'Angels,' 'Terminator' propel box office sales

Sony is having a golden summer at the international box office.

“Angels and Demons,” the studio’s sequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” jumped the $400 million mark internationally over the June 5-7 weekend, becoming the highest-grossing title of 2009 at the worldwide box office.

The Ron Howard-directed film has made up for a so-so domestic run with a dizzying foreign performance. Through June 7, “Angels’ ” domestic total was $116.9 million. Foreign take was a boffo $292 million for a worldwide tally of $408.5 million.

And it was Sony’s “Terminator Salvation” that won the weekend at the foreign B.O. for the same weekend frame. Making its first major push, the film grossed $67.5 million for an early foreign total of $101.4 million.

Like “Angels,” “Salvation” will see a much stronger perf overseas than domestically, where the pic’s cume is $105.6 million.

“Salvation’s” weekend was led by the U.K. at $11.1 million, Russia with $8 million, France with $6.7 million, Germany with $5.9 million and Australia with $5.2 million.

Sony was the big winner in Germany, where “Salvation” easily terminated Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and helped boost ticket sales by nearly 34% over the previous week. “Angels” came in second.

The latest installment in the killer robot franchise was still far behind the pace set by 2003’s “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” which opened with $8.7 million, thanks in large part to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star power.

McG’s “Salvation” largely has been panned by local critics. Describing it as “sapless,” magazine Der Spiegel complained it lacked the single-mindedness of the titular character that provided the tempo and rhythm of the previous films.

“Angels and Demons” continued to wow Teutons, as its cume grew by $3.6 million to $37.2 million in its fourth frame.

“Salvation” easily conquered the Italo and Spanish box offices as well.

In Italy, the film grabbed the No. 1 spot in an otherwise flat frame that saw Gallic crimer “Ca$h” return a meager outing as the country’s other notable bow. “T4″ pulled a decent $2 million from 516 via Sony, but the weekend was still down 19% to $6.8 million compared with the previous Italo frame due to early summer beach weather and European elections. The ultra-slick “Ca$h,” toplining Jean Reno and local draw Valeria Golino, opened at No. 6 with nearly $266,000 off 136 via local distrib Moviemax.

“Salvation” bit off $4.6 million in Spain, establishing a great per-location average of $8,204 from 563 playdates.

Coming in No. 2 at the international box office for the sesh was 20th Century Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.” The film grossed $26.7 million from 8,300 playdates in 66 territories for a foreign cume of $148.3 million in its fourth frame. The pic has grossed $128.8 million domestically for a worldwide total of $277.1 million.

“Angels” followed at No. 3, while Japanese pic “Rookies the Movie” placed No. 4 with a dazzling $10.7 million on 838,231 admissions. “Rookies” was down only 17% from the previous weekend, bringing its nine-day total to $33.8 million. At that rate, box observers expect the pic to cume north of $80 million. “Rookies” was produced by the TBS network from its hit drama series about young thugs who join a high school baseball team. The pic is distributed by Toho.

Coming in No. 5 at the foreign box office was Disney-Pixar’s 3-D summer toon “Up.” Playing on 1,298 screens in only five markets, the toon grossed $7.8 million. The pic is turning into a domestic powerhouse, grossing $137.2 million over its first 10 days in release.

Disney is opting for a staggered foreign release that will last for the rest of the year, a typical rollout for a toon.

“Up’s” foreign take included a $3.8 million launch in Mexico, where the box office is slowly recovering from the disruption sparked by the swine flu.

The first batch of summer tentpoles had to delay their launches because of the contagion and subsequent theater closures.

Cinema owners and distributors essentially lost the first three weeks of May, between dark moviehouses and then a series of restrictions imposed when theaters reopened.

For a short period of time, some Mexico City theaters required every customer coming through the door to sanitize hands, creating long, winding lines. Initially, the government said movie patrons everywhere would have to sit seven feet apart from one another, but when exhibitors complained, the rule became a recommendation only.

David Hayhurst in Paris, Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona, Mark Schilling in Tokyo and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.

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