Foreign Box Office: 'Die Hard' Continues as No. 1 Overseas, Breaks $100-Million Mark

Frank Segers
The Hollywood Reporter
China Box Office: 'A Good Day to Die Hard' Wins the Week


Buoyed by a powerhouse France opening, 20th Century Fox’s A Good Day To Die Hard easily captured the No. 1 box office spot in its third weekend on the foreign theatrical circuit by registering $35.7 million at 10,404 locations in 67 markets, and lifting its foreign gross total well past the $100-million mark ($133 million).


The fifth installment of action franchise starring Bruce Willis blasted off at 650 locations in France, drawing $5.48 million and dominating the market. With school holidays in the market just beginning, Good Day is well positioned to cash in over the coming stanzas.


A No. 1 opening in Brazil generated $2.6 million at 531 sites, the best opening in the territory for the Die Hard franchise. Best holdover market was Germany where the sequel nabbed $3.1 million at 706 spots for a market cume of $10.4 million.


A No. 1 second Japan weekend threw off $2.75 million at 643 situations for a market cume of $13.2 million. A No. 3 India debut contributed $1.4 million at 663 spots.


Over a 25-year span the four prior Die Hard titles all starring Willis have prospered overseas, grossing a collective total of $694.6 million, as per Fox figures, with the second sequel of the franchise, 1995’s Die Hard With A Vengeance, leading the pack with an offshore tally of $264.5 million.


The 1988 original Die Hard drew $57.8 million in offshore box office, with the first sequel, 1990’s Die Hard 2, grossing $122.5 million.  The last sequel, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, completed its foreign run with box office of $249.7 million.


Coming in second this round was Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opened in China to an estimated $17.8 million.  The Peter Jackson epic drew an estimated $18.6 million on the weekend over all drawn from 5,010 venues in 44 territories. Cume stands at $679 million.


Meanwhile, the foreign grosses of the best picture Oscar nominees are all over the lot:


Les Miserables’ worldwide gross total stands at nearly $400 million ($394.9 million) with the bulk of the action ($248.2 million) coming from foreign playdates. The musical’s Germany opening on the weekend produced $1.9 million at 377 situations, enough for a No. 4 market rank.  Weekend over all registered $9.3 million at 3,580 in 49 markets. Les Mis has seven more territories still to open including a debut in China, which occurs this week. 


Scoring significantly higher numbers offshore (cume $221.6 million) than in the U.S. and Canada (about $160 million), Sony’s Django Unchained’s box office confirms director Quentin Tarantino’s greater popularity overseas. In Germany and France alone, his film has grossed more than $75 million.  The latest weekend on the international circuit  generated $8.5 million at 3,855 venues in 61 markets. 


Setting no bonfires at the overseas box office in director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which has grossed about $90 million in the U.S. and Canada.  Foreign take via a number of offshore distributors should crack the $40 million mark this week, with Universal claiming $21 million of that total. This reverses the box office pattern of the director’s 2008 Oscar winner, The Hurt Locker, which collected $32 million abroad and less than $20 million domestically.


Also underperforming overseas is Ben Affleck’s Argo from Warner Bros. While its domestic tally stands at a robust $130 million or so, the foreign gross so far is nearing $80 million.


Of all the Oscar contenders, Fox’s The Life of Pi has performed the most spectacularly overseas -- $471 million to date, more than four times its domestic gross. Latest weekend for the Ang Lee film generated $2.1 million at 2,193 playdates in 16 territories.


On the other hand, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln also distributed by Fox has drawn $66.5 million on the foreign circuit as opposed to nearly $180 million in the U.S. and Canada.  Latest weekend offshore registered $5 million at 2,977 sites in 48 markets.


The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook’s foreign action lags behind its domestic take – about $52 million offshore versus $103 million domestically.  While Sony Classics’ German-French coproduction Amour from director Michael Haneke has grossed about $13 million offshore, its domestic take stands at leass than $5 million.  And Fox Searchlight’s low-budget Beasts of the Southern Wild has yet to play foreign.


Within shouting distance of the $500-million gross mark worldwide is Disney’s animation outing Wreck-It Ralph, which ranks No. 1 in the U.K.  Latest weekend on the foreign circuit in 68 territories generated $8 million, lifting the film’s foreign cume to $241.5 million and the worldwide total to $428.2 million.


Weekend take over all for the horror title, Mama starring Jessica Chastain, came in at  $5.5 million from 1,500 playdates in 19 territories. Foreign cume stands at $27.4 million. A No. 3 U.K. premier delivered $2.4 million at 392 situations.


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Paramount/MGM’s 3D co-production distributed overseas in most territories by the former, generated $4.8 million on its sixth weekend at 2,372 sites in 43 markets, hoisting its foreign gross total to $110.4  million.  Openings in the U.K., Germany, Spain and the Netherlands are on tap this week.


Flight starring Denzel Washington, distributed overseas by Paramount and other distributors, moved its overseas cume to $53.1 million thanks to a $5.1 million weekend 2,365 spots in 45 markets. Japan and South Korea open this week.     


With four weeks of school holidays looming in France, comedies are the order of the day for market newcomers.


Best grossing local language freshman was Gaumont’s release of Vive La France, a cultural satire costarring Jose Garcia and Michael Youn (who also directed) as a pair of Central Asian yokels on a mission to destroy the Eiffel Tower. Opening round drew an estimated $2.6 million at 502 playdates.


Securing the market’s No. 5 spot was Universal’s release of the family comedy, La Vrai Vie Des Profs (Real Life Teachers), which opened at 265 locations for an estimated $950,000, sufficient for a market ranking of either No. 5 or No. 6.


Other international cumes:  Warner’s Gangster Squad, $50.4 million thanks to a $3.2 million weekend at 2,230 sites in 42 markets; Paramount’s Jack Reacher, $133.6 million after a $3 million 10th weekend at 8,191 spots in 26 markets; Universal’s Identity Thief, $1 million; Paramount’s Tad – The Lost Explorer, $13 million in Latin American territories; Universal’s Ted, $321 million; Fox’s Break Up Man, $22.8 million; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $43.5 million; Sony’s Hotel Transylvania, 188.6 million; and Universal’s This Is 40, $11.4 million.