Oscar-related films continued to dominate an anemic foreign theatrical circuit over the weekend with Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained leading the pack for the third consecutive round, grossing $30.6 million at 6,060 screens in 65 markets and boosting the film’s international cume to $158.2 million.
20th Century Fox’s release of Steven Spielberg’s historical epic Lincoln with its dozen Oscar nominations expanded its foreign run by more than 20 territories, and drew $13 million from 3,510 situations in 43 markets. Top market was France where the opener threw off $2.8 million at 312 sites. With openings in seven markets due this week, Lincoln’s foreign gross total stands at $32.7 million.
Fox’s Life of Pi pulled $10.1 million from 5,224 situations in 48 territories, lifting its foreign cume to $443.5 million. Director Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel now ranks as Fox’s ninth biggest foreign grosser.
Director Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, also enlarged its foreign footprint via Universal and other distributors. Weekend take was $3.7 million at 1,400 playdates in eight markets handled by Universal. A Germany opening at No. 8 drew $892,000 at 296 sites. The film also opened No. 4 in Australia via Icon. Total foreign gross so far from all distributors is estimated at $25 million.
Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell’s comedy-drama being handled by myriad local distributors oversees, opened No. 4 in France via Studio Canal at some 255 locations, grossing an estimated $2 million, while a No. 2 debut in Australia via Roadshow generated about $3 million at 233 spots. The Weinstein Co. coproduction has eight Oscar nominations including a best-picture nod as well as nominations for costars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
Unchained maintained its No. 1 rank in at least 10 territories, and for the third straight weekend the biggest single market remained Germany ($6.35 million drawn from 865 locations, down only about 20% from the prior round; market cume, $29.8 million).
The action western costarring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz (a Vienna native) and Leonardo Di Caprio, adorned with five Oscar nominations, remained No. 1 in France (cume $22.8 million), Australia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Belgium and New Zealand.
Premiering No. 1 in six of 17 new markets was Hansel and Gretel: The Witch Hunters, Paramount/MGM’s 3D co-production distributed overseas in most territories by the former. With Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton portraying the title pair as bounty hunters, the film drew $15.3 million from 3,250 cinemas in 37 markets, bringing the action title’s foreign cume to $62.5 million over three stanzas.
Top markets remained Brazil ($2.75 million drawn in the second round at 367 sites for a local cume of $10.3 million) and Mexico ($2.2 million in second stanza at 570 locations for a market cume of $7.5 million). Hansel and Gretel opens in six territories this week including Australia.
Poised to cross the $200-million foreign box office mark on Monday is Universal’s Les Miserables, which nabbed $12.2 million on the weekend at 2,665 venues in 40 territories. The foreign cume currently stands at $198.4 million. (Worldwide, it has grossed just under $340 million.)
Le Mis set opening records for a musical in Brazil and Thailand, and remains for the fourth consecutive weekend the No. 1 title in the U.K. ($4.7 million at 551 sites for a 24-day market cume of $48.2 million). Five openings are due this week including a Russia bow.
Opening with a splash in South Korea was C.J. Entertainment’s release of The Berlin File, director Seung-wan Ryoo’s action drama about South Korean intelligence agents on a mission in Berlin. Opening market launch at some 880 locations drew an estimated $11.3 million, easily taking the No. 1 spot. (Four of the top five titles in the market were locally-made productions with Universal’ Les Miserables the only foreign film represented at No. 5.)
Attracting some foreign box office traction was Paramount and other distributors’ Flight, starring best-actor nominee Denzel Washington. The weekend generated $9.2 million from 2,036 spots in 22 markets. Foreign cume stands at $22.3 million, $15.7 million of which was earned in territories handled by Paramount. Openings in seven territories are on tap this week including in Mexico and Brazil.
Summit/Lionsgate’s The Impossible, costarring best actress nominee Naomi Watts, held steadily overseas, grossing $7.3 million on the weekend including a No. 3 opening take of $1.3 million at 247 locations in Italy. International cume for the tsunami disaster film stands at $129.7 million.
In China, Sony/MGM’s Skyfall has surpassed the $50-million mark ($50.4 million), after a $6.1 million market weekend at 8,079 venues. Playdates in 24 other markets boosted the weekend take to $6.7 million, elevating the James Bond’s sequel’s foreign gross total to $791.5 million.
Warner Bros.’ release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey grossed $4.2 million on the weekend at more than 3,600 sites in 59 territories, pushing the cume for director-producer Peter Jackson’s epic to $653 million including an $86.6 million Germany market cume, marking the territories top grosser of 2012. The same distrib’s crime drama, Gangster Squad, yielded $4.7 million at some 2,700 spots in 46 markets, pushing its gross total to $35.4 million. France and Spain open this week.
Paramount’s Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise registered $4.6 million in its seventh overseas stanza at 2,994 sites in 60 markets. International cume stands at $112.1 million. The action vehicle opened in Cruise-friendly Japan where it nabbed a substantial $3.6 million at 321 venues.
Opening No. 9 via Splendid in Germany ($850,000 drawn from 457 sites) was Lionsgate’s release of The Last Stand, the action vehicle starring Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, which collected $3.7 million on the weekend overall including so-so proceeds from Italy and Spain debuts. Early foreign cume stands at $13.2 million.
Universal’s comedy Ted crossed the $300-million foreign gross mark on Friday, said the distributor. Cume stands at $303.8 millin. In Japan, Ted appears in contention for the market’s No. 1 spot (although Paramount says Jack Reacher claims that distinction). Japan tally was $3.3 million on the weekend at 143 situations.
Top newcomer in France is SND’s release of Amities Sinceres (Sincere Friendships) , a comedy codirected by Stephan Archinard and Francois Provost-Leygonie and starring Gerard Lanvin. Opener at some 460 sites generated $2.2 million, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking.
Other international cumes: Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, $193.4 million after a $4 million weekend in 61 markets; Fox’s Parental Guidance, $37.7 million; Universal’s This Is 40, $6.1 million; Fox’s Break Up Man, $18.2 million in two markets; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $38.2 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Rise of the Guardians, $197.3 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $44 million; and Universal’s Chinese Zodiac, the Jackie Chan title opened Russia form $4.3 million at 798 playdates.