Foreign Box Office: 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows' Hangs on as No. 1 for Third Straight Weekend

Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows 3 Shot Film Still - H 2011
Warner Bros.

Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows 3 Shot Film Still - H 2011

"Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" and "Underworld Awakening" pace foreign openings; "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" tops in France.


In a generally soft session highlighted by several solid but limited film debuts on the foreign theatrical circuit, Warner Bros.’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows maintained its hold on the weekend’s No. 1 box office spot, generating $18.3 million from 7,505 playdates in 57 offshore markets.

Foreign gross total for director Guy Ritchie’s sequel costarring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law comes to $261.3 million, which Warners said puts the film’s foreign cume 16% ahead of 2009’s Sherlock Holmes’ comparable tally. The original went on to gross a total of $315 million in foreign markets.

In its first five days of release in China, A Game of Shadows grossed $10 million, more than double the comparable marketing opening figure logged by the 2009 original.  A “very rough projection” of the latest weekend tally in China comes to $3.3 million.

Logging a muscular No. 2 in its Italy opening weekend was Medusa's release of Benvenuti al nord (Welcome to the North), the second Italian-made comedy based on the big 2008 French hit, Bienvenue chez les ch'tis. Opening Italy surge at 854 situations came to $15.8 million.  

Taking the No. 1 France spot was director David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which opened at 520 screens in the market, and registered $3.25 million. A No. 1 Mexico launch generated $1.25 million from 540 spots. The weekend overall came up with $15.4 million drawn from 4,654 locations in 53 markets, elevating the film’s foreign gross total to $70.5 million, and making the film the weekend’s No. 3 title.

The weekend’s notable offshore developments:

 -- Opening at 1,091 locations in seven offshore markets was Warner Bros./New Line/Walden Media’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the family-adventure sequel costarring Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine. Debut tally in all was $7.9 million, which Warner’s said was 44% larger than the opening take logged in the same markets by 2008’s Journey To The Center of the Earth.    

 -- Introducing itself to 37 markets on the foreign theatrical circuit was Sony’s Underworld Awakening in 3D, which generated $13.9 million from 2,454 screens. The fourth title in the Underworld vampire warrior (Kate Beckinsale) franchise finished No. 1 in at least a dozen territories including Russia, where the opening tally was a substantial $5.8 million drawn from 684 situations. It ranked No. 4 on the weekend overall.

 -- Director Alexander Payne’s The Descendants starring George Clooney, opened No. 1 in Spain ($2.7 million drawn from 266 screens) and in Australia ($2.5 million from 239 spots). Weekend overall for the 20th Century Fox release generated $6 million from 650 screens in eight territories. The Golden Globe best drama winner’s early cume stands at $9.96 million. The best-picture Oscar nominee opens this week in 25 markets including the U.K., Brazil, Russia, France and Germany. 

 -- Included among the weekend’ newcomers overseas was Paramount’s Young Adult, director Jason Reitman’s drama about a divorced fiction writer (Charlize Theron) seeking romance in small-town Minnesota.  The film “debuted modestly” (Paramount’s words) in Australia and Russia, grossing $658,361 at 265 locations.

 -- Universal released in Australia and New Zealand Studio Canal’s co-production of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the latest film version, costarring Gary Oldman, of the John le Carre novel. Total opening gross was $1.8 million from a total of 182 playdates with $1.6 million coming from Australia. Weekend overall generated $2.7 million at 653 locations in 13 markets, for a cume of $33.3 million. 

-- 20th Century Fox opened The Sitter, the comedy starring Jonah Hill as a suspended collegian who baby sits the neighbors’ children, in the No. 6 slot in the U.K., generating $1.4 million from 355 screens.

 -- Premiering No. 2 in the U.K. was Paramount’s release of director Steven Soderbergh’s action thriller Haywire, costarring Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor andMichael Fassbinder. Opening weekend at 380 spots yielded $1.85 million. Combined with opening takes in Russia ($1.33 million), in Singapore, Taiwan and Bulgaria, the weekend gross was about $4 million. 

With openings in China and in Scandinavia due this week, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has accumulated $338 million in overseas gross since Dec. 14.  The Tom Cruise action sequel drew a weekend tally of $9.4 million from 3,882 locations in 52 markets. In Japan, the film has gross more that $60 million.

Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked weighed in with a weekend gross of $10.1 million drawn from 5,350 sites in 54 territories. Foreign gross total for the computer animation sequel comes to $170.8 million. DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Puss In Boots upgraded it overseas cume to $346 million thanks to a $9.3-million stanza at 4,645 playdates in 46 territories.

Still No. 1 in its third round in Austria and in Germany is French-made comedy sensation Intouchables, pairing a wealthy quadriplegic man and his caretaker with a shady past. Lastest round in Germany yielded an estimated $4.65 million from some 681 spots for a market cume of $16.3 million.

For its part, Austria kicked in another $565,715 drawn from 75 locations for a market cume of $1.9 million. In France, Intouchables generated $2.6 million from 828 sites for a market cume amassed over 12 weeks of $154.6 million. Weekend as a whole drew $10.6 million from 1,710 screens in eight markets, elevating the film's foreign cume to $196.3 million.  Intouchables ranked No. 5 on the weekend.

Steven Spielberg’s best picture Oscar nominee War Horse remained No. 1 in the U.K. in its second round there, yielding $5 million drawn from 513 sites for a market cume of $15 million. The period drama drew a total of $7.3 million on the weekend, as per distributor Disney, from a dozen offshore territories. Foreign gross total to date stands at $28.8 million.

Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn drew $5.7 million on the weekend with Sony reporting $5 million from 2,454 venues in 35 markets and co-distributor Paramount showing $771,005 from 439. Fopreign gros total comes to $286.3 million.  

Warner’s release of director Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, generated $6.4 million on the weekend from 1,740 situations in 22 markets, pushing the film’s overseas gross total to $20.3 million. Its U.K. debut drew $628,000 from an unspecified number of situations. Openings in Australia, Spain, Brazil and in Japan are due this week.

Opening in four territories was Fox’s sci-fi/horror outing The Darkest Hour, which  generated $5 million from 3,500 screens in 59 markets, pushing its overseas cume to $37 million. Sony’s Adam Sandler comedy Jack and Jill yielded $2.9 million on the weekend at 624 playdates in 25 markets, lifting its foreign cume to $25.6 million.

The local language film scene in France was active this weekend with three releases finishing in the market’s top six slots.  Opening No. 4 was EuropaCorp Distribution’s L’amour dure trios ans, a romantic comedy directed by Frederic Beigbeder about a literary critic’s musings about his private life. Weekend provided $2.3 million from 275 screens.

Making its No. 5 debut was Si on vivait tous ensemble (And If We All Lived Together), directed by Stephane Robelin and costarring Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin. It’s Fonda’s first role in a French film in 40 years (she plays a cancer stricken university professor). The BAC films release, made in 2010 and shown as the closing night film at 2011’s Locarno International Film festival, grossed $1.17 million from 251 situations.

No. 7 in France was Mars Distribution’s release of Ma Premier Fois, the saga of a 20-year-old youth and his 18-year-old girlfriend.  Opening round at 199 screens came in at $762,759.

Other international cumes: Fox’s We Bought a Zoo, $19.5 million (after a $2.4 million weekend at 1,339 sites in 23 markets); Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, $330,000 in three markets; Universal’s Contraband, $3.8 million (after a $1.9 million weekend at 692 locations in 16 territories); Hugo, $11.8 million in five territories handled by Paramount); Universal’s Tower Heist, $64.8 million; Universal’s Rubbeldiekatz, $18.3 million in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland; and Universal’s Johnny English Reborn, $155.1 million (after a $660,000 opening in Japan at 126 sites).

Also, The Weinstein Co.’s The Artist, $24.1 million; Universal/Focus Features’ One Day, $43.3 million; Fox’s The Iron Lady, $16.5 million; Universal’s Intruders, $4.2 million; Focus Features/Universal’s Jane Eyre, $21.2 million; Paramount’s Offroad, $2.6 million in Germany only; Immortals, $32.4 in Universal territories only; Focus Features’ The Conspirator, $4.1 million; The Weinstein Co.’s My Week With Marilyn, $5.9 million; Focus Features’ Beginners, $8.6 million; and Paramount's Paranormal Activity 3, $100.9 million.