Global box office revolves around ‘Earth’

Fox remake grosses $39.2 million overseas

Twentieth Century Fox’s “The Day the Earth Stood Still” came in No. 1 at the international box office in its day-and-date debut over the Dec. 12-14 weekend, grossing $39.2 million for a worldwide cume of $69.7 million in its first three days.

The remake of Robert Wise’s 1951 sci-fi classic met or bettered expectations in its launches in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the U.K. It also came in well ahead of predictions in action-hungry Russia, where it bagged a handy $5.6 million.

Upbeat results for the Keanu Reeves starrer were impressive given the fact Europeans were also busy Christmas shopping.

In Asia, “Earth” topped charts in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, grossing $4.5 million from 564 screens, according to Rentrak. Its performance was strongest in Hong Kong, where it accounted for 77% of the total box office.

In the U.K., “Earth” opened in the top spot with $4.2 million (including $800,000 in previews) at 465 screens via Fox. Result was north of the exhib’s cautious expectations, but overall box office still slipped 21% as Brits either stayed home to watch the televised “X-Factor” finale or shopped.

“Earth” easily took the top spot in Italy with $2.4 million from 448, in line with expectations despite an otherwise flat frame. Weekend was down 20% from the previous sesh due to heavy flooding in several regions and holiday activities.

In Spain, “Earth” also bowed on top with a solid $3.1 million from 465 for an average of $6,833.

Bad reviews bounced off “Earth” in France, where it grosed a decent $3.3 million to place No. 2.

Performance in Germany was softer, where the film earned $2.8 million from 804.

It was “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” that topped the box office both in France and Germany, looking forward to a strong holiday run for Paramount/DreamWorks Animation.

Overall, “Mad 2” placed No. 2 at the international box office for the frame, grossing a hearty $34.3 million from 5,168 for an international cume of $173.8 million in its seventh week in release. Toon’s worldwide total is a happy $343.7 million.

In France, “Escape 2 Africa” dropped 34% in its soph sesh but held top spot. Its healthy cume stands at $16.2 million with holiday biz still to come. German take for the weekend was $7.5 million for a $22 million cume in its second frame.

Summit’s “Twilight” continued its successful run as well, coming in No. 3 at the international box office with a gross of $11.1 million from 2,626 runs for an impressive foreign cume of $51.1 million and a worldwide total of $201 million — far ahead of anyone’s predictions. Many wondered how the film would play abroad, considering its American-centric storyline about a high school girl falling in love with a vampire.

James Bond installment “Quantum of Solace” and Disney’s toon “Bolt” essentially tied for No. 4 overseas.

“Solace” clocked in at $5 million from 3,892 runs for a stunning foreign cume of $367.4 million in its seventh weekend in release. Worldwide total is $525 million.

“Bolt” grossed $4.9 million from far fewer playdates –1,916 runs — for an overseas cume of $28.7 million in its third week (Disney is rolling out the family film slowly).

Disney’s “Wall-E” wasn’t far behind, grossing $4.6 million from 1,030 runs in its 25th week in release for a foreign cume of $277.6 million and worldwide cume of $501.4 million. Pic placed No. 6.

Coming in No. 7 was festive laffer “Four Christmases,” which is showing excellent traction abroad, just as it is domestically. Comedy grossed $4.2 million from 1,103 theaters for a foreign cume of $15.8 million in its third weekend.

The Warner Bros./New Line comedy has been a big overperformer in the U.K., via Entertainment. Pic slipped just 25% to push its cume to $10.2 million.

Entertainment didn’t have much luck with opener “Inkheart,” another Warner Bros./New Line film. The book-based fantasy managed only $1.1 million at 410 for a quite modest $2,601 per-screen average. “Inkheart” took in $1.9 million in Germany from 497.)

Placing No. 7 was Focus Features’ “Burn After Reading,” grossing $4 million from 971 runs for a foreign total of $79.2 million and worldwide total of $139.4. The grosses are a tribute to the enduring popularity of the Coen brothers.

Twentieth Century Fox’s Baz Luhrmann epic “Australia” came in No. 9, grossing $3.9 million from 1,048 playdates for a foreign total of $14.7 million in its third sesh, and a worldwide cume of $54.2 million. Pic will expand in earnest over the Christmas holidays.

German comedy “A.R.O.G.” rounded out the top 10 chart, grossing $3.4 million from 517 theaters in its second sesh for a cume of $15.2 million.

David Hayhurst in Paris, Dave McNary in Hollywood, Emilio Mayorga in Madrid, Ed Meza in Berlin and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.

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