Foreign Box Office: 'The Smurfs' Holds as Champ

Sony Pictures

"Johnny English Reborn" opens no. 2, while "The Lion King" is soggy overseas.

 A pair of robust offshore openings kept Sony’s The Smurfs at the top of the foreign box office heap on the weekend as the 3D live-action/computer animation hybrid drew $17.4 million from 6,629 locations in 82 markets.


The family-oriented feature about those lovable blue creatures set loose in New York City premiered No. 1 in Australia ($2.74 million registered at 494 venues) and in Italy ($4 million from 547 spots), lifting its total offshore box office haul to $345.4 million accumulated since July 27.


The Smurfs has now finished No. 1 on the foreign theatrical circuit for the last six consecutive weekends.


No. 2 on the weekend was Johnny English Reborn, the Rowan Atkinson spy thriller sendup, which opened at 1,478 screens in 15 offshore markets -- for a per-screen average of $8,119 -- grossing a total of $12 million.


Reborn is the second Johnny English spy spoof starring the British comedian.  The original was released eight years ago, and drew $133 million on the foreign circuit, nearly five times its domestic gross ($28 million).


Distributor Universal said the Relativity Media-Studio Canal-Working Title Films co-production, which opened No. 1 in 12 territories, recorded the biggest kickoff weekend of any Atkinson title to date.


Russia provided $2.6 million from 577 screens (a Universal market record for a comedy) while Australia also kicked in $2.6 million from 240 situations with school holidays in the offing. Germany opens Oct. 6, the U.K. a day later. Reborn won’t reach the U.S. and Canada until Oct. 28.


While popular overseas, Atkinson’s previous titles -- 1997’s Bean and 2007’s Mr. Bean’s Vacation – have underperformed in the U.S. and Canada.  Bean grossed $207 million overseas versus $45 million domestic. Vacation drew $197 million offshore, just $33 million domestically.


Disney’s reissue of The Lion King in 3D may have topped the domestic box office chart on the weekend, but its foreign re-release eked $700,000 out of 17 offshore markets, boosting the overseas gross total to only $12.1 million accumulated over six rounds. Top markets so far are Mexico (cume $5.6 million) and Brazil ($2.2 million). Australia opens this week.


Through various foreign sub-distributors, The Weinstein Co. opened I Don’t Know How She Does It, a comedy costarring Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan, at 1,161 screens in six markets for a weekend tally of $3.14 million. Opening in the No. 1 spot in Spain was director Terrence Malick’s Cannes award winner, Tree of Life.  First round at 167 locations yielded $1.3 million.


Third on the weekend was 20th Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which pushed its foreign gross total to $222.1 million after a $8.7 million weekend at 3,991 locations in 48 territories. With five big markets to go, including Italy, Japan and China, there’s still more foreign action ahead for the latest from Fox’s long-running Apes franchise.


First place bows in Belgium and South Africa plus a debut in Mexico helped Sony’s Friends With Benefits generate $8.38 million on the weekend overall from 2,335 sites in 38 territories.  It ranks No. 4 on the weekend overall. Foreign cume for the romantic comedy costarring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake stands at $42.3 million.


No. 5 was Warner Bros./New Line’s Final Destination 5, the latest sequel in the long-running horror series, which delivered $6.9 million from 3,275 situations in 48 markets.  Foreign cume stands at $89.2 million with $18.8 million of the total grossed in Russia.


Warner’s romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love opened in nine markets, most notably in France where it placed No. 2 with $1.6 million derived from 272 spots.  Weekend overall came up with $4.9 million from 1,655 locations in 38 markets, pushing the foreign gross total to $27.5 million.  Russia and the this week. 


In at least five key territories, locally-produced or local language films are taking first place positions. The U.K’s No. 1 title on the weekend was Optimum Releasing-Studio Canals’ Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, costarring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. The update of the John le Carre Cold-War spy novel opened at some 382 locations for $4.55 million.


Warner’s Horrible Bosses pushed its foreign total to $84.8 million with a $4.5 million weekend at 2,000 sites in 45 territories. Paramount’s Cowboys & Aliens, the sci-fi/western hybrid costarring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford grossed $3.13 million on the weekend at 2,522 venues in 42 markets, nudging its foreign gross total to $63.5 million.


France was dominated by director Yann Samuell’s family comedy update, La Guerre Des Boutons, which opened at some 596 screens to $5.29 million and took the No. 1 market spot. In Germany, Austria and German-speaking Swtizerland, Warner Home Entertainment opened its local acquisition, Mannerherzen…und die gantz gantz grobe Lieb, a comedy from director Simon Verhoeven.  Debut round delivered 3.5 million from some 800 locations.


Marvel Studios/Paramount’s comic book adaptation, Captain America: The First Avenger, drew $3.5 million from a total of 7,943 locations for a foreign box office total of $182.9 million accumulated since July 22.


Opening No. 1 in Mexico was Warner’s release of a local language Mexican-Argentinian coproduction, Don Gato (Top Cat), which drew $3.2 million from 1,082 screens.


In Japan, Fuji TV/Toho’s release of Unfair 2: The Answer premiered in the market’s No. 1 spot, grossing an estimated $3 million from some 110 situations. Directed by Shimako Sato, the title is the latest film adaptation of a hit Fuji TV series about the trials of an urban police force trying to solve bizarre crimes in Tokyo. South Korea’s No. 1 was Lotte Cinema’s The Ultimate Arrow, which collected an estimated $2.3 million in its sixth weekend in the market.


Universal’s body-swap comedy, The Change-Up, opened No. 5 in the U.K. ($1.1 million from 418 sites), and grossed $2.6 million on the weekend overall from 1,123 locations in 16 markets.  Cume for the Jason Bateman-Ryan Reynolds vehicle stands at $11.2 million. Fox’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins starring Jim Carrey pushed its foreign cume to $114 million thanks to a $2.7 million weekend at 897 spots in 13 territories.


Other international cumes: Warner’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, $947.1 million; Universal and other distributors’ The Sanctum, $58 million; Warner’s Green Lantern, $105.3 million; Disney’s The Help, $5.6 million (with $5 million coming from Australia); Warner’s Contagion, $4.4 million; Paramount’s Super 8, $129.3 million; Focus Features/Universal’s One Day, $23.2 million; Pixar/Disney’s Cars 2, $360.4 million versus $189.7 million domestic; The Weinstein Co.’s Spy Kids 4, $18.1 million; Fox’s You Are The Apple of My Eye, $12.1 million in Taiwan only; Paramount’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, $766.1 million; and Sony’s Bad Teacher, $111.9 million.


Also, Focus Features’ Beginners, $7.3 million; Fox’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, $4.8 million; Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles, $121.5 million (after a $2.2 million opening weekend in Japan at 391 sites); Fox’s Monte Carlo, $11 million; Universal’s Bridesmaids, $115.8 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2, $494 million; Sony’s Zookeeper, $75.4 million; Disney’s Fright Night, $11.1 million over five rounds; Lionsgate’s Limitless, $77.7 million; Fox’s What A Man, $13.6 million from Germany only; Focus Features/Universal’s Jane Eyre, $11.4 million; The Debt, $4.85 million (Universal territories only); and the Weinstein Co.’s Apollo 18, $5.7 million.