Vampires draw box office blood

‘New Moon,’ ‘2012’ do well at box office

Vampire romancer “New Moon” and Sony’s disaster pic “2012” continued to dominate the international B.O. over the Nov. 27-29 frame, pulling in $85.1 million and $61.6 million, respectively.

Summit Entertainment’s “New Moon” completed its second weekend with a foreign cume of $132.1 million and a worldwide total of $363.1 million.That’s less than $25 million shy of the $385 million grossed globally by “Twilight” in its entire run.

From filmmaker Roland Emmerich, “2012” has amassed a sizeable war chest overseas, grossing $61.6 million in its third weekend for a boffo foreign cume of $455.8 million and worldwide total of $594.3 million. Pic has done far less business domestically, where the total haul was $138.5 million through Nov. 29.

While the two pics gobbled up most of the business, there were other notable performances.

Robert Zemeckis’ “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” placed No. 3 for the frame, up 6% over the previous weekend in grossing $21.4 million from 5,328 playdates in 48 territories. Holiday title ended the frame with a foreign cume of $90.8 million and worldwide total of $195.7 million.

“Christmas Carol,” toplining Jim Carrey, saw solid openings in France, Korea and Argentina. In France, the 3D opened to an estimated $3.2 million from 321 screens.

Continuing to be the driver was the U.K., where “Christmas Carol” declined a slim 10% in its fourth sesh to an estimated $3.3 million from 611 for a cume of $18.9 million.

In Japan, “Christmas Carol” moved up from third to second, grossing $1.8 million for a cume of $12.6 million.

Toon “Planet 51,” produced by Spanish company Ilion Animation, came in a strong No. 4 for the weekend, grossing $9.5 million from 5,077 playdates in 11 territories for a foreign cume of $13.5 million and worldwide total of $42 million.

Weekend was led by Spain, where “Planet 51” launched at $4.3 million from 507 via DeAPlaneta. It took second after “New Moon,” edging out “2012.”

“It’s an excellent opening, beyond expectations. Probably the best ever for a Spanish tooner,” said one exhib.

Coming in No. 5 was “Paranormal Activity,” which grossed a healthy $8.5 million from 1,911 theaters in 10 markets for a foreign cume of $10.8 million.

The U.K debut led with $6 million from 394 locations via Icon Entertainment. Summit Entertainment, which owns world rights to the film, presold the franchise to local foreign distribs.

“Paranormal” opened to a much softer $995,196 from 205 in Spain. Film began rolling out overseas last month, but hasn’t seen the same sort of business it reaped at the domestic B.O., where the film has grossed north of $107 million.

“New Moon,” based on the best-selling book series by Stephenie Meyer, stayed No. 1 in a number of major holdover markets, including the U.K., where the pic’s cume was $33.7 million through Nov. 29.

“New Moon” did bonanza biz in its German launch, grossing $17 million from 703 playdates, the biggest weekend opening ever for Concorde Filmstory. Pic also scored the second best start this year in Germany after “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which took in a boffo $25 million in its opening weekend in July.

Local critics largely panned vampire pic. Weekly magazine Spiegel wrote: “More toothless and anemic vampires have seldom been seen on the screen” and expressed astonishment at “how little the syrupy thriller serial has to offer for its success.”

Concorde likewise enjoyed stratospheric success with “Twilight,” which went on to gross some $26.5 million at the box office here. “New Moon” is on track to easily surpass its predecessor and become one of the year’s biggest hits at the German box office.

Placing No. 2 in Germany, “2012” added $4.4 million for a cume of $30.3 million in its third frame.

The Spanish B.O showed further signs of good health. While the previous weekend was the best weekend ever for total gross ($24.3 million), this weekend’s $18 million figure wasn’t half bad, given soccer giants Barcelona and Real Madrid went up against each other on Sunday.

Spanish prison thriller “Cell 211” cashed in again for Paramount Intl., locking up $1.2 million worth of business in its fourth frame for a $8.1 million cume.

“It could turn into a sleeper,” said another exhibber, as “Cell” slid a mere 26%.

Also at the Spanish B.O., distrib Vertice 360 debuted opened Fernando Trueba’s “The Dancer and the Thief,” the Spanish entry for Oscar this year. “Dancer” went out on 200 and took a so-so $639,575 at 200.

Auds in France were lured back to “New Moon” en masse, earning SND Distribution $9 million on 737 for a cume of $30.6 million.

Hanging tough, “2012” slipped only 36% in its third frame and brought Sony $6 million on 718 for a cume of $36.2 million in France.

Among openers, Albert Dupontel’s “The Villain” grossed $3.3 million for Studio Canal at 354. Film revolves around a criminal who returns to the village where he grew up.

In Italy, local laffer “Cado dalle nubi” ousted “New Moon” from the No. 1 spot, scoring a whopping $4 million from 424 via Medusa. Gennaro Nunziante feature directorial debut, “Cado” capitalized on the TV popularity of protag comic Checco Zalone.

“New Moon” dropped 66% in Italy for a still solid $3.6 million from 681 playdates for a cume of $21.4 million via local distrib Eagle Pictures.

Other notable Italo openers include Oliver Parker’s “Dorian Gray” adaptation, toplining Colin Firth, which pulled an impressive $2 million from 214 screens, also via Eagle Pictures, bowing at number 4.

In Japan, “2012” topped the chart for the second weekend in a row, grossing $4.4 million from 610 for a cume of $18.8 million.

“New Moon” debuted at No. 6, grossing $792,439 on 197 screens ­ — a result 103% greater than the opening of “Twilight,” the first installment in Summit’s blockbuster franchise.

Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona, Ed Meza in Berlin, Mark Schilling in Tokyo, Lauren Seligman in Paris and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.

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