Foreign Box Office: Sony's 'The Smurfs' Narrowly Holds on as Champ Overseas

Sony Pictures

Threepeat foreign box office winner pressed by "Apes" and "Final Destination 5." Cooler weather generates box office heat.

By Frank Segers


Cooler weather in much of Europe helped overall grosses on the foreign theatrical circuit as Sony’s The Smurfs captured the No. 1 box office spot with a weekend tally of $25.5 million – down a benign 28% from the prior round – drawn from 8,418 screens in 61 overseas markets.


The 3D animation about those lovable blue creatures opened No. 1 in Hungary and Romania, and No. 2 in Denmark ($728,278 from 137 spots) while maintaining first place rankings in at least six more markets.


Foreign gross total for The Smurfs has surpassed the $250-million mark ($257 million) since it opened offshore on July 27. The CG-live action family feature  captured the top spot in overseas box office for the third consecutive weekend.


The weekend’s No. 2 title was, once again 20th Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which collected $22.2 million from 5,727 screens in 50 territories, lifting its foreign gross total to $158.7 million.  Notable was a No. 1 Brazil opening generating $3.9 million at 538 situations.


The seventh installment of Fox’s long running feature series held France’s top spot in its third market round ($3.5 million from 628 sites, cume $20.9 million). A No. 2 second Korea stanza lured $3.8 million from 451 spots, cume $12.3 million, while the third U.K. frame yielded $2.7 million from 575 locations (cume $25 million), sufficient for a No. 2 market ranking.  Rise opens in six markets including Mexico this week.


Third was Warner Bros.’ release of New Line’s co-production, Final Destination 5, the latest sequel in the horror series that began 11 years ago. Opening round scared up $21 million from 3,850 locations in 20 territories. A No. 1 Russia debut delivered $7.8 million from 1,055 situations. Early cume, $28.9 million.


No. 4 on the weekend was Paramount’s Cowboys & Aliens, which continues to underperform overseas.  The 3D sci/fi-western hybrid costarring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, although it premiered in 21 territories, came up with $14.1 million from 4,295 locations in a total of 43 markets.  Overseas gross total stands at $35.5 million collected since opening offshore on Aug. 9.


A No. 2 France debut generated $3.45 million from 480 venues while a No. 1 Mexico opener provided $1.9 million from 1,027 situations. Cowboys & Aliens opens this week in Denmark and Spain.


Thanks to a $6.4 million opening, five-day surge in China – a record market debut for a Disney animation -- Pixar/Disney’s Cars 2 grossed $12.4 million overall on the weekend, its 10th round of offshore release, in 53 markets. The 3D title, which ranks No. 5 on the weekend, has grossed $335.7 million to date, and $523.1 million worldwide. Thailand and Indonesia remain to be played.


Still reigning No. 1 in the U.K. is The Inbetweeners Movie, a teen comedy spinoff of a popular tv show, which grossed an estimated $9.8 million in its second round at some 475 locations. Market cume for the Entertainment Film Distributors’ release comes in at about $42.6 million.


Warner’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 lifted its already humongous overseas cume to $924.6 million after a $9.4 million weekend -- $1.2 million more than was estimated on Sunday -- at some 6,900 venues in 60 markets. Top territory is the U.K. where the sequel has generated $113.4 million.


A solid No. 1 opening in Italy ($6.4 million from 809 venues) buoyed weekend action for DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2. Overall take was $9.1 million drawn from 1,895 locations, hoisting the 3D animation’s foreign gross total to $473.3 million since its May 26 overseas opening. Overseas distributor Paramount says Panda 2 has opened in all key international markets.


Warner’s comedy drama, Horrible Bosses, generated $8.4 million at 2,325 sites in 50 markets, pushing its offshore cume to $57 million.  Same distrib’s Green Lantern has rolled up a foreign cume of $90 million after a $6.7 million round at 3,475 situations in 40 markets.   


Marvel Studios’ comic book adaptation, Captain America: The First Avenger, grossed $5.4 million from 3,420 venues in 52 territories.  Foreign cume since July 22 comes to $157 million.  A No. 3, second France stanza generated $2.2 million from 500 locations for a market cume of $6.65 million.  The Paramount release overseas opens in Greece this week, and in China and Indonesia on Sept. 9.


Paramount’s Super 8 has grossed $118 million since its overseas opening on June 9.  Weekend action for the sci/fi-adventure co-produced by Steven Spielberg came to $4.6 million derived from 2,498 screens in 55 markets. Second Spain round came up with $2.1 million from 463 locations for a market cume of $8.6 million. An Italy bow is due this week.


Notable on the weekend are the strong showings in various markets of local language titles distributed by the American majors.


Top spot in Germany went to Fox International Production’s first fully produced German-language title, What A Man, a romantic comedy directed, written and costarring Matthais Schweighofer.  Debut round at 349 sites generated a lusty $4 million.


Universal’s British-made One Day grossed $2.37 million in its U.K. and Ireland debut at 428 locations. The romantic drama costarring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess is also playing in five other markets, and has accumulated $6.3 million so far overseas.


In France, Universal released Tu seras mon fils (You Shall Be My Son), director Gilles Legrand’s drama starring Niels Arestrup about father-son friction in Bordeaux wine country. A No. 5 opening at 309 locations delivered $1.7 million.


In Taiwan, Fox International Production’s You Are The Apple of My Eye grossed $1.55 million from 118 sites for a market cume of $7.5 million generated in two rounds.


Also in France, Pathe’s release of Spanish director’s Pedro Almodovar’s La Piel Que Habito (The Skin That I Inhabit) drew $1.2 million in its second round at 350 situations for a market cume of $3.1 million. The film’s No. 11 U.K bow via Fox came in at about $720,000 from 127 spots.


Warner’s Crazy, Stupid, Love bagged $4.1 million from 1,355 screens in 19 markets. Foreign gross total for the romantic comedy costarring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore stands at $11 million.  


Paramount International’s biggest overseas hit, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, has grossed $757 million since it opened on the foreign circuit on June 29.  Weekend tally for director Michael Bay’s noisy actioner came to $3.6 million derived from 5,478 situations in 62 markets.


The Weinstein Co./Dimension Films’ Spy Kids 4: All The Times In The World 3D boosted its $10.9 million foreign cume via a $3.2 million weekend at 1,481 situations in six markets.


Grossing $2.5 million was Universal’s female oriented comedy Bridesmaids, which played at 1,584 situations in 32 markets.  Foreign cume stands at $109.5 million with 14 markets yet to open.


Fox’s Jim Carrey comedy, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, pushed its overseas cume past the $100-million mark ($101.7 million) thanks to a $2.4 million weekend at 1,500 screens in 23 territories.


Other international cumes: Sony’s Bad Teacher, $102.7 million (after a $2.2 million weekend at 996 screens in 53 markets); Sony’s Zookeeper, $66.3 million (after a $2 million weekend at 1,457 spots in 47 territories); Universal’s Hop, $78 million; Fox’s Monte Carlo, $8.9 million; Sony’s Friends With Benefits, $16.5 million; and Universal’s Senna, $9.5 million.


Also, Lotte Cinema’s The Last Weapon, $31.3 million in South Korea only (after  a $5.1 million third weekend at 567 locations); Fox’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, $3.6 million; Sony’s Resterlaub (Residual Leave), $5.6 million in three markets; Fox’sAssalto Ao Banco Central, $11.6 million in six frames in Brazil only; Focus Features’ Beginners, $6.2 million; Universal’s Fast Five, $397 million; and Focus Features’ Jane Eyre, $4.9 million.