Twentieth Century Fox's 3D adventure Life of Pi -- virtually tailor-made for Asia audiences -- has jumped the $50 million mark in China for an early international total of $81 million.
Directed by Ang Lee, born in Taiwan, Life of Pi is heading into its third weekend of play in North America and select foreign markets. Its domestic total is north of $52 million for a worldwide cume of $132.7 million.
Life of Pi is based on Yann Martel's best-selling 2001 novel about an Indian boy lost at sea with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Boosted by the movie, the book is expected to unseat Fifty Shades of Grey for the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list this weekend.
In the film, Pi is played by young Indian actor Suraj Sharma.
Life of Pi has earned much of its international take from China, Taiwan, India and Hong Kong. Its Indian cume is $7.3 million, a strong number for an American title.
The big question is how the film will fare as it continues to rollout internationally. Costing $120 million to make excluding marketing costs, Life of Pi will need to do substantial business worldwide if Fox is to recoup its costs.
Life of Pi still has dozens of foreign markets in which to open. It debuted in Spain last weekend, grossing $2.4 million to come in No. 1.