Baby, it was cold outside!
With much of the foreign theatrical circuit — particularly in Northern and Middle Europe — in the icy grip of sub-zero weather, weekend box office was generally soft as Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol finished No. 1 with $24.3 million grossed from 6,272 locations in 50 markets.
The largest market contributor by far to the action sequel’s overall take was China, which generated $19.8 million from some 3,000 venues over three days in Ghost Protocol’s second stanza there. So far, the China accumulated total comes to $55.7 million.
By contrast, Ghost Protocol opened No. 1 in Finland to $491,000 from 86 sites and finished No. 3 in its second Italy round with $1.6 million (a drop of 47% from the opening weekend) from 367 sites for a market cume of $5.5 million.
In any case, the film finished No. 1 for the fifth time since it opened overseas on Dec. 14. Total foreign gross for the Tom Cruise vehicle has flown past the $400-million mark ($420.8 million), proving that the star maintains considerable box office appeal offshore.
No. 3 on the weekend, Warner Bros./New Line/Walden Media’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, placed second in its UK opening ($1.9 million from 431 sites) and No. 1 in Mexico ($3 million from 1,085 venues). Weekend take overall was $14.1 million from a total of $3,725 screens in 19 territories, lifting the film’s foreign gross total to $41.5 million.
No. 4 was 20th Century Fox’s Chronicle, which bolted out of the gate despite the weather. The action/sci-fi vehicle about highschoolers acquiring supernatural powers opened No. 1 in the U.K. ($3.47 million from 397 sites) and in Australia ($3.1 million from 203 locations), and generated a total of $12.9 million in its foreign debut from 2,464 screens in 33 (mostly small, noted Fox) markets.
Fifth was Sony’s Underworld: Awakening, the latest installment of the werewolf-versus-vampire franchise starring Kate Beckinsale, which opened No. 1 in Singapore and No. 2 in Germany ($2.8 million drawn from 391 locations). Weekend overall provided $11.5 million from 3,545 situations in 57 markets, lifting the sci-fi/horror outing’s total foreign gross to $58 milllion (of which $53.4 comes from Sony-handled territories).
Opening a strong No. 1 in France – and finishing No. 2 on the weekend overall — was Mars Distribution’s release of La verite si je mens 3 (roughly translated as Would I Lie To You?), director Thomas Gilou’s third installment in a comedy series about a group of rambunctious Parisian textile merchants. First round at some 1,051 screens drew a whopping $14.2 million.
Fox’s Descendants grossed $11.1 million from 2,923 situations in 43 markets, elevating its early foreign gross total to $44.7 million. Director Alexander Payne’s best-picture nominee starring George Clooney remained No. 1 in Spain for the third straight round, accumulating $7.74 million so far in the market. A No. 3 second round in the U.K. generated $1.76 million at 407 spots for a market cume of $6.6 million.
Warner’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has accumulated a foreign gross total of $310.8 million, and looks to outdistance the total foreign action of 2009’s Sherlock Homes ($314 million) within the week. Latest round for the sequel drew $9.2 million from 4,165 situations in 57 territories. A Japan opening is scheduled for March 12.
Sony’s Adam Sandler comedy Jack and Jill got some much-needed foreign traction with a No. 1 opening in Russia ($2.5 million from 520 locations) and a No. 2 bow in the Ukraine. Its No. 5 debut in the U.K. generated $1.34 million from 324 spots. Weekend overall came up with $8.1 million drawn from a total of 2,456 screens in 38 territories. Overseas cume stands at $40.8 million.
Registering $7.8 million at 4,180 screens in 62 markets was director David Fincher’s adaptation of the Steig Larson novel about a trouble computer genius (Rooney Mara) investigating a decades-old crime. A No. 4 premier in Italy produced $1.24 million at 461 locations. Foreign cume to date: $99.3 million.
Still tops in Austria and Germany, and finishing No. 6 on the weekend in France, was Gaumont’s Intouchables. Take in the latter market comes to $161.1 million in total over 14 weeks of playtime. In Germany, the comedy sensation about a wealthy quadriplegic and his caretaker with a shady past generated $5.5 million in its fifth round at 768 sites for a market cume of $32.6 million.
Atop the box office in Italy for the third consecutive stanza was Medusa’s release of Benvenuti al Nord (Welcome to the North), the second Italian-made comedy based on the big 2008 French hit, Bienvenue chez les ch’tis. Latest round collected $3.1 million from some 675 locations for a market cume of $31.8 million.
Universal’s Tower Heist, the action comedy costarring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, opened in Japan via local distributor Toho-Towa at 215 spots, registering $1.4 million and taking the market’s No. 3 slot. Weekend as a whole drew $2 million from 515 playdates in 15 markets for a foreign cume of $68.5 million.
Other international cumes: Summit International’s Man on a Ledge, $9.4 million (after a $6.2 million weekend at 2,400 screens in 38 markets); Fox’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, $547,821 in four markets; DreamWorks/Disney’s War Horse, $41.2 million (after a $3.3 million weekend in 28 markets); Sony/Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, $295.4 million; Focus Features/Universal’s Jane Eyre, $21.3 million; Fox’s The Sitter, $4.15 million over three rounds in the U.K. Only; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Puss In Boots, $367.8 million (after a $5.3 million weekend at 3,599 venues in 61 markets; and Sony’s Moneyball, $32.5 million.
Also, Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, $189.8 million (after a $4.3 million weekend at 3,800 sites in 38 territories); Paramount’s The Devil Inside, $3.7 million; Universal’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, $5.7 million in Australia and New Zealand only; Fox’s The Darkest Hour, $42.9 million; The Grey, the Liam Neeson action title Universal is distributing in Russia, $2.2 million; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 3D, $1.4 million; Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, $23.6 million; Universal’s Johnny English Reborn, $157.1 million; and Universal’s Contraband, $8.2 million.
In addition, Universal’s Rubbeldiekatz, $19.3 million in three German-speaking markets; Focus Feature/Universal’s One Day, $43.4 million; Hugo, $17.9 million in Paramount-handled territories only; The Weinstein Co.’s The Artist, $33.9 million; Focus Features’ The Conspirator, $4.1 million; Paramount’s Offroad, $3.65 in one market; The Weinstein Co.’s Spy Kids 4, $37.5 million; Focus Features’ Beginners, $8.6 million; Paramount’s Young Adult, $1.7 million; The Weinstein Co.’s My Week With Marilyn, $6.85 million;