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Taking the No. 1 box office spot overseas for the second consecutive weekend, Sony’s Men In Black III bagged $78.5 million on the foreign theatrical circuit – down a relatively mild-mannered 41% from its opening offshore round – from 20,531 venues in 87 markets, lifting its foreign gross total to $275.2 million.
Finishing No. 1 in 20 territories, director Barry Sonnenfeld’s special effects extravaganza in 3D costarring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin showed real staying power across many key markets, with China down just 38% with a $13.5-million take from 5,207 locations.
In the Germany, the drop was a mere 3% ($5.27 million from 742 venues) while the U.K. tally actually increased by 3% to $4.9 million from 913 sites. In Russia and China, MIB3 has rolled up a total combined gross of $80.3 million. The film’s worldwide tally stands at $386.2 million.
Opening No. 2 overseas overall was Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which collected $39.3 million at 4,735 venues in 45 territories.
Director Rupert Sanders’ period action fantasy costarring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron (also the costar of Prometheus) premiered first in 30 markets. The U.K. tossed off the best numbers ($5.6 million drawn from 472 situations). Bucking the European sports calendar, Snow White debuts this week in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Latvia and The Netherlands.
With the European soccer championship beginning Friday (June 8) in Poland and the Ukraine, there is a certain make-it-while-you can frenzy at play this round on the foreign theatrical circuit before the nearly month-long sporting event (concluding July 1) monopolizes audiences in front of tv sets.
Fox rushed the overseas opening of the weekend’s No. 3 title, Prometheus, a week before director-coproducer Ridley Scott’s horror-sci/fi title — loosely linked to his 1979 Alien — debuts in the U.S. and Canada. The studio figured this made sense in 15 selected markets including the Ukraine, France, the Benelux countries, Scandinavia, Russia and the U.K.
Opening round drew $34.8 million from 4,616 locations (3,300 spots in 3D) for a per-venue average of $7,531. Prometheus ranked No. 1 in 14 of its opening territories with Russia drawing $11.1 million from 1,670 situations.
Three biggest European territories were the U.K. ($10.1 million at 1,019 locations, a market record for a Ridley Scott title), France ($6.7 million from 665 sites) and Sweden ($1.7 million at 172 spots), both of which were the second highest market openings so far this year. Openings in Australia, South Korea and Taiwan are on tap this week.
“We are holding back in Germany and Spain where (Euro soccer championship) tv viewership is highest and June admissions soft,” said Craig Dehmel, Fox International’s senior v.p. of sales and strategic planning. In Italy, Fox has decided not to play Prometheus “until after the summer lull, when business picks back up in the fall.”
In any case, the highly watched 16-team tournament will put a dent in June film attendance generally in Europe much like the World Cup soccer championships in South Africa did two years ago.
The Euro Cup, the biggest sporting event staged in Eastern Europe since the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow and the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, is likely to create Continental distribution hassles for the Hollywood majors.
This week, for example, Paramount is releasing DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in 28 foreign markets this week, including only five in Continental and Eastern Europe.
No. 4 on the weekend, Marvel’s The Avengers — which opened overseas six rounds ago and a week before its domestic bow — has surpassed the $800-million foreign gross mark ($806.5 million) after a weekend that provided $16.3 million from 53 territories. Worldwide, the super-hero mélange has drawn $1.359 billion making it distributor Disney’s highest gross film globally.
Taking in $32.5 million so far in its two top territories — Japan ($18.7 million) and France ($13.8 million) — Warner Bros.’ Dark Shadows has rolled up a foreign gross total of $121.1 million. Director Tim Burton’s big screen version starring Johnny Depp of a vintage tv soap opera took in $7.5 million on the weekend at 3,929 screens in 52 territories. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend.
Paramount’s The Dictator has passed the $60 million gross mark overseas ($61.6 million) thanks partially to a $7.4 million weekend at 2,487 sites in 30 markets. A No. 3 third round in Germany drew $1.5 million from 515 locations for a market cume of $8.9 million. The Sacha Baron Cohen comedy opens this week in Israel and Hong Kong.
Taking the No. 2 spot in Australia was Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting. The comedy starring Cameron Diaz opened (via local distributor Roadshow) at 305 spots and drew $2.6 million. Weekend overall at some 1,460 screens in 27 markets drew $4.6 million, lifting the film’s international cume to $10.8 million.
Since it made its foreign debut on March 28, Sony Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits has rolled up a total overseas gross of $84.9 million (worldwide, $113.4 million). The family-oriented animation drew $5.8 million on the weekend from 4,672 screens.
Opening No. 9 in the U.K. was Entertainment One’s release of director Ken Loach’s The Angel’s Share, which played in main competition at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. Opener at just 73 screens for the social realist fairy tale about the unemployed young drew an estimated $800,000.
Moonrise Kingdomfrom Universal/Focus Features drew a No. 10 ranking in the U.K. with a second round tally of $321,000 from 133 playdates for a 10-day market cume of $1.1 million. The weekend overall for director Wes Anderson’s title collected $1.2 million from 554 screens in six markets (including the U.K.) for an early foreign cume of $5 million.
Dropping about 25% in its third round in France was UGC’s release of director Jacques Audiard’s Un gout de rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone). The drama about an ex-boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts) who takes up with a trainer of killer whales (Marion Cotillard) drew $1.66 million at 513 playdates, lifting its market cume to $10 million. The film ranks No. 3 in France after Prometheus and Men In Black III.
Other international cumes: Universal’s American Pie: Reunion, $169.7 million (after a $2.4 million weekend at 1,935 sites in 36 markets); Hugo, $80.5 million in Paramount-handled territories including China where the market opening drew $2.67 from some 6,000 dates; Universal’s Battleship, $234.9 million; Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, $82.2 million; Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, $97 million; Fox’s The Descendants, $94.1 million; and Fox’s Titanic 3D, $286.5 million.
Also, Universal’s Hanni & Nanni 2, $3.5 million; Warner’s The Lucky One, $31.1 million; Sony’s The Vow, $66.9 million; Universal’s The Five-Year Engagement, $7.7 million; and Sony’s 21 Jump Street, $54.3 million.
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