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Easily dominating the foreign box office, James Bond pic Skyfall opened to a staggering $78.6 million drawn from 6,354 locations in 25 markets — for a per-screen average of more than $12,300 — paving the way for the 23rd installment in the multi-billion franchise to become the best of the series.
The third Bond outing starring Daniel Craig as 007 opened a full two weeks before its Nov. 9 domestic debut and placed No. 1 everywhere. The Sony and MGM pic commanded $32.3 million in the U.K., shattering several records.
IMAX turned in $3.5 million from 79 theaters in 15 territories — the exhibitor’s largest opening ever for a non-holiday, non-summer title.
“This picture has such an incredible DNA and to be so loved by critics and audiences alike will push it be one of the biggest, if not biggest, Bond pics,” Sony worldwide president of distribution Rory Bruer said.
Casino Royale, also starring Craig, is the top-grossing Bond pic to date, earning $599 million worldwide, including $432 million internationally.
Sony said Skyfall smashed the all-time Saturday attendance record in the U.K., as well as posting the No. 2 opening weekend in history, behind just the 3D Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2.
In France, Skyfall drew $10.5 million from 825 situations. Russia opened to $8.3 million at 951 locales.. The South Korea bow scooped up 49% of the market with $5.9 million from 753 locatdions. Skyfall set an opening record for a Bond title in Brazil ($3.1 million) and drew $1.5 million in Belgium.
The 22 previous Bond titles dating from the first, 1962’s Dr. No (which generated $43.4 million overseas) to 2008’s Quantum of Solace ($407.7 million), have tallied total foreign revenues of $3.277 billion.
Biggest Bond not starring the British actor was No. 20, 2002’s Die Another Day with Pierce Brosnan as 007, which drew $271.1 million. (The biggest foreign grosser of the seven Sean Connery Bonds produced by Eon was No. 4, 1965’s Thunderball, $77.6 million).
Meanwhile, Argo, actor-director Ben Affleck’s international thriller, opened No. 1 in Australia ($2.1 million including previews at 351 situations) and grossed $4.92 million on the weekend overall at some 480 sites in 15 territories. It held at No. 1 in Taiwan in its second round there.
Dipping its toe in international waters – in just one market, India – was Cloud Atlas, the soul-searching sci-fi drama costarring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Focus Features, which is handling international sales, reports that the opening round at 119 cinemas drew $184,548.
Debuts in Spain, Germany, the Ukraine, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and in the Middle East powered Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania — a comedy voiced by Adam Sandler and Kevin James about a boy who discovers Dracula is real — to an $18.2 million fourth week of foreign release at 5,459 sites in 50 markets and pushing the title’s foreign gross total to $91.3 million. The Spain opening provided $3.35 million at 622 spots.
Opening in 12 new territories in its second weekend, last week’s No. 1 title overseas, Paramount’sParanormal Activity 4, grossed $14.1 million this time – down 47% from its opening round – from 4,423 locations in 45 territories, lifting its foreign gross total to $48.3 million. Paranormal Activity 4 opens this week in seven markets including Japan.
Universal opened The Bourne Legacy in China, where the action’s No. 1 debut furnished an estimated $12.7 million in its first four days at 5,000 sites. The figure is larger “than the combined lifetime totals of the three previous Bourne films in China,” said the distributor. The China figure provided almost all of the weekend’s $13.2 million overall gross drawn from 5,686 playdates in 31 territories. Foreign cume stands at $140.2 million.
Grossing $12.4 million at 5,207 venues in 65 markets, Taken 2 pushed its total foreign gross past the $200-million mark ($202 million). 20th Century Fox is handling the thriller starring Liam Neeson in most foreign markets while co-producer EuropaCorp is distributing the sequel in 33 markets accounting for a weekend tally of $4.6 million at 1,720 spots and a cume of $57.8 million.
In Spain, Warner Bros. Espana’s release of Lo Impossible (The Impossible), director Juan Antonio Bayona’s action adventure costarring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, dominated the market for the third consecutive weekend, drawing $5.8 million from 643 screens and lifting its market cume to $34.3 million.
Over 21 rounds on the foreign theatrical circuit, DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is breathing hard on the half-billion gross mark ($495.9 million). The weekend provided the Paramount release with $8.5 million drawn from 2,901 situations in 29 countries. Second weekend action in the U.K. dipped to $4.5 million from 541 sites, taking the No. 2 market spot.
The biggest grossing French-language title in France on the weekend was Wild Bunch Distribution’s release of Asterix et Obelix: Au Service De Sa Majeste, the fourth comedy adventure directed by Laurent Tirard based on a series of popular French comic books. The live action title in 3D starring Gerard Depardieu finished No. 2 (after Skyfall) in its second round with $4.8 million drawn from 763 playdates. Market cume stands at $15 million.
Ted, director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg, pushed its international gross total to $270.9 million — with two territories still to play, including Japan — thanks to an $5.4 million weekend at 2,006 locations in 37 markets. (Worldwide tally is $489.5 million.)
Opening strongly in France was Stars Des Annees 80, co-directors Frederic Forestier and Thomas Langmann’s comedy about two producers staging concerts featuring 80’s pop stars. The Warner Bros. France release premiered at some 560 locations and drew an estimated $3.35 million.
Disney’s Frankenweenie, director Tim Burton’s comedy animation with horror overtones, drew $3.5 million in its second round overseas playing in 27 territories, raising its foreign cume to $17.7 million. Director Oliver Stone’s Savages opened No. 2 in Italy ($1.4 million at 352 sites), and drew $3.1 million on the weekend overall at 1,527 dates in 37 markets. Overseas cume stands at $26.9 million.
Other international cumes:Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $73.2 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $2.6 million; Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, $712.4 million; Universal’s ParaNorman, $38.7 million; Fox’s The Watch, $31.3 million; and Warner Bros. France’s Les Seigneurs, $19.2 million in France only.
Also, Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $26.6 million; Universal’s Mental, $3.9 in Australia and New Zealand only; Focus Features’ To Rome With Love, $54.8 million; Universal’s Duhkless, $13 million over 25 days in Russia only; Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, $19.4 million; and Universal’s Anna Karenina, $10.3 million.
Opening this week: Sony-MGM’s Skyfall, Egypt and Lebanon; Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 4, in seven markets including France and Japan; Warner’s Argo, South Korea; and Paramount’s Fun Size, the U.K.
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