GLOBAL PREVIEW: Is ‘Iron Man 3’ The Only Movie Playing in the Whole World?

on May 02, 2013

53429296680800441582126.jpgNo, it isn't (duh), but no one seems to be watching much else.

Iron Man 3 stole all the headlines last weekend in the global box office. The third installment of the superhero franchise broke box office records and took the top spot in each of the territories it opened. A $21.2 million take in the U.K. led the charge until Wednesday's China numbers came in. Iron Man 3 is poised to be a global juggernaut, recording the highest single-day gross in Chinese box office history: an estimated $21.5 million. Iron Man 3 has grossed $307 million in its overseas run.  

Iron Man 3 rolled out in Germany and Russia mid-week, where box office competition is limited to a slew of hold-overseas. Scary Movie 5 took advantage of the scaled release and won the top spot in its German premiere, while Russian hockey biopic Legend No.17 has held the top spot in Russia for two consecutive weeks.  

Other major distributors are taking a conservative approach around Iron Man 3's global release. Universal is rolling out Jurassic Park 3D and Identity Theft to more territories this weekend, hoping to get a push from audiences looking for an alternative to the superhero movie.   Identity Theft, a comedy about a fat, obnoxious American woman on a road trip with her hapless identity theft victim, might not be the easiest comedy to sell abroad. The comedy has grossed $34.5 million in 20 territories and will open in 8 additional countries this weekend. Mexico is the only potential market to stand out in that group; the only American comedy currently performing in the top ten is This is 40, struggling in 9th place after its second week with a gross under the half-million dollar mark. Identity Theft might walk away with an unexpected push from Mexico this weekend if it can find traction with local audiences.  

Jurassic Park 3D will open in six more territories this weekend. France is the biggest market on that list. The competitive and saturated nature of the French box office, however, offers no guarantees. France, along with China, is one of the most competitive markets for any release. Audiences are eclectic, loyal to domestic films, and see a great diversity of new releases each week to create one of the most dynamic markets in the world. I'm not sure how a 3D re-conversion/release will fare with French audiences, but its $7 million overseas total is already a good return for a film that cost $10 million to re-package under the glossy new 3D technology.  

Paramount will be happy after G.I. Joe: Retaliation surpassed its predecessor with an overseas total that currently stands at $232.7 million. The China release has been a big success, grossing over $50 million. Iron Man 3 will likely slow down its performance; the big story of the weekend might be how G.I. Joe fares in China with the release of Iron Man 3 in full swing. G.I. Joe will release in Japan, its last remaining major territory, on June 8. Meanwhile, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters will try their luck in Italy, where it will open this weekend.  

You can take a look at which films performed best last weekend by accessing our weekly territory-by-territory rundown of the global box office's top markets.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more on the global box office.

Tags: Jurassic Park 3D, Identity Thief, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Iron man 3, Global

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