Foreign Box Office: 'Expendables 2' Retakes 1 Spot in Anemic Overseas Session Thanks To China returns.

Warner Bros.

'Bourne Legacy' and 'Dark Knight Rises' tie for No. 3 as summer box office figures dim hopes for a record 2012; fall session to begin in earnest next week.

In a dull summer-to-fall transitional weekend on the foreign theatrical circuit, Millennium-Nu Image Films’ The Expendables 2 returned to the No. 1 box office spot on the foreign theatrical circuit thanks to a mighty opening round in China, the results of which came in Monday.


First round in the market threw off an estimated $25.2 million for the action sequel, pushing the film’s total weekend take overall to an estimated $37 million. Biggest markets outside China remain France, Brazil and Australia. Expendable 2’s foreign cume thus mounts to an estimated $122 million.


China action significantly reinforced the weekend takes of other films as well.


The Dark Knight Rises tied The Bourne Legacy for the No. 3 weekend spot, collecting just $12.9 million from 6,420 locations in 62 markets and pushing its total overseas gross past the $600-million mark ($603.5 million).


Universal’s Legacy starring Jeremy Renner also grossed $12.9 million at 4,016 venues in 47 territories. The action sequel No. 1 in Korea ($4 million at 2718 sites), the Netherlands, Iceland, Lebanon and Lithuania, said Universal. Overseas cume stands at $78 million.


Distributor Warner Bros. estimated that the Christopher Nolan Batman sequel will draw $5.7 million from 2,100 venues, lifting the market cume to $42.1 million. That makes China the biggest territory for Rises outside of the U.K. (cume $86.5 million) and Australia ($43.4 million).


No. 2 on the weekend overall was Toho’s release in Japan of Fuji TV’s co-production,The Bayside Shakedown Final, the latest in the highly popular police action series based on a Fuji series. No. 1 market opener drew $13.4 million from 452 locations.


Meanwhile, the six Hollywood major studios have reported summer (May through Labor Day) foreign box office figures, and the totals do not bode well for another record calendar year collectively for Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount overseas in 2012.


The majors, in fact, lost ground during the summer -- grossing a total of $5.154 billion during the season, down 22% from 2001’s $6.570 billion. That was due in part to distractions provided by the Euro Cup soccer tournament, which drew huge offshore television audiences, and the higher-than anticipated viewership levels for the summer Olympic Games.


The Hollywood studios collectively reported a January-through-Labor Day total of $9.569 billion (down 7% from the comparable $10.3 billion recorded in 2011). That’s about $4 billion short of the all-time foreign box office record ($13.6 billion) set in calendar year 2011.


Sony came in first during the summer, recording $1.097 billion in foreign box office, a 93% jump from 2011 on the strength of The Amazing Spider-Man, Men In Black 3 and Total Recall. Sony’s YTD number through Sept. 2 was $1.587 billion, up 32%.


Second was Fox, which notched a summer total of $1.060 billion, a huge 172.1% increase from 2011.  YTD figure was $2.062 billion, tops for the majors this year. Disney, which came in third, drew a summer total of $1.025 billion with the YTD total put at $1.675 billion. Both figures were down from 2011.


Warners also had comparatively down summer ($872 million vs. $1.6 billion) despite the glowing numbers drawn by The Dark Knight Rises ($575 million through Sept. 2).  YTD was also down, $1.830 billion versus $2.240 billion in 2011.


Universal had a comparatively sparkling summer ($634.9 million, up 150% from 2011) and YTD was also markedly up, $1.325 billion versus $871.3 million last year).  Paramount’s summer number, $465 million, was way down from the $1.55 billion reported for last year, which Par described as “a huge number for the studio.” The studio’s YTD stands at $1.090 billion.


No. 4, Brave, the Pixar animation title released by Disney, lifted its foreign gross total to $254.9 million thanks to a $10.3 million weekend in 53 markets.


Fifth was Fox Prometheus, which grossed $7.8 million in its second round at some 2,000 China playdates for a market cume of $19.1 million. Entire weekend take from 3,396 venues in seven territories to $10 million.  Foreign cume stands at $249.3 million.


FIP-India’s Hindi coproduction Raaz 3: The Third Dimension, a thriller directed by Vikram Bhatt distributed by Fox, opened in India and in three other markets to $8.8 million drawn from a total of 2,279 screens. India portion of the take came to $8.66 million at 2,250 sites.


In Spain, Paramount’s Tad, The Lost Explorer, the latest title in the Tadeo Jones animation series, remained No. 1 in its second round at 335 sites with a weekend tally of 2.2 million.  Market cume stands at $8.3 million.


Ted, the Universal comedy-fantasy with Mark Wahlberg, opened in five smaller-size markets, and drew $6.5 million on the weekend from 2,304 situations in 38 territories, pushing its foreign gross total to date to $178 million.


Sony’s Total Recall, the action/sci-fi update starring Colin Farrell, lifted its foreign cume past the $100-million mark ($107.9 million since making its offshore debut on Aug. 1). Weekend tally came to $5.1 million at 3,819 locations in 82 market.


In Japan, Warner’s release of Ruroni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Roman Tan, a manga-based samurai action drama, finished in the No. 2 market spot, drawing $3.2 million from 329 spots.  Market cume stands at $25.2 million.


Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opened solidly in Brazil ($2.4 million at 328 spots), and drew $4.88 million on the weekend overall at 2,643 spots in 20 territories.  Foreign cume comes in at 61 million.


DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted maintained a steady pace in Italy, about $2.3 million in its third round at 646 locations for a market cume of $23.7 million. Weekend as a whole provided $4.2 million at 2,301 venues in 37 territories.  Foreign cume for the Paramount relese stands at nearly $400 million ($396.6 million).


Of the $4.3 million weekend total from 4,108 offshore sites for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, $4.2 million came from 3,835 locations in China for a market cume of $40.5 million.  Overseas cume is breathing hard on the half-billion mark ($482.9 million) accumulated since June 27.


Opening No. 1 in a soft U.K. market was Reliance Big Ent./IM Global’s coproduction of Dredd 3D, a comic book-based sci-fi thriller handled in the market by Entertainment Film Distributors.  Debut round drew $1.68 million from 415 locations.


Other international cumes: Summit/Lionsgate's Step Up Revolution, $81 million; Focus Features To Rome With Love, $37.6 million;  Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers, $886 million over 20 rounds; Fox’s The Three Stooges, $9.1 million; Paramount’s The Dicatator, $117.1 million over 16 rounds; Universal’s ParaNorman, $20.5 million (after a $2.5 million weekend at 2,241 spots in 27 markets); Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, $679.8 million; Lionsgate's The Possession, $35.9 million; Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $17 million; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $1.39 million in U.K. opener at 490 locations; Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold l, Hotel, $88 million; Universal’s Safe House, $79 million after a $1.5 debut in Japan at 248 spots); Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $13.2 million; Universal’s Savages, $4.5 million; and Fox’s Stefan Vs. Kramer, $10.1 million in Chile only.