paramount’s Tomorrow When the War Began, $13.4 million in two markets; Universal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, $14.2 million; UGC’s Elle s’appelait Sarah (She Was Called Sarah), $3 million in France only; and Universal’s Hanni und Nanni, $7.1 million in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.