Foreign Box Office: 'Die Hard' Hangs On to Top Spot While China Propels 'Hobbit' Past $1 Billion

A Good Day To Die Hard Willis Courtney - H 2013
Frank Masi, SMPSP

A Good Day To Die Hard Willis Courtney - H 2013

"Jack the Giant Slayer" was mild-mannered in 10 market bow and "Django Unchained" was so-so in Japan, while "Stoker" was strong in Korea.


20th Century Fox’s A Good Day To Die Hard narrowly captured the No. 1 box office spot in its fourth weekend on the foreign theatrical circuit and crossing the $150-million total overseas ($161.5 million) mark.


But the weekend’s loudest noise came out of China where New Line/Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey registered a gangbusters $37.3 million in 10 days, propelling the Peter Jackson fantasy epic -- which opened offshore in December -- to a $700-million foreign gross total and more than $1 billion worldwide (only the 15th title in film history to surpass that figure).


The China weekend generated $8.6 million from about 3,400 situations, hoisting the market cume to $37.2 million. Over all on the weekend, The Hobbit drew $9.1 million from 2,970 in 31 territories.   


Warner’s also introduced on the weekend Jack The Giant Slayer, director Bryan Singer’s 3D interpretation of the Jack and the Beanstalk fable, in 10 Asian markets – South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and in India.


Playing at 1,950 locations, Jack rolled up a total of $14.3 million -- more than a $7,300 per-screen average. Korea was by far the biggest market ($4.8 million at 511 sites). The film opens in Germany, Spain and Mexico next week.


Also new to the foreign circuit this stanza was Fox Searchlight’s Stoker, Korean director Park Chan-Wook’s English-language film debut, which generated a mild-mannered $2.4 million at 724 screens. Best market for the mystery thriller costarring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman was South Korea where the weekend tally was $1.66 million drawn from 326 spots.


With no new openings, A Good Day, the fifth installment of action franchise starring Bruce Willis, grossed $17.5 million on the weekend at 8,140 locations in 67 territories. France was its biggest weekend market, throwing off $3.25 million and a No. 3 market ranking on the weekend at 665 spots. The France cume stands at $10.4 million.


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.


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Paramount/MGM’s 3D co-production distributed overseas in most territories by the former, grossed $14.8 million on the weekend overall at 3,440 locations in 47 territories and lifting its total overseas take to $125 million. 


With Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton portraying the title pair as bounty hunters, Hansel and Gretel drew especially strongly in German-speaking markets.  A Germany bow generated a vigorous $5.5 million at 408 spots, more than sufficient for a No. 1 ranking.  Ditto in Austria where the first place debut produced $765,819 at 69 locations for a per-screen average of nearly $11,100.


Also notable was the film’s No. 1 debut in the U.K. where it generated $2.26 million at 404 sites. Spain also premiered No. 1.  Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters opens this week in France and French-speaking Switzerland.


Crossing the $250-million foreign box office mark was Universal’s Les Miserables, which nabbed $10.4 million on the weekend at 8,100 venues in 51 territories. The foreign cume currently stands at $264.3 million. (Worldwide, it has grossed $411.7 million.)


Le Mis opened No. 3 in China, bagging an estimated $3.9 million at some 5,000 playdates. The musical has four foreign markets yet to open with Ecuador dues next on March 15.


Sony’s Django Unchained opened disappointingly in Japan, grabbing $995,041 at 148 spots, and finishing No. 5 in the market. The opening was 30% less than that of director Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, said Sony. On the weekend overall, Django grossed $8.4 million at 3,397 sites in 59 markets, raising its international cume to $233.6 million.


School holidays fed the appetite for local language fare in France.


Opening a dominant No. 1 was Studio Canal’s release of co-directors Alexandre Charlot and Franck Magnier’s family comedy, Boule et Bill. The live action adaptation of a comic strip about a boy and his dog drew $6.3 million from 623 screens. Opening No. 2 in the market was EuropaCorp Distribution’s release of director Eric Rochard’s thriller, Mobius, costarring Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin, Cecile De France and Tim Roth. Debut at some 469 playdates generated $3.7 million. 


Opening No. 1 in Japan, Paramount and other distributors’ Flight starring Denzel Washington grossed $2.5 million at 321 sites, which Paramount says was “more than quadruple” the comparable market gross of best picture Oscar winner, Argo. Weekend over all generated $5.2 from all distributors in 47 markets, elevating Flight’s foreign gross total to $60.4 million, of which $49 derived from Paramount territories.


Opening in five territories including No. 1 bows in Colombia and Panama was Universal’s Mama, which drew $4.1 million over all from 1,400 locations in a total of 19 territories. Foreign cume for the horror title starring Jessica Chastain stands at $33.9 million. Nine openings are on tap this week including Russia and Taiwan.


Placing No. 2 in its fourth round in the U.K. was Disney’s animation title, Wreck-It Ralph, which generated $2.1 million on the weekend, elevating its market cume to $30.8 million.  Weekend over all came up with $4 million in 68 territories, raising Ralph’s foreign gross total to $247.9 accumulated over 18 rounds. Worldwide take is $435.2 million.


In the wake of its best-picture win, Warner Bros.’ Argo generated 4.3 million on the weekend – which distributor Warner Bros. said was a 200% increase from the prior round – at 1,795 locations in 53 territories. The film’s foreign gross total stands at $85.2 million.


The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook made the top 10 international titles on the weekend with a $6.5 million gross obtained at 2,047 situations in some 40 markets.  Foreign cume to date stands at $62 million.   


Post-Oscar action was also helpful to Lincoln, which nabbed $3.8 million on the weekend at 2,333 sites in 40 markets and raising its overseas cume to $74 million; and to Life of Pi, which collected $3.3 million at 2,181 spots in 38 markets for a foreign cume of $477.7 million.


Other international cumes: Sony/MGM’s Skyfall, $804 million; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $46.3 million; Fox’s Break Up Man, $24.5 million; Universal’s Identity Thief, $1.6 million; Paramount’s Tad-The Lost Explorer, $15 million in Latin American markets; Universal’s Ted, $324.5 million; and Universal’s This Is 40, $13.2; Universal and other distributors’ Zero Dark Thirty, $42 million; Cloud Atlas, $18.7 million in Focus Features territories only; and Warner Bros.’ Gangster Squad, $53.2 million.


Also, Paramount’s Cirque du Soleil, $19 million; Fox’s Dyatlov Pass Incident, opened in Russia to $2.6 million; Focus Features’ Hyde Park on Hudson, $2.5 million; Warner Bros.’ Kokowaah 2, $19.6 million in Germany only; Fox’s Hitchcock, $13.7 million; Paramount’s Jack Reacher, $136.4 million; Focus Features’ Promised Land, $540,890; Sony’s Hotel Transylvania, $193.5 million; and Fox’s Parental Guidance, $42 million;