James Bond blew away foreign box office rivals as “Quantum of Solace” gunned down $106.5 million at 9,870 playdates in 60 territories — the 11th biggest international weekend ever.
Underlining Bond’s global popularity, Sony-MGM’s Bond pic averaged a socko $10,790 per location. It’s cumed an eye-popping $160.3 million internationally in its first 10 days even though it still hasn’t opened in Australia, Japan, Mexico and Spain.
“Solace,” which launched last weekend in the U.K., France and Sweden, took in more than triple the combined foreign take for the next four entries — “High School Musical 3,” “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” “Body of Lies” and “Saw V.”
“Solace” pulled in the second largest international weekend in 2008, trailing only the $146.6 million debut of “Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” It topped the bows of “Casino Royale” — top foreign grosser among Bondpics at $429 million — in each of its 57 new markets, with the openings in 13 of those markets more than doubling the “Casino” launches.
“Solace” also posted the top openings ever for Switzerland at $3.8 million, Finland at $1.7 million and the United Arab Emirates at $1 million along with Nigeria, Romania and Slovenia. Its beefy $9.1 million Chinese debut represented the second largest ever for a non-Chinese pic, and its $3.7 million Indian launch was the second-best among Hollywood entries.
The success of “Solace” — with a plot that picks up where “Casino Royale” left off — underscores the strong appetite among international moviegoers for franchises and actioners. Mark Zucker, who heads Sony’s international distribution, said the pic has far outperformed internal forecasts and has shown unexpectedly strong traction among teens.
Brit biz generated the top “Solace” number, declining 40% from its record-setting debut to $15.1 million for a 10-day cume of $50.3 million. Germany’s $15 million led the launches, followed by Russia and China with $9.1 million each, South Korea with $4.5 million, Italy with $4.3, Switzerland with $3.8 million, India with $3.5 million, Denmark with $2.9 million, Norway with $2.3, Holland with $2.2 million and Austria with $2.1 million.
The second French frame showed solid traction, declining 46% to $5.7 million for a 10-day cume of $20.5 million, while Sweden slid 42% to $1.4 million.
“Solace,” which opens next weekend in Mexico, should dominate the foreign box office for several more frames with the “Madagascar” sequel, “Bolt” and “Twilight” all seeing gradual release patterns. Fox’s “The Day the Earth Stood Still” will go day and date in most foreign markets during the second weekend of December.
Disney’s “High School Musical 3” led the rest of the pack during the frame with $13.6 million at 4,748 in 32 markets to boost its foreign cume to $109.4 million — the fifth Mouse House pic to top the $100 million mark overseas in 2008 after “Wall-E” at $262 million, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” “National Treasure 2” and “Enchanted.”
Par’s “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” continued to shine, with $9.2 million at 770 in only four markets to push its foreign cume to $40.2 million — $35.8 million of that from two weeks in Russia. Its $656,000 Hungarian launch notched the second-highest opening for a toon in that market.
In the few markets without “Quantum of Solace,” pics posted moderate results. Spain saw the best numbers with a $2.1 million launch of Warner’s “Body of Lies,” pushing the pic’s foreign cume to $16.4 million from 13 international territories while still early in its foreign run.
The soph sesh of “High School Musical 3” led in Mexico with $1 million. Fox’s Japanese launch of “X-Files: I Want to Believe” topped that chart, also with $1 million. And in Australia, the debut of Warner’s “Nights in Rodanthe” finished first with $960,000, beating the fourth frame of “Burn After Reading.”