Easily dominating the foreign box office, James Bond pic Skyfall opened to a staggering $77.7 million from 25 markets, paving the way for the 23rd installment in the multi-billion franchise to become the best of the series.
Biggest Bond not starring the British actor was No. 20, 2002’s Die Another Day with Pierce Brosnan as 007, which drew $271.1 million. (The biggest foreign grosser of the seven Sean Connery Bonds produced by Eon was No. 4, 1965’s Thunderball, $77.6 million).
Meanwhile, Argo, actor-director Ben Affleck’s international thriller, opened No. 1 in Australia ($2.1 million including previews at 351 situations) and grossed $5 million on the weekend overall at some 480 sites in 15 territories for a per-screen average of $nearly 12,350. It held at No. 1 in Taiwan in its second round there ($302,000 from 68 spots.
Debuts in Spain, Germany, the Ukraine, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and in the Middle East powered Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania -- a comedy voiced by Adam Sandler and Kevin James about a boy who discovers Dracula is real -- to an $18.1 million fourth week of foreign release at 5,550 sites in 50 markets and pushing the title’s foreign gross total to $68.8 million. The Spain opening provided $3.6 million at 623 spots.
Opening in 12 new territories in its second weekend, last week’s No. 1 title overseas, Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 4, grossed $14.1 million this time – down 47% from its opening round – from 4,467 locations in 45 territories, lifting its foreign gross total to $48.3 million.
No. 1 debuts are expected in Peru, Singapore and Malaysia with a No. 2 bow in The Netherlands generating $538,000 at 45 spots for a per-screen average of nearly $12,000. Paranormal Activity 4 opens this week in seven markets including Japan.
Universal opened The Bourne Legacy in China, where the action’s No. 1 debut furnished an estimated $11 million in its first four days. The figure is larger “than the combined lifetime totals of the three previous Bourne films in China,” said the distributor. The China figure provided almost all of the weekend’s $11.5 million overall gross drawn from some 6,000 playdates in 25 territories. Foreign cume stands at $138.5 million.
Grossing $10.1 million at 6,534 venues in 64 markets, Taken 2 pushed its total foreign gross just shy of the $200-million mark ($199.6 million) and to $314 million worldwide. 20th Century Fox is handling the thriller starring Liam Neeson in most foreign markets while co-producer EuropaCorp is distributing the sequel in 33 markets accounting for a weekend tally of $3.6 million at 2,500 spots and a cume of $56.8 million.
In Spain, Warner Bros. Espana’s release of Lo Impossible (The Impossible), director Juan Antonio Bayona’s action adventure costarring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, dominated the market for the third consecutive weekend, drawing $8.7 million from 643 screens and lifting its market cume to $34.3 million.
Over 21 rounds on the foreign theatrical circuit, DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is breathing hard on the half-billion gross mark ($495.7 million). The weekend provided the Paramount release with $8.4 million drawn from 2,153 situations in 28 countries. Second weekend action in the U.K. dipped just 20% to $4.7 million from some 540 sites, taking the No. 2 market spot.
The biggest grossing French-language title in France on the weekend was Wild Bunch Distribution’s release of Astrerix et Obelix: Au Service De Sa Majeste, the fourth comedy adventure directed by Laurent Tirard based on a series of popular French comic books. The live action title in 3D starring Gerard Depardieu finished No. 2 (after Skyfall) in its second round with an estimated $5.1 million drawn from 762 playdates. Market cume stands at $15.3 million.
Ted, director Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-fantasy starring Mark Wahlberg, pushed its international gross total to $270.3 million -- with two territories still to play, including Japan -- thanks to an $5 million weekend at 2,2005 locations in 36 markets. (Worldwide tally is $488.9 million.) Weekend action from the film’s India opening will not be reported until Monday.
Opening strongly in France was Stars Des Annees 80, co-directors Frederic Forestier and Thomas Langmann’s comedy about two producers staging concerts featuring 80’s pop stars. The Warner Bros. France release premiered at some 560 locations and drew an estimated $4 million.
Disney’s Frankenweenie, director Tim Burton’s comedy animation with horror overtones, drew $3.5 million in its second round overseas playing in 27 territories, raising its foreign cume to $17.7 million. Director Oliver Stone’s Savages opened No. 2 in Italy ($1.2 million at 308 sites), and drew $3 million on the weekend overall at 1,400 dates in 35 markets. Overseas cume stands at $26.8 million.
Other international cumes: Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $73.2 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $2.5 million; Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, $712 million; Universal’s ParaNorman, $38.5 million; Fox’s The Watch, $31.3 million; and Warner Bros. France’s Les Seigneurs, $19.2 million in France only.