'Due Date' Tops Int'l Box Office with $22 Million

Unstoppable "Despicable Me" at No. 2 and "Jackass 3D" at No. 3 help studios mark record-setting box office high.

Time to rewrite the foreign box office record book -- a bit earlier than expected.

Hollywood's six major studios nailed down an annual box office high by weekend's end with nearly two months of overseas playtime left on the 2010 calendar.

The new yearly record was reached despite a seasonally so-so weekend stanza overall, which saw director Todd Phillips' comedy Due Date costarring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis take the No. 1 spot on the foreign circuit with $22 million collected from some 4,000 screens in 36 markets. (Distributor Warner Bros. noted that the Due Date opening tally was slightly more than the $21.7 million that registered by The Hangover in the same markets. Phillips' 2009 hit comedy went on to gross $191.6 million on the foreign circuit.)

From January through October, the studios -- 20th Century Fox, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony and Universal -- collectively grossed offshore box office of $10.661 billion, according to studio figures, from all territories outside of the U.S. and Canada.

That was an increase of 30% over last year's comparable 10-month period, and only $39 million shy of calendar 2009's record foreign box office of $10.7 billion. The $39-million box office gap was collectively erased by the majors in the Nov. 1 through Sunday period.

And, with several big tentpoles in the wings – including Warner Bro.'s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, which rolls out Nov. 19, and Disney's Tron: Legacy, due in December – 2010's total foreign box office will be significantly higher than the previous 2009 record. (Just in October, a slow month overall, the majors collectively grossed $819 million overseas.)

Fox is leading the six studios with a 10-month box office return of $2.544 billion, of which $121.2 million was grossed offshore just in the month of October. The year-to-date tally, a Fox International record, is 43% higher than the company's take in the January through October period of 2009.

Disney is second with $2.084 billion January through October, of which only $23.8 million was grossed last month. Vying to wrest second place from Disney this year is Warner Bro.'s, which registered $2.080 billion in 10 months, $192 million in October. Paramount weighed in with $1.688 billion over 10 months and $92.7 million in October.

Sony was the leading distributor of the big six in October with a monthly gross of $228.6 million while logging $1.222 billion since January. Universal also had a strong October, registered $161 million. The studio passed the $1 billion overseas gross mark last month, logging $1.043 billion in the January through October period.

Meanwhile, Due Date premiered No. 1 in the U.K. ($3.8 million from 449 sites), Germany ($3.7 million including previews from 519 spots) and No. 2 in Russia (an estimated $3.8 million from 543 screens). A France opening is due Wednesday.

Summit Int'l.'s Fair Game, the screen interpretation costarring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn of the Valerie Plame/CIA leak case, played in six markets for $1.9 million from 412 screens. Early international cume stands at $3.2 million.

Second on the weekend wasb Despicable Me, Universal's family-oriented animation in 3D, which grossed $12.9 million from 4,121 locations in 40 territories, pushing its foreign cume to $258.9 million and $507.2 million worldwide. N. 3 was Paramount's Jackass 3D, the docu-action comedy which drew $12.6 million from 1,604 venues in just 14 markets. In only 10 days, the third Jackass title has already out-grossed its two predecessors. Overseas cume stands at $19 million.

Fourth was Paramount's Paranormal Activity 2, which opened No. 3 in Germany ($1.7 million from 246 spots) and generated $10.8 million overall from 2,786 sites in 33 markets. Overseas cume stands at $65.4 million.

Megamind, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's 3D comedy-fantasy, which opened No. 1 domestically, finished its second round on the foreign circuit with $10 million overall from 1,017 venues in just seven markets for an early overseas cume of $20.5 million. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend.

Summit's RED, the spy saga costarring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren, which grossed $9.5 million from 2,380 screens in 37 territories, pushing its overseas cume after four rounds on the foreign circuit to $42.6 million.

Sony's release of director David Fincher's drama The Social Network hoisted its overseas cume to $66 million thanks to a $8.9 million weekend from 2,987 situations in 54 markets. Lionsgate's Saw 3D, the latest in the horror franchise, drew a weekend tally of $8.3 million from 10 territories for an international cume of $26.3 million.

Local-language titles took the top spots in Spain, South Korea and France. Repeating in the No. 1 spot in France was Le Petits Muchoirs (Little White Lies), EuroCorp. Distribution's Big-Chill-style drama starring Marion Cotillard, which in its third round collected an estimated $6 million from 629 screens. France cume stands at $31.4 million.

In Japan, No. 1 for the second consecutive stanza was Fuji TV/Toho's Security Police: The Motion Picture, a police drama starring pop star Junichi Okada, which generated $3.9 million from 394 locations for a market cume of $18.9 million.

In Korea, CJ Entertainment's serial killer thriller The Unjust finished No. 1 for the second straight weekend with an estimated $3.5 million from some 510 locations. In Spain, the No. 1 film for the second consecutive weekend was Universal's co-production Los Ojos de Julia (Julia's Eyes), a horror thriller drawing $1.5 million from 359 screens and a 15-day market cume of $5.2 million.

EuroCorp. Distribution released France's No. 2 title, director Eric Lartigau's L'hommes qui Voulait Vivre sa Vie (The Man Who Wanted to Live His Life), a drama about a Paris lawyer and his cheating wife. Opening round drew an estimated $3.4 million from 350 sites.

No. 3 in France was director Bertrand Tavernier's La Princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier), a costume drama set in the 16th century about the romantic trials of an aristocratic young woman. The film, which played in competition at Cannes this year, opened to an estimated $2.1 million at 350 situations.

Other international cumes: Warner's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, $75 million after a $4.7 million weekend at 3.500 sites in 55 markets; Sony's Eat Pray Love, $115 million after a $3.16 million weekend at 2,363 screens in 69 markets; Universal's Devil, $13.8 million; Pixar/Disney's Toy Story 3, $647.7 million; EuroCorp. Distribution's Arthur 3: The War of Two Worlds, $23.9 million over four rounds in France only; Focus Features/Universal's The Kids Are Alright, $4.7 million; Summit's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, $394 million after a $1.17 million opener in Japan at 264 screens.

Also, Warner's Life As We Know It, $34 million after a $3.8 million weekend from 1,900 screens in 30 territories; Fox's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, $75 million after a $1.9 million weekend at 1,830 screens in 27 markets; Gaumont's Il Reste du Jambon, $5.1 million in two rounds in France only; Fox's Knight and Day, $183.7 million; Warner's The Town, $48.9 million after a $3.1 million weekend at 1,600 sites in 40 markets; Touchstone/Disney's You Again, $4.9 million; Sony's The Other Guys, $44.6 million; Fox's Vampires Suck, $41.5 million; and Universal's Senna, $1.1 million in 31 days in Japan only.

And, Warner’s Inception, $528.1 million; Focus Features’ The American, $24.3 million; Sony and other distribs’ Machete, $7.8 million; Universal’s Back to the Future, $2 million from U.K. and Mexico; Paramount’s The Last Airbender, $186.9 million; Sony’s Takers, $5.9 million; Focus Features’ Biutiful, $4.4 million from three markets; Sony Animation’s Open Season 3, $5.5 million; Universal’s Charlie St. Cloud, $13.3 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s Dinner for Schmucks, $13 million; Focus Features’ Another Year, $522,992 in U.K. opener at 108 spots; Universal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, $14.7 million; and Paramount’s Made in Dagenham, $6.4 million.