By Sterling Wong
With no new big franchise titles out in the international marketplace, Warner Bros.’ Journey 2: The Mysterious Island continued its reign atop the overseas box office, grossing $18.5M from 8,500 screens in 48 markets.
This weekend, the family adventure movie opened atop the Italian charts with $2.4M from 418 sites, while France added $2.7M in its second week. Powered by the casting of Dwayne Johnson, the sequel has now surpassed the original’s $143M overseas lifetime gross, as its tally is now $159.2M. A finish over $200M looks highly likely now for the burgeoning franchise film.
In second place was Universal’s Safe House, which rebounded 130% from last week to earn $13.6M from 3,389 screens in 46 markets, bringing the film’s total to $35.9M. The Denzel Washington thriller’s climb was aided by openings in 11 territories, including the UK ($3.6M at 425 dates, making it Washington’s biggest UK opening after American Gangster), France ($2.2M at 309 dates) and Germany ($2M at 360 dates). The film is still to open in 16 more markets, with Italy, Korea and three others to do so next weekend.
Fox’s This Means War inched up a notch from its $11.0M total last week, earning $11.7M from 2,969 locales in 41 territories to claim third. Reese Witherspoon’s rom-com drawing power clearly is still strong overseas, as the movie debuted at No. 1 in 8 new markets, while Russia ($3.5M, down 23%) and Australia ($1.4M, down 29%) enjoyed muscular second week holds. So far, with only two of the top 10 overseas markets having released, the movie’s international cume stands at a healthy $27.0M.
While it is unlikely to nab the Best Picture Oscar, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo enjoyed an Oscars boost this weekend, as it grossed $6.7M from 1,851 locales in 35 Paramount-distributed territories. In Spain, the film bowed at No. 1 with $2.1M from 278 screens, while in Brazil, the film increased 35% in its second weekend to earn $1.3M from 239 sites. So far, Hugo’s total in these 35 markets in $37.9M, but an Oscars boost next weekend should pump that figure up by some.
Increasing 45% thanks to a $3.3M No. 1 debut in France, Fox’s Chronicle took in $5.5M from 1,888 screens in 38 markets to push its overseas total to $38.4M.
Another Oscar hopeful, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, also held strong, grossing $5.3M from 2,615 sites in 51 territories. The Fox release has now cumed $77.7M overseas, thanks in large part undoubtedly to the appeal of George Clooney.
The third Oscar Best Picture nominee in this week's top 10 is Disney's War Horse, which trudged along with another $5.1M from 48 markets to take its total overseas to $62.7M.
Meanwhile, George Lucas’ 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D brought home another $5.0M this weekend from 3,003 sites in 59 markets. For this particular release, the iconic Fox feature has grossed $46.1M internationally so far.
Lowly-budgeted horror flick The Devil Inside also added another $5M from 1,173 screens in 20 territories to its coffers to take its overseas cume to $15.5M. The movie jumped back to box office life with five openings this week. Especially impressive was Mexico’s $2.2M take, which represented the second highest all-time horror opening, Paramount noted in its email.
With no new openings this week, Sony’s The Vow faded away a tad, earning $4.6M from 1,580 sites in 23 markets for a $30.4M overseas total.
Close behind was fellow Sony release, Underworld: Awakening, which hauled in another $4.5M from 2,134 screens in 53 territories. South Korea opened with $1.2M on 404 screens to take its strong overseas cume right near the $75M mark.
Even with marquee names Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, Warner Bros.’ Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close could only draw $3.7M from 23 market for a tepid overseas cume of $8.5M. In Mexico, the film opened to $686,000 from 332 sites, while in Brazil, it debuted with $435,000 from 97.
Falling 59% was Paramount’s heavyweight Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which grossed $3.4M from 3,637 screens in 65 markets. Again, China provided the bulk of its late strength, contributing $2.4M of that figure from 3,000 sites. The Tom Cruise vehicle’s international total is now an eye-popping $471.5M.
Debuting at No. 1 in Australia with $1.8M, Mark Walberg’s action flick Contraband also rebounded sharply to take home $2.2M from 600 screens in 20 territories in all. The Universal release’s overseas total now stands at $12.2M with 33 markets still to open.
Other select international results:
Big Miracle ($800K; Cume: $3M), Puss in Boots ($2.1M; Cume: $383.5M), In Time ($3.1M in Japan; Cume: $119.6M), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($3.6M in the UK), Jack And Jill ($3.9M; Cume: $68.2M), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Cume: $124.3M), Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (Cume: $327M)
Los Angeles -- Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, announced today that advance ticketing records were set by Lionsgate's upcoming thriller, "The Hunger Games", which has already sold out hundreds of showtimes in advance of the film's March 23 release date. Even though the film doesn't open for another month, the first-day ticket sales on Wednesday, February 22 broke the previous first-day advance ticket-seller record held by "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" on Friday, May 14, 2010.
"'The Hunger Games' is off to a fantastic start," says Rick Butler, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fandango. "Yesterday we saw the biggest first day advance ticket sales in our company's nearly 12-year history - which is especially impressive for a March release and a non-sequel."
Theater owners are continuing to add new showtimes, while fans are scooping up advance tickets at http://www.fandango.com/thehungergames/movieguide.
LOS ANGELES -- On the eve of Academy Awards® weekend, moviegoers have voted DreamWorks Pictures' The Help as the Best Picture of the Year in Fandango's fourth annual Fan Choice Awards. The awards are based on a survey of tens of thousands of film fans on Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination.
With the majority of the vote (27%), the Oscar®-nominated drama The Help beat the wildly popular blockbusters, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (14%) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (9%). The awards will be presented at CinemaCon during its 2012 "Big Screen Achievement Awards" Ceremony on Thursday, April 26th in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
"Fandango's Fan Choice Awards have previously gone to fantasy and action films, including installments from the Harry Potter and Twilight sagas, so the selection of a Southern period piece, like The Help, is surprising," said Chuck Walton, editor-in-chief of Fandango. "This could bode well for the Oscar®-nominated film, which has captured moviegoers' attention. Among all major 2011 releases, The Help received the best fan reviews and ratings on our site -- there's clearly an under-served audience hungry for adult entertainment."
In addition to voting for the Best Picture Award, thousands of Fandango moviegoers rallied behind their favorites in several unusual categories, including:
Most Mind-Blowing Action Sequences: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Best Movie Dog: Snowy - The Adventures of Tintin
The "Women Behaving Badly" Award: Cameron Diaz - Bad Teacher
Most Unexpected Surprise - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Cutest Movie of the Year - The Muppets
For more details, go to http://awardswatch.fandango.com.
The Fandango Fan Choice Award best picture presentation will take place at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), taking place from April 23-26, 2012.
"Access Hollywood"s Billy Bush will emcee the Final Night Festivities at CinemaCon 2012, the largest and most important gathering of cinema owners from around the world.