Cannes' main competition titles enter commercial playoff with mixed results; China draws in $20 million for "MIB3" while Russia kicks in nearly $19 million, but summer-like weather dampens European action.
Men In Black 3, the second sequel in Sony’s billion-dollar sci-fi franchise, took over the foreign theatrical circuit this weekend, opening at 22,435 venues in 103 territories, grossing $132 million and firmly shoving aside The Avengers as the No. 1 film overseas.
Costarring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, director Barry Sonnenfeld’s special effects extravaganza in 3D premiered No. 1 in 101 markets with China leading the list with $20.6 million drawn from 6,073 screens. Russia comes in second with $18.8 million from 1,547 sites.
In all, said Sony, MIB3 grossed more than $52.2 million in Asia. China action was the market’s second biggest opening of 2012, and the seventh biggest opening weekend ever for a Hollywood film, beating the recent China bows of The Avengers and Battleship.
Japan ($7.98 million at 980 venues) and South Korea ($8.53 million at 950 spots) were strong but the No. 1 grosses in European markets were inhibited by unseasonably warm weather presenting competing distractions for prospective cinemagoers. In the U.K., the take was $4.96 million at 1,242 locations while France kicked in $5.64 million drawn from 889 situations.
IMAX screens playing MIB3 drew $6.1 million from 195 screens through Monday, said IMAX senior vp worldwide distribution, Phil Groves. IMAX’s international cume is expected to be $7 million.
The film’s overseas debut is the second highest of 2012, after the $185.1 million posted by The Avengers on the weekend of April 29.
The first two titles in the Men In Black series received better receptions offshore than in the U.S. and Canada, rolling up a total of $590.1 million foreign versus $441.1 million domestic. 1997’s Men in Black grossed $338.7 million offshore versus $250.7 million in the U.S. and Canada while 2002’s Men in Black II compiled $251.4 million foreign, $190.4 million domestic.
Ranking No. 2 after four consecutive weekends as the offshore box office champ was Marvel’s The Avengers, distributed by Disney, which drew $26.3 million on the weekend from playdates in 54 territories, hoisting the foreign gross for the action-packed mélange of comic book heroes to $781.6 million through Sunday.
Disney said the film is now No. 4 on the list of all-time foreign box office hits following last year’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which grossed $771 million overseas. Worldwide estimate for The Avengers stands at $1.295 billion.
The weekend’s third-ranked title was Warner Bros.’ Dark Shadows, which grossed $13.1 million at 5,100 screens in 53 markets. International cume to date exceeds the $100-million mark ($106.6 million).
Director Tim Burton’s big screen version starring Johnny Depp of a vintage tv soap opera remains especially popular in Japan, where it snared $3.2 million from 572 screens in its second market round, down just 38% from the opener. The market cume is $13 million.
Finishing No. 4 on the weekend was Paramount’s release of the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator, which dropped 53% from its opening round, amassing $11.8 million at 2,928 locations in 29 markets.
A No. 2 second stanza in Australia dropped 48% to $2.59 million at 231 spots, lifting the market cume to $9.7 million. The Dictator was also No. 2 in the U.K., dropping 66% from its opener to $1.8 million drawn from 499 locations. Market cume there is $12.1 million.
Opening No. 4 in the U.K. was Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting, a comedy starring Cameron Diaz about multiple families facing childbirth. Debut weekend at some 420 screens drew an estimated $1.5 million. The film opened a week ago in eight small markets, and has rolled up a foreign cume of about $12 million thus far.
The commercial spillover of main competition films at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival began in earnest on the weekend.
Universal opened director Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom costarring Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis in the U.K. where it ranked No. 7 in the market with an estimated take of $400,000 at 163 screens. The film also opened No. 8 in France at some 225 sites via Studio Canal and No. 10 in Germany via Tobis at about 80 spots.
Dropping about 60% in its second round in in France was UGC’s release of director Jacques Audiard’s Un gout de rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone). The drama about an ex-boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts) who takes up with a trainer of killer whales (Marion Cotillard) drew an estimated $1.3 million from 394 playdates, lifting its market cume to $6.1 million.
Opening No. 5 in France via MK2 Diffusion was On the Road, director Walter Salles’ film version of the Jack Kerouac novel. Opener at some 300 screens drew an estimated $750,000. In the U.K., Entertainment One debuts this week director Ken Loach’s social realist fairy tale, The Angels Share.
Universal’s American Pie: Reunion moved its total foreign gross to $165.5 million after the raunchy comedy sequel’s $3.3 million weekend at 3,500 situations in 40 territories. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend overall.
Universal’s sci-fi/action spectacular Battleship has grossed $232.7 million overseas following a $2.9 million weekend at 5,800 playdates in 49 territories.
Warner’s The Lucky One, a romantic melodrama starring Zac Efron, grossed $2 million on the weekend at 1,700 screens in 29 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $29.4 million.
Other International cumes: Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, $80.4 million; Universal’s Hanni & Nanni 2, $2.1 million in three German-speaking markets; Fox’s The Descendants, $93 million; Pathe’s Le Prenom, $20.3 million in France only; Fox’s Chronicle, $62.3 million; Universal’s The Five-Year Engagement, $7.7 million; and Fox’s Titanic 3D, $286 million.