Foreign Box Office: 'Expendables 2' Poised to Repeat as No. 1 Film Overseas



Millennium-Nu Image Films’ The Expendables 2, last weekend’s No. 1 title on the foreign theatrical circuit, is on track to retain its top spot this round. 

The action sequel costarring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Dammes and Arnold Schwarzenegger opened No. 1 on the weekend in France via Metropolitan, grossing an estimated $5 million at some 650 theaters.

In addition, the title drew a total of $4.1 million from 1,109 playdates in Italy (where it ranked No. 2 with $1 million registered at 299 sites for a 10-day market cume of $4.3 million) and in Russia (also No. 2 with $3.1 million bagged from 810 locations for a 11-day market cume of $14.1 million) via Universal.

Universal declared that the sequel is running in each market well ahead of 2010’s Expendables, which grossed a total of $171.4 million on the foreign circuit. After 10 days in Russia, “it has already passed the lifetime gross of The Expendables ($13.7 million).”

In Spain, Expendables 2 opened via Aurum at some 315 situations, drawing an estimated $2.5 million. In the U.K. via Lionsgate, the film’s distributor in the U.S. and Canada, the sequel pulled in its No. 6 second round an estimated $1.8 million from some 465 sites, down 33% from the opening weekend.  U.K. cume stands at about $7 million.

Opening gross in Sweden via Mislabel was not available at presstime. Results from about 15 holdover markets via myriad local distribs will be reported early this week. It’s likely that the final count will push The Expendable 2’s weekend tally past the $15.3 million logged by Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises, which played at 6,900 sites in 62 markets.

Riseshas become the year’s highest grossing film to play in the U.K., accumulating $82.1 million over six rounds in that market. Director Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel has also surpassed the $500-million overseas gross mark ($519 million). The film looks to place second on the weekend.

Meanwhile, Twentieth Century Fox disclosed that it is the first of the six Hollywood majors to accumulate more than $2 billion this year in foreign box office. That benchmark was surpassed on Saturday (Aug. 25).

Thus Fox “becomes the only distributor to have achieved this milestone six times and in four consecutive calendar years” (2009 through 2012), the studio said.

Contributing to this year’s overseas box office action were Ice Age: Continental Drift (cume $665.1 million), Prometheus ($215.5 million), the 3D reissue of Titanic ($287 million), Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($136 million), This Means War ($102 million), The Descendants ($95 million) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($87.8 million).

New to the foreign circuit this round was Sony’s Premium Rush, director David Koepp’s action title about a bike messenger pedaling for his life.  Opening round at five small markets mostly in Asia produced $1.3 million at 155 screens.

The weekend’s No. 3 title, Brave, took the No. 1 spot in the U.K. in its fourth market round, drawing an estimated $4.3 million from some 565 situations. Overall, the Pixar animation title released by Disney grabbed $14.6 million in its 10th round of foreign release in 48 territories, lifting it offshore cume to $212.3 million. Worldwide tally stands at $442.4 million.     

No. 4, Sony’s Total Recall generated $13.8 million on the weekend at a total of 5,725 screens in 57 markets. The remake starring Colin Farrell of the 1990 Carolco Pictures original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, made its foreign debut on Aug.1, and has collected a foreign gross total of $79.5 million thus far. A No. 1 Australia debut generated $2.5 million at 355 venues.

A No. 1 Italy opening ($7.7 million over five days at 808 locations) propelled DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted to an $11.7 million weekend at 2,933 playdates in 39 markets. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend.

Foreign cume via Paramount release stands at $369 million.

Director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/action title via Fox, Prometheus, took in $11.67 million from 2,084 screens in seven territories.

Universal’sTed, director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg, pushed its international gross total to $155 million (with 27 territories still to play) thanks to a $9.5 million weekend at 2,900 locations in 31 markets. Same distrib’s The Bourne Legacy, co-starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton, broadened its run by six territories, and drew $9.4 million from 2,600 locations in 24 territories in all. Cume stands at $43.9 million.

Animation title Fox Ice Age: Continental Drift added $7.6 million to its foreign coffers on the weekend at 5,988 locations in 48 territories.

Opening a strong No. 1 in South Korea was director Kim Whee’s murder mystery The Neighbors about the disappearance of a teenage girl in a middle class apartment complex.  Based on a popular web comic by Kang Pool, the Lotte Entertainment release drew an estimated $7.5 million from some 600 locations.

Leading the Japan market was local-language newcomer, Ruroni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Roman Tan, the latest title in a series based on a manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The samurai action drama, released locally by Warner Bros. International, grossed $6.9 million (including previews) at 329 sites.

Focus Features/Universal’s ParaNorman, Laika Ent.’s 3D stop motion animation followup to Caroline, drew $3.9 million on the weekend at 2,230 situations in 17 territories for a foreign cume ot $12.5 million. Top-grossing local language title in France was director Pascal Thomas’ Associes Contre Le Crime, husband-wife caper released by Studio Canal. Debut round at some 325 sites drew an estimated $1.1 million, sufficient for a No. 5 market ranking.

Other international cumes: Summit/Lionsgate’s Step Up Revolution, $16.7 million (in markets handled by Universal only); Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $46.9 million; Paramount’s The Dictator, $112.7 million (after a $2.3 million weekend at 963 spots in 22 markets); Fox’s The Three Stooges, $7.7 million; Marvel’Disney’s The Avengers, $874 million; Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $10.7 million; Paramount’s Katy Perry: Part of Me, $6.9 million; and Fox’s Stefan Vs. Kramer, $8.6 million in Chile only.