‘Dawn’ sails to overseas success

'The Tourist' improves on U.S. results

While 20th Century Fox’s maiden voyage with the “Narnia” franchise — and third in the series — had a soft opening domestically, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” caught a gusty tailwind overseas, drawing $66.2 million over the Dec. 10-12 weekend in 56 day-and-date markets.

The film launched a week early in Spain and Australia, where through the weekend, local cumes reached $8.9 million and $5.6 million, respectively. Total foreign tally for “Dawn Treader” stands at $83.9 million as of Dec. 13.

Also bowing overseas day and date with the U.S. was Sony’s Angelina Jolie-Johnny Depp starrer “The Tourist,” which took in $7.4 million from 15 territories, including top markets South Korea and the U.K. Like “Dawn Treader,” “Tourist” struggled to gain a Stateside foothold, though its limited international bow was more promising.

In South Korea, “Tourist” wound up with slightly more than $3 million at 409 locations, which landed just behind similarly star-driven caper “Knight and Day,” with $3.8 million in that territory, but ahead of $2.8 million for “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Sony launched a counterprogramming bid in Blighty against “Dawn Treader,” appealing to mostly families and younger auds.

Still, “The Tourist” debuted in third at the Blighty B.O., with $2.1 million at 430 locations, behind “Chronicles” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.” “Chronicles” bowed with nearly $4 million in the U.K., while “Harry Potter” tallied another $3 million in its fourth frame, boosting the pic’s local cume to a stellar $67.9 million.

According to Fox, “Dawn Treader” is the series’ first installment to bow in the majority of overseas markets the week before school holidays.

“Prince Caspian” launched during summer 2008, while “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” initially went out limited overseas before expanding largely throughout the end of December 2005. Historically, the franchise has done better overseas, with the original’s overseas totals outpacing domestic by more than $175 million. That narrowed to a $125 million discrepancy for “Prince Caspian.”

Fox reps say they expect “Dawn Treader” to hold well in most territories, as the pic plays through the holiday season.

The “Narnia” sequel also benefited more from 3D overseas, with the format contributing a higher share — 66% vs. the domestic B.O.’s 54% — of its weekend take from 3D. (This, even though the film’s U.S. debut had a larger portion of its debut in 3D, with 56% of the total screen count, while overseas 3D made up 45% of the overall count.)

Most B.O. observers admit overseas moviegoers respond better to 3D family pics. This means “Dawn Treader” should continue to see a bigger boost from the format overseas during its repeat frames.

This week, however, the Fox family film will face added strain on the 3D front, as 3D pics, Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” and Warner Bros.’ “Yogi Bear,” enter the 3D fray. This will be the first time two wide 3D releases launch the same weekend, though respective distribs have more freedom to stagger releases in specific markets.

Another 3D film in the market, Disney’s “Tangled,” already has cumed $81.7 million, with last weekend’s take contributing $21 million in its third weekend. Toon is in release in 17 territories, which typically reps 45% of the total international marketplace.

Warners’ “Deathly Hallows,” which was not shot in 3D, continues to make magic at foreign wickets, with an overseas cume of $521.9 million after a weekend take of $30.9 million.

Following the U.K. in overseas standing, Japan has contributed $53.3 million, while local cumes in Germany and France have reached $48.5 million and $36.5 million, respectively. South Korea is the only major market to get the film on Dec. 15.

Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona, Mark Schilling in Tokyo, Clifford Coonan in Beijing, Andrew Horn in Berlin, David Hayhurst in Paris and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.

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