Disaster master Emmerich’s pic in global bow

Sony expects to dominate the worldwide box office this weekend as Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster spectacle, “2012,” opens across all territories, looking to match the mammoth foreign success of the helmer’s “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Domestically, “2012” debuts in 3,404 runs, and box office observers say it could open north of $40 million or even substantially more. Overseas, it opens on roughly 13,000 screens in 105 countries. Emmerich’s “The Day After Tomorrow,” released by Fox in 2004, grossed a massive $357.5 million overseas and $186.7 million domestically.

Focus Features opens Richard Curtis’ “Pirate Radio” in 882 runs at the domestic B.O. Film, produced by Working Title and released by Universal Pictures overseas, underperformed at the foreign B.O., but Focus believes it will work domestically as counterprogramming to “2012.” Since the overseas run, Curtis has made changes to “Pirate Radio,” while Focus revamped the marketing campaign to target baby boomers.

Twentieth Century Fox is starting out Wes Anderson’s quirky family toon “Fantastic Mr. Fox” on a limited basis, opening in four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Film stars the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep and will expand nationwide on Nov. 25.

“Mr. Fox” is a big Fox title, although Fox Searchlight has consulted on the marketing. Studio is hoping to get both families and the arthouse crowd. Toon has done brisk business in the U.K. since debuting three weeks ago, grossing north of $11 million.

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