Foreign Box Office: 'Avengers' Hits $726 Million Overseas, Tops 'Dark Shadows,' 'Dictator'

Joining the A-Team: "The Avengers"

Jeremy Renner (at left) in "The Avengers."

"Dark Shadows" narrowly places second while "The Dictator" commands No. 3, opening in 29 international markets.


Marvel’s The Avengers is now Disney’s biggest release ever thanks largely to foreign-generated box office accumulated over the last month including the latest weekend’s No. 1 overseas tally of $59.1 million drawn -- $3.1 million more than Sunday’s estimate -- from 54 overseas territories.


The powerhouse overseas returns for The Avengers, totaling $726.4 million (as opposed to it $457.7 domestic cume), propelled Disney to 2012’s front-ranking foreign distributor thus far with $1.148 billion in offshore box office realized since January. (Contributing to that total was the more than $210 million in foreign b.o. by the expensive sci-fi/action title, John Carter.)


Dave Hollis, Disney’s motion picture distribution exec v.p., cited “the magnitude of these holds” in many markets especially in Latin America where The Avengers’ total gross in the region, $172.9 million, has “exceeded the entire run of Avatar ($163 million) to become the highest grossing film in history.” Overall, Avengers is now the top grossing Marvel title overseas, and ranks No. 7 on the industry’s all-time top overseas gross chart.


The Avengers’top five markets are the U.K. ($73 million), China ($70.1 million), Mexico ($57.1 million), Brazil ($53.3 million) and South Korea ($48 million).  The film’s $1.184 billion worldwide cume beats the $1.066 billion accumulated by Disney’s previous top-grosser, 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.


Opening stylishly on the foreign circuit was Paramount’s release of the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator, which amassed $30.9 million from 3,243 locations in 29 markets for a healthy per-site average of more than $9,500. It ranks No. 3 on the weekend.


With The Dictator just starting foreign playdates, and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (screened out of competition at the current Cannes International Film Festival) plus GI Joe: Retaliation on tap, Paramount said it has recorded $581.7 million so far in 2012 overseas box office.


Dictator’sfive-day opening gross in the U.K. came in at $7.8 million at 509 sites while Australia provided $6 million from 346 spots, also over five days. Germany delivered $4.4 million from 498 sites. Taking the No. 1 spot in 25 territories, the film’s opening represents “the second-biggest of all time for a non-sequel, R-rated comedy,” said Paramount. 


Second among the six major Hollywood studios in terms of total 2012 foreign box office was Warner Bros., which passed the $1 billion overseas b.o. mark this past week, the fastest the company’s overseas unit has ever achieved that benchmark.


Its latest release, Dark Shadows, director Tim Burton’s period fantasy starring Johnny Depp, placed No. 2 on the weekend with a gross of $31 million collected from 6,600 screens in 52 markets. Foreign cume stands at 81.8 million.


A Shadows Japan debut generated a No. 1 market ranking with $5.1 million drawn from 572 situations while its second France round at 489 situations produced $4.6 million, enough for a No. 1 market ranking. 


In addition to box office generated by Shadows, Warner’s 2012 box office total results from such key contributors as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ($257 million offshore this year, $357 million total), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($222 million) and Wrath of the Titans ($218.3 million). Box office returns from 3D venues accounted for $324 million of the $1 billion total.


Universal is having an active year offshore, and its 2012 foreign b.o. total to date comes to $653.7 million. A big contributor was Battleship, which opened No.2 on the weekend in the U.S. and Canada, and has already logged $226.9 million on the foreign circuit. Latest weekend offshore for the sci/fi-action title generated $6.4 million from 6,027 venues in 62 markets, making Battleship the weekend’s No. 5 title.


Production-dollar-for-production-dollar, Universal is seeing better returns from American Pie: Rerunion, the latest sequel in the raunchy comedy franchise, which grossed $9.7 million on the weekend from 3,780 situations in 48 territories, lifting the film’s offshore cume to $159.5 million. It ranks the weekend’s No. 4.  A Hong Kong debut generated $245,000 from 33 sites for a per-screen average of nearly $7,500.


Opening strongly in France was UGC’s release of director Jacques Audiard’s Un gout de rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone), a drama which premiered in the Cannes International Film Festival’s main competition.  The drama about an ex-boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts) who takes up with a trainer of killer whales (Marion Cotillard) drew an estimated $4.45 million in its debut at some 394 screens.


Breathing hard on the $1-billion box office mark in 2012 is 20th Century Fox, which has grossed $976 million overseas so far this year. It’s top release on the weekend was British-made comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which boosted its overseas cume to $79 million thanks to a $1.85 million weekend at 1,100 screens in 21 territories. 


And, with Men In Black III opening this week plus The Amazing Spider-Man on tap for July, Sony has generated $506.8 million to date this year in foreign b.o.


The company’s release The Vow, a of romantic drama starring Rachel Adams played 514 screens in 21 markets for a weekend take of $1.8 million, boosting its offshore cume to $64 million.  Sony’s 21 Jump Street, the big screen version of the vintage tv series, generated $1.8 million at 1,429 in 44 territories for a foreign cume of $52.1 million.


After eight rounds on the foreign circuit, Sony Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits, has collected a total of $77.3 million thanks in part to a $1.96 million weekend at 2,305 situations.


Warner’s The Lucky One, a romantic melodrama starring Zac Effron, came up with $2.6 million on the weekend at 1,915 screens in 29 territories. Overseas cume stands at $26.3 million.


In Japan, Toho’s release of Thermae Romae, a Fuji TV’s big screen version of Mari Yamazaki’s manga series, took second place in its fourth round, collecting $4.1 million at 304 sites and lifting its market cume to $45.8 million. Finishing No. 3 in its second round was Kadokawa Pictures’ release of Sadako 3D, a horror title about suicide and a high school teacher, which drew $2.3 million from 213 sitesfor a market total of $7.7 million.


Other international cumes:Universal’s Hanni & Nanni 2, $1.5 million in opener in three German-speaking markets; Fox’s The Descendants, $91.5 million;  Pathe’s Houba! Sur la piste du Marsupilami, $44.3 million in France only; Titanic 3D, $285 million; Universal’s The Five-Year Engagement, $6.3 million; Fox’s Jannat 2, $11.8 million; Pathe’s Le Prenom, $21.6 million in France only; and Fox’s This Means War, $99.2 million.


Also:Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $1.4 million in opening round at 293 locations in France and French-speaking Switzerland; Universal’s Dr. Seuss; The Lorax, $95.1 million; The Weinstein Co,’s My Week With Marilyn, $18.6 million (worldwide, $33.3 million); Universal’s Safe, $6.2 million in Russia only; Fox’s Chronicle, $61.9 million; and Universal’s Contraband, $29.7 million.