Foreign Box Office: 'Django Unchained' Remains No. 1, But 'Die Hard' Steals Weekend

"Die Hard" sequel opens in seven Asian markets in anticipation of the Chinese New Year; "Identity Thief" bashful in modest foreign debut in five territories.

While Sony’s Django Unchained remained No. 1 overseas for the fourth consecutive weekend, the highlight of a sluggish session on the foreign theatrical circuit was the limited introduction of 20th Century Fox’s release of A Good Day To Die Hard.

Getting a jump on its U.S. and Canada bow this week, the fifth installment of action franchise starring Bruce Willis opened over the weekend in just seven Asian markets, and drew $10.4 million at 1,182 locations for a per-screen average of nearly $8,800.

In South Korea, the opening take, including previews, was $4.3 million from 459 sites. Good Day set a Fox record in Indonesia and set a franchise record in Hong Kong ($1.26 million at 87 spots). The film is “poised to take advantage of the Chinese New Year holiday, which begins Sunday, a time audiences tend to flock to cinemas,” said Fox.

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 the 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 a box office tally of $249.7 million.

Still dominant in Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium, director Quentin Tarantino’s Unchained collected $19.5 million from 5,082 locations in 68 markets. The action western costarring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Di Caprio, adorned with five Oscar nominations, has grossed a total of $187.7 million since opening offshore on Christmas Day.

In Germany, its best market, Unchained drew $4.1 million in its fourth round at 843 sites for a market cume of $35.6 million. In France, the Sony release has been No. 1 for four consecutive weeks, with the latest weekend tally ($3.5 million) and a market total of  $27.2 million. 

The No. 1 domestic title, the comedy Identity Thief, opened overseas in an assortment of smaller markets -- Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Taiwan -- and grossed $225,372 at 109 screens. The Universal release’s international rollout will intensify over the next three months.

Opening No. 1 in the U.K. was Disney’s animation title, Wreck-It Ralph, which grossed a powerful $7.1 million at 501 locations. That propelled the total weekend take to $11.7 in 65 territories. Ralph has now crossed the $200 million mark in international box offices ($207.5 million), and has tallied a worldwide cume of $391.9 million.

Opening No. 1 in Australia ($2.3 million at about 190 spots) was Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Paramount/MGM’s 3D co-production distributed overseas in most territories by the former, which grossed $11.6 million on the weekend overall at 2,861 situations in 42 territories and lifting its total overseas take to $83.4 million. 

With Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton portraying the title pair as bounty hunters, Hansel and Gretel drew about $2 million in its latest round in Brazil, its best holdover market. A South Korea opening is due this week.

Universal Les Miserables, with its eight Oscar nominations, grossed $10 million on the weekend at 3,939 situations in 45 markets, pushing the musical’s foreign gross total to $215 million and $359.1 million worldwide. A Russia debut generated $1.7 million at 486 playdates, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking, while the film’s fifth holdover round in the U.K. came up with $2.6 million from 514 sites, enough for a No. 2 market ranking and a 31-day market cume of $52.4 million.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is nearing the $50 million mark in overseas box offices ($47.8 million) after a $10.2 million weekend at 3,297 situations in 50 territories. Openings in seven markets buoyed results with a No. 4 Australia bow delivering $1.8 million at 220 locations. 

Attracting box office traction in Mexico ($1 million from 400 spots in market debut) was Paramount and other distributors’ Flight, starring best-actor nominee Denzel Washington, which grossed $8 million on the weekend overall in 28 markets. International cume is put at $34.8 million with a France opening due this week.

Opening No. 1 in Germany and in Austria was Warner Bros.’ release of director-actor-writer Till Schweiger’s Kokowaah 2, the sequel to his 2011 hit local language comedy. Germany debut drew $6.1 million at 691 screens. Playdates in Austria and Switzerland pushed the total weekend take to $7.3 million at a total of 842 screens.

Fox’s Life of Pi pushed its foreign gross total to $456.5 million thanks to a $6.3 million weekend at 3,800 sites in 45 markets. Top market for director Ang Lee’s Oscar contender was Japan ($1.7 million from 714 spots for a market cume of $14.7 million).

Recording the biggest Spain opening of the year so far was Universal’s Mama, which drew a muscular $3.4 million from 333 locations. It was the fourth biggest original horror film market opening. Weekend take overall for the Jessica Chastain vehicle delivered $6 million at $1,339 playdates in 15 territories, seven of which were new. Early foreign cume stands at $13.3 million.

Warner’s crime drama, Gangster Squad, opened at No. 2 in France ($2.15 million at 450 sites) and grossed $5.1 million on the weekend overall from 42 markets. International cume stands at $42.3 million.

Lionsgate’s zombie romance Warm Bodies drew $4.6 million from some 2,000 screens in 24 markets, moving its very early foreign cume to $8.7 million. Same distributor’s The Impossible, costarring best actress nominee Naomi Watts, grossed $4.3 million on the weekend, lifting the international cume for the tsunami disaster film to $138 million.

Topping the Japan market for the fourth consecutive weekend was Universal’s smash comedy Ted, which has notched a foreign gross total of $310.3 million. The latest Japan round drew $3.5 million at 190 sites for a 23-day market cume of $25.2 million. 

Universal’s portion of director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty’s foreign release increased $2.6 million over the weekend from 1,403 playdates in 11 markets for a distributor cume of $16.8 million. An Italy opening provided $733,000 at 196 sites.

Other international cumes:  Warner’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $657.4 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $44.4 million; Lionsgate’s The Last Stand, $15.7 million; Paramount’s Jack Reacher, $116.8 million; Universal’s This Is 40, $6.5 million; SND’s Amties Sinceres, $4.8 million in France only; Chinese Zodiac, $7.74 million in Russia only where the film ranks No. 1; Fox’s Parental Guidance, $39 million; Paramount’s Tad -- The Los Explorer, $28.4 million; Fox’s Break Up Man, $20.6 million; and Anna Karenina, $39 million.

Also, Fox’s Hitchcock, $8.1 million; Warner Bros.’ Argo, $76.1 million; Focus Features, Hyde Park On Hudson, $1.5 million; Cloud Atlas, $18.1 million in Focus Features-handled territories only; Sony/MGM’s Skyfall, $797.3 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s Rise of the Guardians, $198.8 million; Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $22 million; and Paramount’s Cirque du Soleil -- Worlds Away, $15.7 million.