Any concerns about how well Quentin Tarantino's slave saga "Django Unchained" would play overseas appear to have been put to rest. "Django" debuted at the international box office over the weekend and rung up an impressive $48 million from 54 markets.
The international opening for "Django" is 30 percent bigger than the aggregated opening weekends of director Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" ($37 million) in the same 54 markets in 2009. Germany led the way with $9.6 million, followed by France ($7.3 million), Russia ($5.4 million) and the U.K. ($4.8 million).
Sony is distributing "Django" internationally. It is being handled by the Weinstein Company in the U.S., where last week it became Tarantino's highest-grossing film domestically, with $138.3 million, surpassing the $120 million haul of "Basterds."
Another film that deals with slavery in the early U.S., DreamWorks' "Lincoln," also made it foreign debut.
Fox, which is handling Steven Spielberg's historical drama overseas, opened it in Spain and Mexico and took in $3 million. It was on 344 screens in Spain and finished second with $2.3 million, and brought in $729,000 from 259 screens in Mexico.
"Lincoln" goes much wider next weekend when it opens in 19 markets including Brazil, Germany, Italy, Russia and the U.K.
Fox's "Life of Pi" continued its extraordinary overseas run, adding $20.7 million as it heads toward an international haul of $400 million. It was at $393 million as of Sunday.
"Pi" held the top spot for the third week with $2.9 million in Australia, where its overall gross stands at $20.7 million. It's been No. 1 in Chile for the past three weeks and in Peru for the past four. It added $2 million in the U.K., where it has taken in $39 million.
The final two openings for director Ang Lee's lyrical epic itake place next weekend in Japan and Venezuela.
Universal's "Les Miserables" added $19 million from 30 markets to up its international total to $150 million and its worldwide total to $280.8 million.