'Deathly Hallows: Part 2' becomes franchise B.O. champ

In its third straight week atop the international B.O., Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ became the franchise’s highest-grossing installment, with an overseas cume of $690.4 million.

Pic’s offshore tally includes its third-sesh gross of $66.6 million through July 31, which reps a comparatively low overall drop of 47%.

“Part 2″ easily surpassed the series’ previous overseas record holder, “Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” with $660.4 million, as well as becoming the best-ever global performer with $1 billion. That makes the final installment of “Potter” one of 10 films in industry history to join the billion-dollar club (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” hit that mark two days later, Aug. 2).

“To say that the global response to the film has been extraordinary would be an understatement,” says Warner prexy of international distribution Veronika Kwan-Rubinek. “We are so proud that this last film in the series has not only reached such heights but has reached them in record time. It is now Warner Bros.’ most successful release ever, and there is still plenty more to come.”

“Part 2″ hit the global $1 billion mark in just 19 days, opening on a Wednesday in some overseas territories.

On a smaller scale, Warners also set records with “Part 2″ in nearly every major market, becoming in each one the studio’s highest-grossing release locally. In the U.K., “Part 2″ has cumed $88.7 million, making Blighty the pic’s biggest territory, followed by Japan, with $66.6 million.

Germany has contributed $61.2 million, with France and Australia rounding out the pic’s top five markets, grossing $49.8 million and $47.4 million, respectively.

While it’s not surprising the film has played well internationally, it’s impressive that “Part 2″ has managed to maintain such a strong hold across the board.

For instance, in both the U.K. and France, the film dropped just 46% in its third frame, while in Japan, “Potter” fell just 21% — particularly remarkable considering Paramount’s “Dark of the Moon” bowed in the territory with $9.5 million, of which 82% came from 3D. That means in Japan, “Potter” likely lost — if not shared — most of its 3D locations with “Transformers.”

“Transformers” could see a similar 3D shuffle in China, as “Part 2″ bowed there Aug. 4. (“Dark of the Moon” already is playing in China, with a massive local cume of $113.7 million.)

The Par pic, which entered its fifth weekend overall internationally, added $44.8 million to its cume of $648.7 million through the end of July.

The success of “Dark of the Moon,” along with 2011 titles like “Kung Fu Panda 2″ and “Thor,” helped push Par’s international market share past the $2 billion mark, making it the first studio to achieve that mark — five months earlier than its previous record in 2008.

“Kung Fu Panda 2″ tallied $447.3 million in foreign markets; “Thor” topped out at $267.4 million.

Still raking in overseas coin for Par, “Captain America: The First Avenger” grossed a considerable $49.6 million in its second weekend, with help from an additional 30 markets.

Leading the charge for “Captain America,” Mexico brought in a chart-topping $8.5 million, outdoing “Thor” by 17%, while Brazil contributed $6.8 million — 25% better than “Thor” and ahead of “Iron Man 2″ by 36%. Australia tallied $5 million for the Marvel pic, with Blighty just a hair behind, with $4.9 million.

Overseas holdovers in a number of territories will face summer’s next tentpole, 20th Century Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which opens day-and-date with the U.S. in a total 26 markets, including Australia, India, Russia and Spain.

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

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