International Box Office: Paramount's 'Thor' Claims No. 1 With Stellar $83 Million Opening

The Hollywood Reporter, 1 May 2011
By Frank Segers

Paramount's 'Thor' decisively claimed the weekend's No. 1 box office spot on the foreign theatrical circuit with a gross of $83 million -- 2011's biggest opening weekend tally by more than $25 million -- from some 7,250 locations in 56 overseas markets.

Director Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of a Stan Lee comic book about an otherworldly renegade warrior defending planet Earth opened at No. 1 in the U.K. and Ireland ($9 million from 500 situations over five days), in France ($8.1 million from 579 locales), South Korea ($5.7 million from 513 spots), Italy ($5.5 million from 455 locations) and Spain ($5 million from 377 situations).

'Thor' also recorded first-place openings in several smaller markets, including Taiwan ($2.1 million from 58 sites for a per-screen average of $36,206), Singapore and the Philippines. In Vietnam, the opener yielded $308,000 from 19 sites, which Paramount said was a three-day debut record for the market.

So far, 'Thor' has tallied an overall foreign gross of $93 million. The Marvel Entertainment outing opened last round in Australia, where this time it drew a second-weekend tally of $3.3 million from 226 locations, a 42% from the opener, hoisting the Down Under cume to $13.1 million.

Universal's 'Fast Five', which like 'Thor' opened overseas last weekend (in the U.K., Australia, South Korea and New Zealand), drew $45.3 million this time from 3,211 playdates in 14 territories, running up its early foreign gross total to $81.4 million.

'Fast Five' ranked No. 2 on the weekend overseas; in the U.S. and Canada it opened at No. 1 on the weekend. Worldwide, the fifth sequel in the turbocharged car action franchise has grossed $128.9 million.

The action title starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker grabbed No. 1 slots in each of its 10 new overseas markets, with Russia leading the pack with $11.5 million drawn from 712 sites. Other No. 1 debuts included Germany ($10.2 million from 633 spots), Austria ($1.4 million from 82 situations) and Turkey ($900,000 from 175 venues, Universal's biggest opening weekend in the market ever).

The biggest 'Fast Five' holdover was Australia, where it commanded the No. 1 slot with $4.7 million from 230 sites, off 41% from the opening round. Down Under cume stands at 20.9 million. 'Thor' is set to open in Finland and China by next weekend, while 'Fast Five' will open in 45 markets this week, including France, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox's 'Rio', which had been the No. 1 box office champ overseas for the past three weekends, finished its fourth stanza in the weekend's No. 3 spot with $31.7 million 10,560 locations in 67 markets.

International cume for the family-oriented animation title stands at $263 million, more than two-and-a-half times its domestic gross total. 'Rio' continues to thrive in No. 2 weekends France, Brazil and Mexico, with the France tally coming in at $4.9 million from 781 sites, an increase, said Fox, of 31% from the prior round. Rio has grossed a market total of nearly $36 million in Brazil so far.

Despite having no new overseas openings, Universal's ''Hop' snared $5.7 million from 3,800 sites in 53 territories, lifting its foreign gross total to $58.4 million. The Easter bunny title blending animation with live action has five more markets to play over the next few months, said Universal.

Fox's Depression-era drama 'Water for Elephants' picked up its box office pace offshore with a $4.7 million weekend at 1,851 screens in 23 markets. The Fox 2000 drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson opened at No. 4 in German with $1.9 million elicited from 411 situations. Foreign cume so far stands at 8.2 million.

A solid Italy opening plus steady holdover action in France drove the weekend tally of Summit International's thriller 'Source Code', starring Jake Gyllenhaal, to $4.5 million from about 1,525 screens in 36 territories and a $35 million offshore gross total to date.

'Just Go With It', Sony's comedy starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, pushed its overseas cume safely past the $100 million mark ($107.9 million) thanks to a $2.2 million weekend at 1,310 screens in 54 markets. Universal British-made road comedy Paul, with 34 markets still to play, bagged $2 million from 800 situations in 21 territories, lifting its overseas gross total to $49.2 million.

The biggest local-language title in France was 'La fille du Puisatier' (The Well Digger's Daughter), actor-director-scenarist Daniel Auteuil's update of Marcel Pagnol's 1940 romantic drama. The Pathe release nabbed the No. 3 market spot with $2.6 million drawn from 513 screens, off just 13% from its opening round.

Other international cumes: Sony's 'World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles', $118.1 million; Fox's 'Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son', $44 million; Pathe's 'Le Film Titeuf', $10.9 million over four rounds in France only; Fox's 'Black Swan', $191.6 million; Universal's 'The Adjustment Bureau', $52.7 million; Fox's 'Dairy of a Wimpy Kid', $6.2 million; Universal's 'Scream 4', $2 million over 10 days in Spain only; and Fox's 'Gulliver's Travels', $187.1 million.

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