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Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful boasted the top international opening of 2013 in debuting to a solid $69.9 million from 46 markets, bringing the tentpole’s global bow to $150.2 million.
Directed by Sam Raimi, The Wizard of Oz prequel premiered gangbusters in Russia, where it collected $15 million, or 21 percent of the total opening (the movie benefited from Friday being International Women’s Day, a holiday).
Overall, box office observers describe Oz’s foreign launch as good but not spectacular. They cite several reasons, including the fact that the iconic 1939 film isn’t as well known overseas. Also, Oz star James Franco doesn’t enjoy the same status as other male leads, including Johnny Depp, whose Disney tentpole Alice in Wonderland opened to $94 million internationally in early March 2010.
Oz has an advantage in playing like a family film, which could give it sturdy legs because of spring school holidays, which begin in another two to three weeks. Ticket sales soared 150 percent from Friday to Saturday in the U.K., where Oz opened No. 1 with $5.5 million from 530 locations. It also placed No. 1 in Australia ($4.9 million at 268) and Japan ($2.9 million at 584).
Starring Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams opposite Franco, Oz grossed a handy $5.2 million in Mexico, where 3D remains a popular format (ditto for Russia).
Oz was generally soft in Asia. And in Germany, the movie bested holdover Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, loosely based on the German fairy tale by the Grimm brothers. Paramount reported a take of $3.3 million weekend for Hansel, while Disney took $3.7 million for Oz.
Oz has yet to open in several major markets, including France and China.
Hansel and Gretel came in No. 2 overall at the international box office, grossing $10.8 million from 41 markets for an international total of $140.1 million and global haul of about $195 million.
Bruce Willis action pic A Good Day to Die Hard placed No. 3, grossing $8.96 million from 67 territories for a foreign total of $177.1 million and worldwide cume of about $240 million. The 20th Century Fox movie continues to do big business in Japan, where it has earned $19.4 million, the best of any country outside the U.S.
Jack the Giant Slayer, still only playing in select Asian markets, grossed $5.3 million from 10 markets in its second weekend. The big-budget tentpole, from New Line and Legendary Pictures, has earned $23 million internationally so far. This week, Jack opens in Germany, Spain and Mexico.
In Spain, Pedro Almodovar’s latest film Los Amantes Pasajeros (I’m So Excited), a raunchy airline spoof with cameos by Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, opened to $2.4 million from 295 screens, the filmmaker’s best debut to date. Warner Bros. is distributing the film in Spain.
Seth MacFarlane’s raunchy comedy Ted also made news as it matched the $326.9 million grossed internationally by The Hangover Part II. Ted, currently enjoying a successful run in Japan, will surpass that film sometime this week to become the top R-rated comedy of all time at the international box office in a notable victory for Universal.
Universal’s horror pic Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, opened in nine additional markets over the weekend, grossing $5.9 million in 19 territories and pushing the foreign total to $41.3 million.
Universal’s Les Miserables has grossed a total of $275.4 million overseas to date after a $6 million weekend at 5,564 situations in 45 territories. The 11-day market total in China for the musical tallies $7.7 million.
After playing 11 frames offshore, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained has grossed $241.3 million on the foreign circuit so far after a $4.6 million weekend at 2,545 locations in 56 markets. Top markets for the film are Germany and France, which have furnished a combined box office of $83.3 million.
Warner Bros.’ release of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has taken in a total of $708.3 million overseas. Latest round offshore generated $4.9 million from 1,780 venues in 24 markets of which $4.6 million came from China where the 17-day market total for the film is $45.4 million.
The top two slots in France were claimed by local language productions, one of them new. Ranking No. 1 in the market is the holdover, Studio Canal’s release of Boule et Bill, a family comedy which grossed $4.1 million in its second stanza at 623 screens, lifting its market cume to $11.6 million. Placing No. 2 was newcomer 20 Ans D’Ecart (20 Years Apart), a romantic comedy about a magazine editor and a much younger man. The EuropaCorp. release opened to $3.1 million at 371 spots.
Other international cumes: Paramount and other distributor’s Flight, $65.1 million; EuropaCorp.’s Mobius, $6.2 million in two rounds in France only; Universal’s Identity Thief, $2.27 million; Fox’s Life of Pi, $481.1 million; Universal’s This Is 40, $14.1 million; Fox’s Lincoln, $77.6 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $45.9 million; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $47.8 million; and Universal’s Savages, $31.5 million.
Also, Fox’s Hitchcock, $14.6 million; Paramount’s Cirque du Soleil – World’s Away, $20.1 million; Focus Features’ Hyde Park on Hudson, $2.95 million; Paramount’s The Guilt Trip, $3.3 million; Fox’s Stoker, $3.8 million playing in seven markets; Sony/MGM’s Skyfall, $804.2 million; Focus Features’ The Promised Land, $610,113; Sony’s Hotel Transylvania, $241.3 million; and Cloud Atlas, $19.2 million in Focus Features territories only.
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