Foreign Box Office: 'The Smurfs' Squeak Out Another Victory Overseas

Courtesy of Sony

"Apes" and "Final Destination 5" repeat in second and third spots; "Contagion" opens slowly in six territories.

By Frank Segers


Those lovable blue creatures narrowly maintained their hold on the No. 1 weekend box office perch on the foreign theatrical circuit as The Smurfs grossed $15.6 at 6,660 overseas locations in 81 markets.


This elevates the total foreign gross accumulated so far by the 3D Sony Animation co-production to $322.2 million since its first offshore opening on July 27. The Smurfs took the No. 1 spot in Greece, its sole new market this round. 


The overall weekend action marks the fifth consecutive weekend that the family oriented live-action/animation has emerged on top of the offshore heap.


The No. 1 title domestically, Warner Bros.’ Contagion, director Steven Soderbergh’s sci-fi/thriller costarring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law, opened in six foreign markets over the weekend, generating $2.1 million from 553 locations – for a per screen average of $3,797. An Italy debut generated $663,000 from 309 sites.  Korea opens Sept. 22.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox’s latest installment in its decades long feature series, stayed mighty in Latin America. A No. 1 second weekend in Mexico generated $2.5 million from 1,303 sites for a market cume of $9.1 million. 


Weekend in general came up with $13 million from a total of 5,200 locations in 60 markets, lifting Apes’ foreign gross total past the $200 million mark ($208.1 million). It ranks No. 2 on the weekend.


New Line/Warner’s Final Destination 5 finished third, nabbing $11.3 million on the weekend from 4,240 screens in 45 markets.  Overseas gross total for the latest sequel in the 11-year-old horror franchise comes to $77.7 million.


No. 2 debuts in the U.K. and Germany plus solid bows in France, Switzerland and Austria boosted the weekend take of Sony’s Friends With Benefits to $9.4 million from a total of 1,772 screens in 25 territories. Foreign cume for the romantic comedy costarring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake stands at $29.6 million. It ranks No. 4.


Fifth was Paramount’s release of comic book adaptation Captain America: The First Avenger, which opened in China ($5 million over three days from 7,000 sites), and drew $7.9 million on the weekend overall from 8,582 situations in 37 territories.  Foreign cume stands at $174.9 million.


Warner’s comedy/drama Horrible Bosses continues to chug along overseas, grossing $5.5 million from 2,080 situations in 49 markets. Cume stands at $78.3 million.  A Spain opening is set for this week.


Cowboys & Aliens, also from Paramount, opened No. 2 in Brazil ($1.1 million from 244 locations), and generated $5.2 million on the weekend overall from 3,416 venues in 39 territories.  Overseas gross total for the sci-fi western costarring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford weighs in at $58.3 million.

Still No. 1 in the U.K. in its fourth weekend was Entertainment Films' release of the hugely successful teen comedy The Inbetweeners Movie, which grossed $3.5 million from some 475 locations.  Market cume comes to $63.8 million.


Maintaining its top spot in Germany was Constantin’s The Three Musketeers, the latest adaptation costarring Logan Lerman and Mila Jovovich of the Alexandre Dumas’ novel, which collected in its second weekend $3.2 million from a combined 726 locations in Germany, where it ranked No. 1, and in Austria, where it was No. 2.  Cume from both markets totals about $9 million.


Warner’s comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love generated $3.2 million from 1,320 situations in 30 markets for a cume of $21.5 million. Opening No. 1 in Australia was Zookeeper, Sony’s talking animals comedy starring Kevin James.  Weekend take in total was $3.1 million from 1,494 situations in 65 markets.  Overseas cume comes in at $73 million


Warner’s HarryPotter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 continued its gigantic overseas run in 50 territories by grossing another $3.1 million on the weekend, hoisting its foreign gross total to $943.7 million.


Fox’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins, a comedy starring Jim Carrey, embraced $2.6 million on the weekend from 1,202 locations in 15 territories, hoisting its overseas cume to $108.5 million.  A No. 3 South Korea opener contributed $1.4 million to  the weekend take from 257 spots. 


Raising its aggregate foreign gross to $126.3 million was Paramount’s sci-fi thriller Super 8, which generated $2.58 million on the weekend at 1,387 locations in 21 markets. A No. 1 Italy opening bagged $1.35 million from 383 screens.


Pushing its foreign cume past the $100-million mark ($103.2 million) was Warner’s Green Lantern, which has done reasonably well in Mexico, Brazil and the U.K. Weekend take was $2.5 million from 1,655 locations in 34 markets. 


DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2 has grossed $490.6 million since it opened on the foreign circuit on May 26.  Weekend take was $2.26 million from 6,433 venues in 20 markets.


Opening No. 1 in South Korea was director Jeong Tae-won’s Marrying the Mafia IV: The Family Ordeal, the last comedy sequel about a family of ex-gangsters in the restaurant business.  Debut weekend for the Next Entertainment World release generated an estimated $1.75 million from about 460 locations.


New to the France market was Le Pacte’s release of Italian director-actor Nanni Moretti’s Habemus Papam (We Have A Pope), a drama costarring Michel Piccoli and Moretti about a Pope and his therapist. Its debut at some 165 screens generated an estimated $1.5 million.


Also in France, Mars Distribution’s Presume Coupable (Guilty), director Vincent Garenq’s second feature, a realistic drama about a major judicial scandal, opened to $1.17 million at 195 situations.


Other international cumes: Pixar Disney’s Cars 2, $358 million ($547 million worldwide); Universal’s The Change-Up, $7.6 million (Universal territories only); Fox’s What A Man, $11.6 million in Germany only; Universal’s The Debt, $3.4 million from four territories including a No. 1 Spain debut for $1.4 million from 273 sites); DreamWorks/Disney’s The Help, $1.4 million; Fox’s Monte Carlo, $10.4 million; and Sony’s Bad Teacher, $110.1 million. 


Also, Paramount’s Transformers: The Dark of the Moon, $764.7 million; Universal’s Fast Five, $400.1 million, nearly double its domestic gross); Pathe’s La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Inhabit), $5.1 million in France only; Focus Features/Universal’s One Day, $20.3 million; Wild Bunch Distribution’s La Guerre Es Declaree, $3.3 million in France only; Sony’s Bad Teacher, $110.2 million; Universal’s Tu Seras Mon Fils, $4.3 million over 19 days in France only; and Fox’s You Are The Apple Of My Eye, $11.3 million in Taiwan only.


In addition, The Weinstein Co.’s Spy Kids: All; The Time In The World 3D, $15.2 million; Universal’s Hop, $79.1 million; Focus Features’ Beginners, $7.1 million; The Weinstein Co.’s Hoodwinked Too: Hood Vs. Evil, $11.4 million; Focus Features’ Jane Eyre, $8.1 million; and The Weinstein Co.’s Apollo 18, $4.9 million.