'2012' storms foreign boxoffice

Roland Emmerich's disaster epic rakes in $165 mil overseas

'2012' explodes at domestic boxoffice

"2012," director Roland Emmerich's 2 1/2-hours-plus disaster epic, inundated the foreign circuit with openings at 12,887 screens in 105 territories for a rousing No. 1 weekend boxoffice tally of $165.2 million.
Sony says "2012" opened No. 1 in each market it played and drew the biggest overseas boxoffice opening of all time for a non-sequel. In addition, its opening offshore gross was the fifth-largest ever.
The film's foreign opening figure -- which averaged $12,822 per screen and is the third-biggest of 2009 -- was more than 2 1/2 times its $65.2 million domestic bow at 3,404 screens.
Premiering day-and-date with its No. 1 domestic launch, "2012" decisively supplanted Sony's "This Is It" with Michael Jackson, which had been No. 1 for two consecutive frames. This time, the Jackson doc finished at No. 3, down 62% from the prior frame, with $11.1 million drawn from 5,464 screens 100 markets.

It finished at No. 2 in its third Japan weekend with $3 million drawn from 323 screens, hiking its market cume to $32.5 million. "This Is It's" overseas total gross is a solid $155.1 million, and the worldwide cume stands at $222.3 million.
"2012's" top five markets over the weekend were France ($18 million from 716 screens), Russia ($16 million from 840 locations), Germany ($12.5 million from 756 situations), China ($12.1 million from 1,988 locales) and the U.K. ($10.9 million from 480 sites).
Its German-born director's previous special effects-laden, apocalypse-themed outings performed strongly on the foreign circuit. Emmerich's 1996 outing, "Independence Day," drew total overseas boxoffice of $511.2 million, according to 20th Century Fox. 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow" opened to $84.5 million and went on to drawn an international cume of $357.5 million. It was also released by Fox.
"2012," co-starring John Cusack, Woody Harrelson and Amanda Peet, will open in Japan and Vietnam on Friday, South Africa on Dec. 2 and Argentina on Dec. 3.
A distant No. 2 on the weekend was director Robert Zemeckis' 3D performance-capture version of "Disney's A Christmas Carol," which captured $17.2 million in its second weekend from 3,229 screens in 21 territories. The latest film version of Charles Dickens' 1843 novella, with Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, raised its early international cume to $34.5 million.
"Christmas Carol" opened at No. 1 in Japan ($3.2 million from 515 screens) and grossed another $2.5 million from 424 sites in its Spain debut. Disney says that film is so far tracking 47% ahead of "The Polar Express," Zemeckis' 2004 Christmas season title in 3D, "in the like bucket of markets over the comparable time frame." Premieres in 19 markets loom this week.
Pixar/Disney's "Up" ranked No. 4 overall with a weekend tally of $5.4 million generated from 3,348 locations in 25 territories. Foreign cume stands at $374.6 million, $40.4 million shy of the total overseas take of Pixar/Disney's "Ratatouille."
Disney says "Up" is the studio's fourth-biggest animation hit of all time overseas. Its worldwide tally stands at $668 million, with a Japan opening due Dec. 5. Fifth on the weekend was Universal's release "Couples Retreat," which garnered an estimated $3.6 million from 1,147 sites in 20 territories. With 40 territories yet to play, "Couples Retreat" has notched total foreign gross of $34.2 million.
Disney's "G-Force," an animation outing in 3D from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, raised its overseas cume to $156.9 million thanks to a $2.5 million weekend at 1,993 screens in 24 markets. The same studio's "Surrogates," a sci-fi outing starring Bruce Willis, drew $1.8 million on the weekend from 1,270 sites in 35 territories for an overseas cume of $68.1 million.

In the U.K., Fox's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," an animation outing from director Wes Anderson, raised its market cume to $12.9 million thanks to a $1.1 million weekend and No. 6 finish at 489 screens. In Mexico, director Pedro Almodovar's "Los Abrazos Rotas" (Broken Embraces) opened via Universal at 75 spots for an estimated $111,000.
In France, "Tresor" (Treasure), director-writer-producer Claude Berri's final film (he died Jan. 11), co-starring Mathilde Seigner and Alain Chabat, opened at No. 2 via Pathe with an estimated $2.9 million drawn from 437 situations.

Another market newcomer, director/co-scripter Terry Gilliam's adventure fantasy, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (with Heath Ledger in his final screen performance), bowed at No. 5 via Metropolitan Filmexport to $1.9 million from 234 screens. Overall overseas cume to date for "Parnassus" is $19 million
Another local-language newcomer in France was EuropaCorp.'s "A l'origine," about a construction con man running up against the female mayor of a small village. Co-starring Francois Cluzet and Gerard Depardieu, "Origine" opened at No. 8 with an estimated $1.4 million from 283 locations.
Other international cumes: Sony's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," $60 million; Paramount's "Case 39," $7 million; Disney's "Kniga Masterov" (Book of Masters), $11 million (in Russia only); Fox's "Amelia," $476,760; Sony's "Julie & Julia," $29.8 million; Universal's "Public Enemies," $106.2 million; the Wild Bunch Distribution's "Le petit Nicolas," $45.6 million (over seven stanzas in France only); Paramount's "Celda 211," $4.3 million (Spain only); Constantin's "Die Papstin," $20.3 million (Germany and Austria only); and the Weinstein Co./Universal's "Inglourious Basterds," $187.7, million (worldwide, $307.7 million).
Also, Warner's "Micmacs a tire-larigot," $9.9 million (over three France frames); Paramount's "Charlie and Boots," $3.3 million; Fox's "(500) Days of Summer," $22.2 million; Sony's "The Ugly Truth," $111.9 million; Universal's "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," $10.5 million; Paramount's Dance Flick," $6.3 million; EuropaCorp.'s "Le Concert," $6 million (in two frames in France only); Paramount's "Capitalism: A Love Story," $315,124; Universal's "De Storm," $6.5 million (from the Netherlands and Belgium only); and Fox's "Jennifer's Body," $15.2 million.

In addition, Universal's "The Invention of Lying," $7 million; Focus Features, "A Serious Man," $574,118 (from Norway and Denmark only); Fox's Agora," $29 million (from Spain only); Universal's "Taking Woodstock," $2.2 million; New Line/Warner's "The Final Destination," $119.3 million; Fox's "Aliens in the Attic," $34.5 million; Focus Features/Universal's "9," $21.5 million; Universal's "Fast & Furious," $206 million; Paramount's "An Education," $1.6 million; Paramount's "Imagine That," $6.5 million; Focus Features' Love Happens," $7 million; and Sony plus other distributors' "District 9," $86 million.