Foreign Box Office: 'Die Hard' Rockets to No. 1 With Biggest Bow of 2013

Frank Masi, SMPSP

"Django Unchained" and "Rise of the Guardians" break $200 million; "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" crosses $100 million.


Blanketing the foreign theatrical circuit in its second weekend of international release, 20th Century Fox’s A Good Day To Die Hard easily captured the No. 1 box office spot overseas, grossing $60.6 million – the year’s biggest foreign opening tally thus far – at 9,589 locations in 66 markets, and moving its early foreign cume to $79.1 million.


The fifth installment of action franchise starring Bruce Willis introduced itself to 37 new territories, and finished No. 1 in 32. Biggest debut was in the U.K. where 845 locations registered a total of $7.5 million. Japan contributed $6.97 million from 643 sites while Russia came up with $6.6 million at 1,693 situations and Germany generated $6.5 million at 660 locales.


As Fox put it, “John McClane has his biggest weekend ever in the international marketplace!”  Openings in France, Brazil and India are on tap this week with China and Australia releases due next month.


IMAX reported that Die Hard grossed $2.1 million at 134 IMAX sites, pushing its two-round total from those venues to $4.5 million.  February opening weekend records for IMAX were set in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.


Die Hard opened offshore last weekend at just seven Asian markets, and drew $10.4 million at 1,182 locations for a per-screen average of nearly $8,800.


Over a 25-year span the four prior Die Hard titles all starring Willis have prospered overseas, grossing a collective total of $694.6 million, as per Fox figures, with the second sequel of the franchise, 1995’s Die Hard With A Vengeance, leading the pack with an offshore tally of $264.5 million.


The 1988 original Die Hard drew $57.8 million in offshore box office, with the first sequel, 1990’s Die Hard 2, grossing $122.5 million.  The last sequel, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, completed its foreign run with box office of $249.7 million.


Finishing a distant No. 2 was Django Unchained, which had been the No. 1 overseas box office draw for the previous four weekends. 


This time, director Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar contender generated $13.8 million from 4,636 locations in 62 territories, lifting its foreign gross total past the $200-million mark ($208.6 million) of which $40 million came from Germany and $30.4 million from France.  


Ranking No. 2 in its second round in the U.K. was Disney’s animation title Wreck-It Ralph, which grossed $5.3 million in the market at 543 locations.  That propelled the total weekend take to $11.5 in 68 territories.  Ralph has now crossed the $400-million mark in worldwide box office ($411.2 million), and has tallied an international cume of $225.6 million.


Universal Les Miserables, with its eight Oscar nominations, held steady with a $10 million gross on the weekend at 2,900 situations in 48 markets, pushing the musical’s foreign gross total to $233.3 million and $379 million worldwide. An Argentina opening ($310,000 at 42 playdates) set an opening market record for a musical. A No. 2 Mexico bow yielded $1.6 million at 315 situations.


Breaking the $100-million foreign gross mark was Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Paramount/MGM’s 3D co-production distributed overseas in most territories by the former.  Overseas cume over five rounds of offshore release currently stands at $100.5 million thanks to a $9.4 million weekend at 2,693 venues in 42 territories handled by Paramount.   


With Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton portraying the title pair as bounty hunters, Hansel and Gretel opened No. 5 in South Korea (via C.J. Entertainment), drawing $1 million from 297 spots.  The film remains No. 1 in Brazil for the fourth straight stanza with $1.7 million registered at 397 sites for a market cume of $19.3 million.


Continuing to generate box office in unspectacular fashion is Paramount and other distributors’ Flight, starring best-actor nominee Denzel Washington, which grossed $6.2 million on the weekend at 1,952 spots in 27 markets. International cume is put at $45.4 million from all distributors. A No. 2 France opening registered $2 million from 338 sites. This week will see Flight open in nine territories including Taiwan and Hong Kong.


Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln grossed $6.6 million on the weekend at 2,844 spots in 46 markets, moving its foreign gross total to nearly $60 million ($59 million).


Premiering No. 1 in China, as per Paramount, Jack Reacher grossed $5 million in its ninth weekend of overseas release, lifting its offshore cume to $123.8 million. In China, the Tom Cruise action vehicle generated an estimated $4.8 million from 7,500 situations.


Opening day-and-date with its domestic bow was Beautiful Creatures -- a fantasy romance based on a young adult book series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – which grossed $5.4 million at some 1,300 screens in 20 overseas markets, as per the film’s foreign distributor Lionsgate International.  A No. 5 U.K. debut generated $1.7 million at 423 spots.


Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s zombie romance Warm Bodies enlarged its offshore footprint by about 10 territories, and drew $4 9 million from some 2,200 screens in 34 markets.  The film’s early foreign cume stands at $17.7 million.


Holding No. 1 in Spain for the second consecutive weekend was Universal’s Mama, which drew a muscular $2.4 million from 320 locations for a10-day market cume of $7 million. Weekend take over all for the horror title starring Jessica Chastain delivered $4.7 million at $1,200 playdates in 16 territories. Foreign cume stands at $20.5 million. Five openings are on tap this week including a U.K. debut.


Introducing itself at last in France was Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, which resurfaced late in its foreign run (begun Sept. 27).  Openings in France (1.5 million at 115 sites) and in French-speaking Switzerland plus assorted holdovers generated a total of $4.2 million on the weekend, moving the animation title’s offshore cume to $184.3 million.


Opening at 811 screens in 17 markets was Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom's Safe Haven.  The romantic drama about a woman with a difficut past drew a total of $3.5 million through Tuesday, according to coproducer and distributor Relativity Media. Biggest market was Australia where the film bowed to $2 million at 245 spots.

 Lionsgate’s tsunami disaster title, The Impossible, elevated its overseas cume to $143 million thanks to a $3 million weekend at some 1,600 sites in 42 markets.  Warner Bros.’ period crime thriller, Gangster Squad, drew $2.5 million at 1,570 screens in 36 markets, moving its foreign gross total to $46.7 million through Monday.  Openings in Italy and Mexico are due this week.


Top local language newcomer in France on the weekend was Pathe’s release of Turf, directed and written by Fabien Onteniente and starring Alain Chabat.  The racetrack comedy opened at 602 sites and drew $1.7 million, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking.


Other international cumes: Fox’s Life of Pi, $466.6 million (after a $3.7 million weekend at 2,674 in 27 markets); Universal and other distributors’ Zero Dark Thirty, $30.2 million from all distributors (after a $4 million weekend at 2,087 sites in some 30 markets including a $1.1 million opener in Japan via Gaga for a No. 6 market ranking); Warner’s Argo, $77.7 million; Cloud Atlas, $18.2 million in Focus Features territories only; Par’s Cirque du Soleil – World’s Away, $16 million; Focus Features’ Hyde Park on Hudson, $1.69 million; Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $22.5 million; and Focus Features’ Promised Land, $250,180.


Also, Warner’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $660 million; Universal’s This Is 40, $9.1 million (after a No. 3 U.K. opening generating $1.9 million at 386 sites); DreamWorks/Paramount’s Rise of the Guardians, $200.5 million; Universal’s Ted, $316.6 million; Fox’s Break Up Man, $21.7 million;  Paramount’s Tad – The Lost Explorer, $32.8 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $44.7 million; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $40.9 million; Warner’s Argo, $77.1 million; and Fox’s Murder 3, $3.2 million in opener at India.