Disney’s John Carter premiered worldwide on the weekend, and dominated the foreign portion of its theatrical run by grossing $69.1 million — $1.5 million less that Sunday’s estimate — in its debut at about 8,300 screens in 51 overseas territories.
The foreign figure is in stark contrast with the film’s anemic $30.6 million opening gross in the U.S. and Canada. In an otherwise bland box office weekend offshore, the film’s robust performance provided a much-needed jolt.
Although John Carter‘s weekend overseas tally is easily the best so far of 2012, it reflects under-performance in key territories. For example, in Mexico, generally receptive to adventure-fantasy vehicles, the film grossed $3.418 million at 1,144 situations for a per-location average of just $1,298.
The disparity between the Russian gross and the opening takes in key European territories is in double digits. The Australia figure appears undernourished given Carter‘s production budget and promotional push. Italy’s opening figure did not break $1.5 million.
The $250-million-plus live action-computer animation fantasy adventure directed by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton claimed the No. 1 spots in at least 10 territories – mostly in Asia – including Australia ($3.34 million from 246 locations). Biggest single market by far was Russia where Carter took 25% of the territory’s weekend box office by grossing $17.5 million.
A tight weekend race for first place in the U.K. was won with $3.1 million grossed from 456 spots. Austria also gave the picture a No. 1 ranking with $455,933 recorded at 68 situations. A No. 2 Germany debut generated $3.3 million at 515 locations. Carter also placed second in France ($3.985 million at 506 sites) and in South Korea ($3 million from 572 locations). A No. 3 introduction in Italy drew $1.39 million from 377 situations.
No. 2 on the weekend overall was the New Line/Walden Media/Warner Bros. family adventure, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which had finished first overseas for the previous four weekends. The Josh Hutcherson-Dwayne Johnson vehicle grossed $9.2 million drawn from 5,745 locations in 53 markets, lifting its overseas gross total to $200 million (versus $143 million grossed overseas by the film’s 2008 predecessor, Journey To The Center Of The Earth).
Finishing third was 20th Century Fox’s romantic comedy This Means War, costarring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine andThomas Hardy, which collected $9.19 million on the weekend from 3,580 situations in 52 territories, lifting its overseas gross total to $57.3 million.
No. 4, Universal’s Safe House, the CIA thriller costarring Denzel Washington, pushed its overseas gross total to $61.3 million thanks to a $5.8 million weekend at 3,060 sites in 49 markets.
Fifth was director Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, which continued to capitalize on its five Oscar wins with a $5.5 million weekend posted at 2,079 locations in 31 territories handled by Paramount. The distributor’s cume for the pictures comes to $62.4 million.
Director Steven Spielberg’s War Horse from DreamWorks/Disney elevated its foreign cume to $88.5 million after a $5.2 million weekend playing in 52 territories.
Broadening its overseas run to 33 markets, The Weinstein Co.’s The Artist continues to build on its best-picture Oscar win. Latest round at 2,202 screens drew $4.46 million, lifting the foreign gross total to $72.1 million and the worldwide cume to $112.3 million.
Paramount’s low-budget horror item, The Devil Inside, drew $3.4 million from 1,754 locations in 40 territories, hoisting its overseas gross total to $29.7 million.
Fox’s Chronicle, about high schoolers with supernatural powers, generated $3 million on the weekend at 1,880 situations in 26 territories, raising its overseas gross total to just slightly shy of the $50-million threshold ($49.6 million).
Universal’s 3D animation title Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax finished No. 1 domestically for the second consecutive round, and drew $1.5 million on the weekend in its foreign run. The film played at just 261 situations in six markets. The very early cume is $1.9 million with 58 territories yet to play over the five months.
In individual market action:
n Premiering No. 2 in Japan was Warner’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which collected $3.7 million from 464 venues, representing 92% of the comparable market gross of the film’s 2009 predecessor, Sherlock Holmes. “Considering the market has been tracking approximately 15% below the five-year average since the earthquake/tsunami, these are excellent numbers,” said Warners. Overall weekend took in $4.2 million from 854 screens in 26 markets, lifting the sequel’s foreign gross total to $335.5 million.
n Opening No. 1 in South Korea was C.J. Entertainment’s release of Helpless, director Byeon Yeong-joo’s mystery thriller based on a novel by Miyabe Miyuki, who is known as Japan’s queen of crime fiction. Debut round at 547 situations generated $4.24 million. Still playing (at one spot) in Korea after 184 weeks is Universal’s 2008 musical Mamma Mia!, which has generated a total of $26 million in the market. It ranked No. 28 on the weekend.
n In Germany, the No. 1 spot was held by French-made comedy sensation, Intouchables, which grossed $3.3 million in its sixth round at 779 screens. Germany cume for the import was boosted to $61.6 million.
n Landing in the No. 2 spot in the U.K. was Fox International’s release of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a comedy-drama about pensioners in India and costarring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson. Third round at 511 screens drew $2.8 million. Market cume so far is $17.2 million.
n Mars Distribution’s Les Infideles (The Players) remained No. 1 in France, collecting $4 million from 550 playdates. The comedy about male infidelity costars best-actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. Cume over two rounds comes to $13.46 million. Opening at No. 3 was Comme un chef, Gaumont;s release of director Daniel Cohen’s comedy starring Jean Reno about a wannabee chef who meets the real thing. First round cooked up $1.3 million from 360 situations.
n In Italy, Filmauro’s Posti in piedi in paradiso (Standing in Paradise) remained No. 1 for the second consecutive weekend, drawing an estimated $2.8 million from some 455 sites. Market cume for the comedy drama about three divorced men sharing living quarters totals an estimated $8.3 million.
n In Spain, Universal opened in timely fashion The Ides of March, George Clooney’s political drama, at 202 spots for a debut tally of $769,557. That was good enough for a No. 4 market ranking.
Other international cumes: Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, $206 million; Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, $27.6 million; Universal’s Contraband, $16 million; Sony and other distributor’s The Vow, $43.6 million; Fox’s August 8, $9.6 million from Russia only; Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, $480.5 million; Fox’s The Descendants, $86.7 million; Sony’s Jack and Jill, $73.5 million; Universal’s The Raven, $467,485 in eight markets; Fox’s In Time, $127.5 million; and DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Puss In Boots, $387.6 million (with a Japan opening due this week).
Also, Sony and other distributors’ Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance, $65.2 million; Star Wars Episode I in 3D, $52 million; Sony’s and other distributors’ Underworld: Awakening, $94.2 million; Warner’s Project X, $7.2 million; Focus Features’ One Day, $43.6 million; Universal’s Wanderlust, $2 million; Sony’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, $128.8 million ($230.9 million worldwide); Focus Features’ The Conspirator, $4.2 million; Paramount’s Young Adult, $4.6 million; Focus Features’ Beginners, $9 million; The Weinstein Co.’s My Week With Marilyn, $12.4 million; Universal’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, $8 million in Australia and New Zealand only; Focus Features’ Jane Eyre, $21.4 million;