Reclaiming the No. 1 foreign box office perch it relinquished last round to The Amazing Spider-Man, 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift logged its biggest overseas weekend to date, grossing $97.6 million from 14,354 venues in 64 markets.
The Blue Sky Studio’s sequel is the fourth title in the increasingly remunerative computer animation franchise that has grossed $1.918 billion worldwide over the last 10 years. The biggest foreign grosser of the series is 2009’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which accumulated $693.9 (worldwide, $887.1 million).
ContinentalDrift’s weekendforeign gross was the Ice Age franchise’s third biggest ever, elevating the film’s overseas total to $339.2 million accumulated since June 25, exceeding the $272.5 offshore cume gathered by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted since June 6.
Driving weekend box office action were openings in 18 markets including a powerful No. 1 debut in Russia where the film generated an astounding $17 million at 2,090 sites, the biggest market opening weekend of the year. In the U.K., Continental Drift came up with $8.6 million from 1,246 spots for a market cume of $20.5 million.
TheIce Age sequel alsotook the top spot in its second Germany stanza with $12.6 million at 1,214 playdates for a market cume of $33.8 million. In France, it remained No. 1 with $7.4 million generated at 1,019 spots for a market cume of $34.7 million. In all, the animation title ranked No. 1 in at least 30 territories.
The weekend’s No. 2, Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man — fourth in the blockbuster series, which has racked up worldwide box office of $2.5 billion to date – generated $67.4 million at 16,575 venues in 87 markets, for a foreign gross total accumulated since June 27 of $321.5 million.
Unlike Continental Drift, the film premiered in several medium-to-small markets including Norway, South Africa, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic and Romania. Spider-Man retained No. 1 holds in such larger territories as Mexico (cume $19.6 million), Brazil ($17.5 million) and India ($13.3 million). Top territory was the U.K. where it took the weekend’s No. 2 spot with $6.1 million drawn from 911 situations for market cume of $29.5 million.
Opening lustily at 446 screens in the U.K. was Lionsgate’s release of Magic Mike, director Steven Soderbergh’s comedy-drama about male strippers costarring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. Premier round drew $4.1 million, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking. Debut at 858 screens in 16 markets including the U.K. generated $6.2 million.
Also new to the foreign circuit this round was Universal’s release of director Oliver Stone’s crime drama, Savages, which made its international debut in Mexico, Trinidad and Turkey. Weekend take was $1 million from 387 screens.
The overseas numbers posted by The Amazing Spider-Man and Ice Age: Continental Drift strengthen the odds that the “big six” Hollywood majors will set another foreign box office record in calendar year 2012. The current yearly high-water mark was set last year when the companies collectively drew $13.6 billion from the offshore theatrical circuit.
Through June 30, the majors have recorded a combined $6.6 billion in foreign box office, slightly ahead of the comparable $6.513 billion notched in the first six months of 2011.
This is a fairly impressive showing given that only three of the companies managed to gross more than a billion each (as compared with four last year by June 30), and that the European Soccer Tournament siphoned off theatrical attendance last month.
Propelled by the amazing $841.6 million foreign figure compiled by Marvel’s The Avengers – plus the respectable $208.1 million generated offshore by the ill-fated John Carter — Disney finished first among big studios, compiling slightly more than $1.385 billion, down slightly more than $100 million from $1.487 billion grossed in 2011’s first half.
Fueled by Titanic 3D (foreign box office of $287.3 million), Prometheus ($165.6 million) and Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($135.3 million), Fox finished second with a first half total of $1.248 billion, just shy of last year’s $1.253 billion. Third was Warner Bros. with $1.170 billion grossed by June 30, up 14% from 2011’s $1.030 billion.
The latest Men In Black sequel (grossing $391.9 million in the first half) pushed Sony from last place in 2011 to fourth this year. First half gross this time was $971 million, a fat 35% above the $717 million grossed last year. Second biggest first-half title for the studio was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ($121.5 million).
Fifth was Universal, which had a busy first half (Battleship, $237.9 million) and Snow White and the Huntsmen, $182.7 million), and recorded foreign box office of $913.5 million, up 26% from last year’s $726 million. Paramount, which ranked third of the “big six” in 2011, finished last this time with $912.5 million through June 30, down 30% from last year’s $1.300 billion. Biggest title was Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ($485.3 million).
On the indie side, Lionsgate/Summit reported a six-month foreign gross of $487.6 million, an increase of 151% from the 2011 first half total of $194.4 million. The big contributor, of course, was The Hunger Games, which generated a foreign tally of $275.8 million in the period.
Showing real muscle overseas was Universal’s release of Ted, which drew $9.6 million on the weekend at 368 screens in Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Taiwan, taking the No. 1 spot in each. Second Down Under round generated $6.8 million at 238 sites while the New Zealand bow produced $1.5 million at 59 spots for a 31% market share.
Director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg has grossed a total of $31.3 million overseas so far with many playdates to go. Openings in five smaller markets are due this week. Ted ranks No. 3 on the weekend.
A No. 1 Italy opening ($3.8 million at 398 locations) propelled Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman to a $9.58 million weekend overall at 3,731 situations in 56 territories and the weekend’s No. 4 spot. Foreign gross total for director Rupert Sanders’ period action fantasy costarring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron is well past the $200-million mark ($219.2 million).
No. 5, Brave released by Disney, is playing in 17 foreign markets, and drew $6.5 million on the weekend. Pixar’s latest animation title has grossed $46.8 million offshore compared with its $195.6 million domestic cume. DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted lifted its foreign cume to $272.5 million over six rounds via Paramount after a $6.4 million weekend at 5,168 venues in 40 countries.
Bol Bachchan,Fox’s Star Studios’ co-production of director Rohit Shetty’s Bollywood comedy, drew $4.2 million on the weekend at 1,241 screens in eight markets, lifting its foreign cume over two rounds to $22 million. Most of the action comes from India where the film drew $3.88 million from 1,150 sites for a market cume of $20.2 million.
After playing overseas for nine stanzas, Paramount’s The Dicator is breathing hard on the $100-million gross mark ($97.6 million). Weekend for the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy delivered $3.5 million from 1,392 sites in 33 countries. A No. 1 Spain debut generated $1.8 million at 328 situations. Openings in seven markets including Argentina and Colombia are due this week.
Best-grossing local language newcomer in France was Les Kaira, Gaumont’s release of director-costar Franck Gastambide’s comedy about three male layabouts with porn star ambitions. Opening round at some 450 screens drew an estimated $3.3 million, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking.
Other international cumes:Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $30.1 million after a $2.8 million weekend at 1,474 sites in 19 markets; Paramount’s Katy Perry: Part of Me, $4.3 million; Fox’s Prometheus, $175.2 million; Universal’s The Five-Year Engagement, $18.2 million after a $2.5 million weekend at 749 sites in 12 territories; and Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers, $844.1 million.
Also,Sony’s Men In Black III, $440.4 million; Focus Features’ To Rome With Love, $20 million; Universal’s Hanni and Nanni 2, $6.4 million; Focus Features/Universal’s Moonrise Kingdom, $13.1 million; Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, $99.7 million; and Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, $85.6 million.