Foreign Box Office: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I' is an Overseas Smash

Breaking Dawn Stewart Pattinson Indoors - H 2011
Summit Entertainment

Breaking Dawn Stewart Pattinson Indoors - H 2011

The penultimate film in Summit Entertainment's franchise snares $150.1 million in its debut weekend, making it fourth best international opening of 2011.

Say what you will about these two but Bella and Edward continue to flash those billion dollar box office legs. 

Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I lit up the foreign theatrical circuit on the weekend, grossing $150.1 million -- $6.1 million more than was projected on Sunday --at about 9,950 locations in 54 overseas markets.

Breaking day-and-date with its domestic release, the fourth screen installment based on Stephenie Meyer’s series of novels about a young woman (Kristen Stewart) in love with a vampire (Robert Pattinson) blasted its way to the biggest offshore opening weekend in four months, and the fourth biggest of 2011.

To get an idea of just how big the weekend action was, Breaking Dawn’s debut tally is just $49.9 million shy of the total foreign box office take of series original, 2008’s Twilight ($200 million). 

2009’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon cumed $416 million foreign while last year’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished its overseas run with a gross of nearly $400 million. Opening weekend tally for New Moon was $132.5 million while Eclipse’s weekend debut was $104.5 million.

Individual market opening weekend numbers for Breaking Dawn are impressive. As per Summit estimates, France delivered a No. 2 ranking with $14.9 million. Premier round in Spain came up with $11.8 million including previews while the dominant No. 1 debut in Australia came up with $12.8 million.

Breaking Dawn’s No. 1 U.K. bow was the best in the market outside of the Harry Potter and James Bond series. Three-day tally was $21.9 million. Double-digit opening numbers were also recorded in Italy ($12.2 million), Russia ($16.1 million) and in Brazil ($10.2 million).

With Breaking Dawn so dominant overseas, the rest of the field on the foreign circuit was left largely to pick over box office leavings. 

No. 2 on the weekend was Sony-Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in 3D, which grossed an estimated $20 million -- China results are still not fully accounted for -- from some 13,000 screens in 53 markets. A China opening via Paramount posted am estimated $7.4 million from 7,030 locations.

Total foreign gross comes to an estimated $186 million, providing a comfortable cushion for the Steve Spielberg animation’s Dec. 21 domestic opening. The seven territories Paramount is handling account for about $35 million of Tintin’s total. 

In France, Gaumont’sIntouchables remains box office sensation, taking the market’s  No. 1 spot for the third consecutive round. The caustic comedy from co-directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano -- about a wealthy quadriplegic and the ex-con immigrant from the projects who is his caretaker -- grossed $17.6 million from 655 screens for a market cume of $64.8 million. The film, the highest grossing French title of 2011, is No. 3 on the weekend.

New to the foreign circuit was Warner’s release of Village Roadshow’s coproduction of Happy Feet Two, a family-oriented animation sequel to 2006’s Happy Feet, about the adventures of an amiable penguin.  Opening in Mexico and four smaller markets, the weekend tally was $2.6 million from 1,000 sites. It was No. 1 in Malaysia.

Relativity Media’s Immortals, last weekend’s No. 1 title overseas, dropped to No. 4 this weekend, grossing an estimated $17.5 million and pushing its total overseas take to an estimated $66 million.  Relativity Media says the 3D sword and sandal saga has passed the $118 million worldwide mark. 

Having achieved 76% of its potential performance, as per distributor Disney, Real Steel, the Hugh Jackman sci-fi/action vehicle has grossed a total of $159.9 million overseas thus far. Its seventh weekend registered $6.9 million from 42 markets. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend. 

Opening in South Korea ($1.9 million from 252 locations) and No. 2 in Japan and in Australia – all baseball-friendly markets – Sony’s Moneyball batted $5.3 million from 1,290 screens in 16 markets.  Foreign gross total for Brad Pitt vehicle is $15.4 million. Sony Animation’s co-production, the seasonal family title Arthur Christmas, opened No. 9 in Germany and grossed $5.1 million overall from, 1,706 screens in five markets.  Early cume is $9.4 million.

Universal’s Tower Heist, costarring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, drew $4.4 million from 2,263 situations in 38 markets, lifting its cume to $27.3 million. 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi/thriller In Time costarring Justin Timberland and Amanda Seyfried inched its foreign cume up to $62.6 million thanks to a $4.6 million weekend at 2,317 screens in 54 markets.

Disney’s The Lion King 3D grossed $3.6 million in its 15th weekend on the foreign circuit in 40 markets, pushing its overseas cume to $64.6 million. Paramount’s horror outing Paranormal Activity 3 drew $2.9 million from 1,984 spots in 52 markets for an offshore cume so far of $94 million – compared to Paranormal Activity 2’s $92.8 foreign cume and Paranormal Activity’s $85.4 million gross total.

Warner Bros.’ disease-disaster outingContagion nudged its foreign cume to $59.7 million thanks to a $3.2 million weekend at 1,620 locations in 44 markets. DreamWorks Animation’s Puss In Boots is playing just five offshore markets, but has managed to roll up a foreign cume of $52.6 million after a $1.8 million weekend at 874 sites.

Other international cumes: Sony’s Jack and Jill, $5.7 million; DreamWorks/Disney’s The Help, $28.4 million; Universal’s Johnny English Reborn, $150 million; Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, $304.6 million; Universal’s The Debt. $13.5 million; Fox’s You Are The Apple of My Eye, $22.2 million from four Asian markets; and Morgan Creek’s The Thing, $6 million (from Universal-handled territories only).