‘Terminator’ strong in overseas debut

Sony sequel nabs $67.5 million at box office

“Terminator Salvation” showed plenty of power outside the United States, dominating the weekend’s foreign box office with $67.5 million at 8,325 playdates in 70 territories.

“T4,” handled by Sony in nearly all international markets, hunted down the third biggest weekend take of 2009, trailing only the launch frames for “Angels and Demons” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Overall foreign biz turned in a solid weekend as cooler temps in Europe boosted traffic. Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” finished second with $26.7 million at 8,300 in 66 markets and Sony’s “Angels and Demons” following with $22.3 million at 9,100 to bring its foreign cume to $293 million — by far the top performer outside the United States this year.

Sony had opted to hold off in the international launch for “Terminator Salvation” until two weeks after the U.S. opening, partly to avoid competing against “Angels and Demons.”

“Terminator Salvation” finished first in 66 territories led by the U.K. with $11.6 million, Russia with $8 million in the 10th biggest opening ever for a Hollywood film, France with $6.3 million, Germany with $6 million, Australia with $5.2 million and Spain with $4.9 million. International “T4” cume has hit $97.2 million — only $8 million short of the domestic total so far — with another $4.4 million from paid previews in Japan that will be counted in next weekend’s total.

Sony noted that the “T4” is  running 21% ahead of “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” for the same territories at the same point in their release. “Terminator 3” went on to finish its foreign run with $283 million, or nearly double its $150 million domestic cume.

“Night at the Museum 2,” which led last weekend, generated its top number from its South Korean launch of $4.77 million followed by $3.5 million in its third Brit frame, up 7%, and $2.5 million in its third German weekend. The comedy sequel’s cumed $148.3 million internationally, still less than half the $323 million grossed overseas by the original.

“Angels and Demons” remained particularly powerful in Germany with $3.8 million, off only 25% in its fourth frame for a cume of $26.2 million. The religious thriller’s now cumed 54% of the impressive $540 million final foreign take for “The Da Vinci Code,” also starring Tom Hanks and based on a Dan Brown novel.   

The frame also saw domestic leader “Up” land $7.8 million at 1,298, including a $3.8 million launch in Mexico — the second best opening for a Disney/Pixar title in that market — and a $2.6 million second frame in Russia, off 35%. Disney’s opted for a staggered foreign release that will last for the rest of the year.

Paramount’s “Star Trek” beamed up $6 million at 4,370 in 62 territories to bring its international total to $112 million. That’s more than double the best international performance by the previous 10 “Trek” pics with “Star Trek: First Contact” heading that list with $54 million.

Uni’s “State of Play” remained a moderate performer with $2.5 million at 1,170 in 28 territories for an  international total of  $28.1 million — about $8 million short of the domestic total with another 25 markets left.

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