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The slowest box office weekend in more than a year on the foreign theatrical circuit ended with The Smurfs claiming – yet again — the No. 1 spot by grossing a mere $10.7 million from 5,282 locations in 83 markets.
The eighth consecutive stanza that the Sony release – a 3D live action/computer animation about amiable blue creatures in New York City – topped the overseas circuit lifted the film’s total offshore gross to $380.7 million. No other release this year has occupied the No. 1 foreign box office spot more often than The Smurfs.
A No. 1 opening in South Africa and first-place holds in Australia ($3.4 million from 507 venues, cume $14.2 million) and in Italy accelerated the weekend box office action. Top market remains Germany with a cume of $26.8 million.
Finishing No. 2 on the weekend was Lionsgate’s release of director John Singleton’s action drama, Abduction, starring Taylor Lautner, which collected $9.4 million from at least nine territories, pushing its foreign gross total over two frames to $19.1 million. No. 1 openings in Mexico and Switzerland along with second place finishes in France and the U.K generated most of the action.
Perhaps the weekend’s most interesting development was Universal’s satellite streaming to cinemas in nine markets — the U.K., Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland – the 25th anni celebration performance of the stage musical The Phantom of the Opera at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
It was Universal’s “first international alternative content release,” and grossed $2 million in one day, Sunday. U.K. theatrical box office for the day came to $852,272 from 255 locations, putting the presentation in the market’s No. 3 spot.
Otherwise, 20th Century Fox introduced overseas What’s Your Number?, a comedy costarring Ana Faris and Chris Evans, which logged a slight $2.16 million from 1,375 screens in a dozen territories.
Fox fared better with its seven-market bow of Bollywood action title, Force, starring John Abraham. Opener drew $4.76 million from 1,480 screens overall, with its India debut contributing almost all of the box office — $4.34 million from 1,389 locations.
The weekend’s third place went to Universal release of Johnny English Reborn, which won’t open in the U.S. and Canada until Oct. 28. Weekend take was $8.7 million derived from 1,951 situations in 22 territories, hoisting the overseas cume for the latest Rowand Atkinson spy spoof to $36.4 million.
A No. 1 bow in Hong Kong generated $1.4 million from just 40 sites (for a mighty per-screen average of $35,000), Universal’s biggest market opening of the year.
Rebornalso opened No. 1 in Norway and in Spain ($2 million at 367 sites). It bows this week in 10 new territories including Germany and the U.K.
Taking a close No. 4 spot was Sony’sFriends With Benefits, the romantic comedy costarring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, which opened in muscularly in Brazil ($1.3 million at 200 locations) and in the No. 1 spot in Finland. Weekend take overall came to $8.4 million from 3,219 screens in 58 markets, pushing the film’s overseas gross total to $67.3 million.
In South Korea, C.J. Entertainment’s Silenced, a drama based about violent events at a school for the hearing impaired, claimed the No. 1 market spot for the second consecutive round with an estimated $7 million drawn from 675 situations. The outing from director Hwang Dong-Hyuk ranks No. 5 on the weekend.
Warner Bros.’ Crazy, Stupid Love, a marital mix-up comedy costarring Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, drew $6.6 million from 2,670 sites in 47 markets, elevating its overseas cume to $44.8 million.
Resurfacing in Japan – its final offshore stop — was Fast Five, appropriately the fifth highest grossing overseas release so far of 2011. The turbocharged car action vehicle, which opened on the foreign circuit in April, drew $6.5 million (including previews) from 328 sites, taking 44% of the market’s total weekend action, as per distributor Universal. Overseas cume stands at $406.2 million.
Handling Constantin Film’s production of The Three Musketeers – which has been playing for several weeks via Constantin in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland — in 14 markets is Summit International, which pegs weekend action at $4.9 million from some 1,200 screens. Cume is $20.4 million.
Breaking the $100-million offshore gross mark was Warner Bros./New Line’s Final Destination 5, which captured $4.7 million at 2,390 screens in 49 markets. Overseas cume stands at $105.8 million. Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes lifted its foreign gross total to $236.3 million thanks to a $3.26 million weekend at 2,582 situations in 30 markets.
The slow weekend overall also permitted local language productions to take center stage in various markets. No. 1 in Germany was Constantin’sWickie auf grober fahrt (Vicky and the Treasure of the Gods), a family-oriented action comedy collecting an estimated $2 million in its market opener at some 720 locations.
Taking the No. 2 spot in Japan was Toho/TV Tokyo 12’s coproduction, Moteki (Love Strikes), a comedy about a nerd who suddenly finds himself popular with women. Second weekend registered $2.8 million from 276 locations for a market cume of $11.1 million.
Holding the top spot in the U.K. for the third weekend in a row was Optimum Releasing-Studio Canal’s release of the latest film version of John le Carre’s spy novel Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy. The Gary Oldman-Colin Firth costarring vehicle drew $1.65 million from 465 spots for a market cume of $14 million.
In France, Gaumont’s release of Un Heureux Evenement (A Happy Event), director Remi Bezancon’s romantic comedy about a young couple expecting a child, opened No. 3 in the market at 325 sites for an estimated $1.7 million.
Finishing first in France was the latest edition of Le Guerre des Boutons (War of the Buttons) directed by Christope Barratier and released by Mars Distribution. Second weekend collected $2.45 million from 559 locations for a market cume of $7.3 million.
Other international cumes: Warner’s Contagion, $7.3 million; DreamWorks/Disney’s The Help, $8.7 million; Universal’s The Change-Up, $17.4 million; Fox’s Monte Carlo, $13.5 million; Paramount’s Cowboys & Aliens, $66.9 million; Wild Bunch Distribution’s La Guerre es Declaree, $6.4 million over five rounds in France only; Fox’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins, $117.8 million; Fox’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, $6.1 million; Warner’s Horrible Bosses, $92.3 million; Disney’s The Lion King 3D, $19 million over three rounds; and Fox’s La Cara Oculta, $2.56 million in Spain only.
Also, Paramount’s Super 8, $132 million; Fox’s Anytime, Anywhere, $2.17 million in India only; Universal’s Bridesmaids, $117.6 million; Fox’s Miss Bala, $792,507 in Mexico only; DreamWorks/Disney’s Fright Night, $18.8 million over seven stanzas; Universal’s The Debt, $8.1 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2, $496.3 million; Marvel Studios/Paramount’s Captain America, $187.4 million; and Fox’s What A Man, $15.6 million in Germany only.
In addition, Focus Features’ One Day, $25 million; Universal and other distribs’ Sanctum, $81 million; Focus Features/Universal’s Jane Eyre, $15.1 million; Paramount’s The Guard, $2.16 million; Focus Features’ Beginner, $7.6 million; Sony’s Zookeeper, $80.9 million; and Universal’s The Change-Up, $17.5 million.
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