Foreign Box Office: 'Madagascar 3' Dominates Competition Overseas, Opens to More Than $77 Million

Madagascar 3 Lion Cheetah Still - H 2012

Madagascar 3 Lion Cheetah Still - H 2012

"Prometheus" places second while "Men in Black 3" drops to No. 3 as the foreign box office competes with the European soccer tournament.


Bucking a competitive marketplace coping with European soccer tournament distractions, DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted claimed the No. 1 box office spot on the foreign theatrical circuit by logging a muscular $77.3 million in its opening launch at 10,877 venues in 28 countries.


Distributor Paramount said the second sequel in the Madagascar franchise took the No. 1 spots in “nearly all” of its opening markets with the biggest numbers coming from territories mostly outside continental Europe. 


Best European territory was France where the No. 1 opening round provided $9 million from 685 locations. Still, Paramount noted that the France opening was below that of the first franchise sequel, 2008’s Madagascar: Escape To Africa, which went on to gross a total of $423.9 million overseas. (Foreign total for the 2005 original, Madagascar, is $339.1 million.)


Of the 28 opening territories only five were Continental and Eastern Europe. Russia came in with $16.4 million from 881 spots while Brazil delivered a record opening of $10 million from 905 situations.  China kicked in with $10.4 million from 5,500 venues, the second best for a foreign animation title. Madagascar 3 opens this week in 15 more territories of which nine are in Europe.


There’s no question that the European Cup soccer matches, which began Friday (June 8) in Poland and the Ukraine, inhibited foreign theatrical attendance on the weekend, substantially so in some cases. 


Netherlands versus Denmark and Germany versus Portugal matches on Saturday resulted in box office drops of 30% to 50% from Friday levels in each of those markets, which is highly unusual.  Further specific market dips are expected Sunday with Spain playing Italy and Ireland taking on Croatia. 


No. 2 on the weekend wasPrometheus, director-coproducer Ridley Scott’s horror-sci/fi title -- loosely linked to his 1979 Alien – which drew $38.6 million in its second weekend on the foreign circuit, playing at 8,088 sites in 50 markets.  The 3D title opened in 35 markets of which about eight were in Europe.


Despite warm weather and the Euro Cup, Prometheus nabbed the No. 1 spot for the second straight weekend in the U.K. ($5 million from 1,162 spots for a market cume of $24.8 million) and drew $3.9 million in France from 665 situations for a market cume of $11.9 million over two rounds. 


Top new market was Australia where Prometheus opened No. 1 with $7 million swept from 451 locations. Over a dozen days of foreign release, the film has accumulated a total of nearly $100 million offshore ($90.9 million). Openings in 14 more markets including Mexico and Brazil are due this week. IMAX said  Prometheus has grossed nearly $5 million so far at IMAX situations.


No. 3, Men in Black IIIdistributed by Sony and other distributors, fell 51% from the prior weekend’s action ($78.5 million) based on figures from all territories.  Director Barry Sonnenfeld’s special effects extravaganza in 3D costarring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin drew $38 millionfrom 14,493 venues in 88 markets.


Top markets were China ($7 million from 3,200 sites for a market cume of $63.5 million) and Japan via local distributor Toho-Towa ($4 million from 1,948 venues, cume $28.5 million).  U.K. action came to $3.9 million from 503 locales, enough for a No. 2 ranking and a market cume of $24.3 million.


With an offshore cume of $355 million amassed since May 23, the second sequel is now the biggest foreign grosser of the MIB franchise. 1997’s original Men in Black grossed $338.7 million offshore (versus $250.7 million in the U.S. and Canada) while 2002’s Men in Black II compiled $251.4 million overseas ($190.4 million domestic).


No. 4 was Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which collected $24.1 million from 5,070 situations in 52 territories, lifting the film’s foreign cume to $83 million. Director Rupert Sanders’ period action fantasy costarring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron opened in seven medium-sized markets and finished first in each, as per Universal. 


Top holdover market was the U.K. where Snow White grossed $3.4 million at 488 spots for a No. 3 market ranking and a 10-day market cume of $14.8 million. Openings in five markets are on tap this week including bows in France, Russia and Japan. 


No. 5 on the weekend was Marvel’s The Avengers, which captured $8.2 million in its seventh round in 54 territories. International cume stands at $824.8 million with the worldwide tally at $1.397 billion. Avengers is just about played out overseas although a key Japan bow is still in its future (Aug. 17).


Paramount’s The Dictator, the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, grossed $4.77 million in its fourth round overseas, playing at 2,086 locations in 32 territories and raising its foreign gross total to $70.3 million.  It opens in four markets including Italy and Taiwan this week.


Warner Bros.’ Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp hit the $130-million foreign gross mark after a $4.4 million weekend at 3,025 in 51 markets. Openings in Latin America are due June 22. Making a No. 4 debut in the U.K. via Entertainment One is The Pact director-scripter Nicholas McCarthy’s horror outing, which opened to $1.4 million at 310 screens.


Opening No. 2 in the Japan market is Toho’s release of Eiga Hotaru No Hikari , a romantic comedy about a female interior designer with a lackluster love life. First frame at 316 screens bagged $4 million.  In South Korea, the No. 1 opener was Lotte’s Cinema’s The Royal Concubine, which gathered 3.4 million on the weekend from 622 sites for a market cume of $6.3 million.


Top local language title in France was UGC’s release of director Jacques Audiard’s Un gout de rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone). The drama about an ex-boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts) who takes up with a trainer of killer whales (Marion Cotillard) drew $1.5 million at 577 playdates, lifting its market cume over four stanzas to $11.5 million and securing the market’s No. 4 spot. 


No. 5 in France was newcomer Le grand soir, co-directors Benoit Delepine and Gustav Kervern’s punk rock comedy costarring Albert Dupontel and Gerard Depardieu.  The film won the jury prize in the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, and opened to an estimated $1.2 million at 260 screens.


Other international cumes:  Focus Features/Universal’s Moonrise Kingdom, $7 million; Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting, $14.3 million; Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, $83 million; Universal’s American Pie: Reunion, $172.6 million; Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, $41 million; Universal’s Battleship, $235.6 million; Pathe’s Le Prenom, $22.6 million over seven rounds in France only; Universal’s Dr. Seuss;The Lorax, $98.1 million; Entertainment One’s The Angel’s Share, $1.1 million in U.K. only; Hugo, $81.5 million in Paramount-handled territories; and Universal’s Hanni and Nanni 2, $4.7 million in German-speaking territories.