Box Office Report: 'Snow White' Fairest of Them All with $56.3 Mil in North America

Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman has succeeded in winning over moviegoers, topping the domestic box office with a better-than-expected $56.3 million and opening to $95.6 million worldwide.

Sony's Men in Black 3 won the weekend overseas, however, grossing a strong $79.1 million in its sophomore session for a worldwide total of $387.7 million and international cume of $275.4 million. Domestically, the pic placed No. 2 with a pleasing $29.3 million for a 10 day cume of $112.3 million.

MIB3's impressive global hold is, at least in part, a testament to Will Smith's continuing star status, as well as good word of mouth.

Snow White -- starring Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth -- debuted to a solid but not spectacular $39.3 million internationally from 45 markets, and it will need svelte legs both at home and abroad to make back its $170 million production budget and hefty marketing spend. It has yet to a debut in a number of key foreign territories, including Russia and Australia.

The film's undeniable domestic strength is a needed win for Universal after box-office stumbles Battleship and The Five-Year Engagement. It's also the first of the recent fairy tale retellings to strike a chord with moviegoers, and a sequel is already in active development.

"From the get-go, the filmmakers, the cast and the studio conveyed how very unique this movie was and that its appeal would go beyond the usual Snow White audience," Universal president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco said.

Snow White was directed by Rupert Sanders and produced by Joe Roth.

It wasn't the only new Hollywood event pic making headlines. Opening in 15 markets overseas a week ahead of its June 8 domestic debut, Ridley Scott's 3D sci-fi spectacle Prometheus grossed a stellar $35 million for 20th Century Fox.

Prometheus -- also starring Theron, as well as Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender -- handily beat Snow White in the U.K. ($10 million versus $5 million), the only market where the two movies went up against each other. The top territory for Prometheus was Russia with $11.1 million.

Prometheus is performing especially well for an R-rated pic (in the U.K., it has the equivalent of a 15 rating).

Snow White opened higher overseas than The Hunger Games ($38.7 million) and the first Twilight ($30 million). Snow White opened No. 1 in 30 of the markets and generated strong returns in Latin America and Asia, including placing No. 1 in Mexico with $4.4 million. The U.K. was the film's highest-grossing market.

Universal's marketing operation is being praised by rival studios for succeeding in piquing the interest of males on the eve of Snow White's opening. The action-packed film needed both sexes to succeed and was never designed to appeal only to femmes. Exit polling revealed that females made up 53 percent of the opening weekend audience in North America, while males made up 47 percent.

Snow White did skew older, with 56 percent of the audience over the age of 25 and 52 percent over the age of 30. The film's B CinemaScore didn't appear to slow down the film, which was up on Saturday.

The weekend's other new wide entry was Arc Entertainment's historic epic For Greater Glory. The Andy Garcia-Eva Longoria starrer placed 10th with an estimated $1.8 million from 757 theaters.

At the specialty box office, Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Focus Features' Moonrise Kingdom both continued to turn in strong performances, along with French blockbuster comedy The Intouchables, distributed by the Weinstein Co.

The new offering at the specialty box office was Dimension Films' Piranha 3DD, which the Weinstein Co. released under its Radius TWC banner, meaning the pic opened simultaneously in theaters and on premium VOD. The Weinstein Co. had muted theatrical expectations for the film, which grossed $179,000 from 86 theaters for a location average of $7,004. Early numbers suggest it is doing good business on VOD.

Exotic Marigold Hotel grossed $4.6 million domestically from 1,294 theaters for a cume of $25.5 million. The feel-good pic, which has earned north of $107 million worldwide, placed No. 6 domestically.

In its second weekend, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom grossed $848,681 from 16 theaters for an impressive per-location average of $53,043 and cume of $1.7 million.

Intouchables grossed $350,186 from 50 theaters in its second outing for a location average of $7,004 and cume of $516,798.

Peter Oberth
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