‘Potter’ continues to cast global spell

Pic conjures $120 million in its second week overseas

With the faceoff between Warners’ teen wizard and Paramount’s avenging superhero set to start this week, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” had one final relatively uninterrupted weekend at the overseas box office during the July 22-24 frame — and it made the most of it.

The final installment in the “Potter” series grossed a potent $120.2 million in its second frame, for an overseas cume of $559 million and $832.5 million worldwide. On a market-by-market basis, “Part 2” still ranks No. 1 in all key territories, led by the U.K. and Germany, with $13.7 million and $13.3 million, respectively.

Perhaps offering a taste of the battle to come, “Captain America: The First Avenger” bowed in Italy, where it redeemed $2.9 million — behind only the “Potter” finale, which grossed $3.5 million for a local two-week cume of $25.5 million.

Par expands “Captain America” starting July 28 in markets like Australia and Russia. (In the latter territory, as well as in South Korea and Ukraine, Par changed the pic’s name to “The First Avenger” due to comicbook’s obscurity in those countries, according to the studio.) Pic broadens to a total 23 territories that weekend, including the U.K. and Brazil.

For now, “Part 2” continues to benefit from being the “Harry Potter” franchise’s last stand, likely boosting repeat biz among fans.

Overall, “Part 2” fell just 62% from its record-breaking international debut ($313.5 million) vs. the pic’s sizable 72% week two domestic drop. And while “Part 2’s” larger Stateside decline is attributed mostly to the film’s $43 million opening midnight take, the film also had sneak screenings overseas, which gave opening weekend a head start compared with the pic’s second sesh.

In Latin America, the “Potter” finale ranks as Warner’s biggest release of all time, boosted by a benchmark $25.3 million perf in Brazil, while in Eastern Europe, led by Russia’s two-week cume of $29.7 million, “Part 2” already stands as the best “Potter” pic.

In the U.K., “Part 2” retained the market’s top spot, with the bow of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 2” far behind, at $6.1 million. “Cars 2’s” Blightly debut still outpaces the opening of toon sequel “Kung Fu Panda 2” by 24% in that territory.

“Part 2’s” hold wasn’t magical in every market, however. In Spain, the film fell a comparatively sharp 69%, for a weekend take of $2.7 million. A 60% fall would have been more consistent with the pic’s overall international dropoff, though some Spanish bookers termed the larger number “in line with expectations.” Pic has cumed $15.6 million at the Spanish B.O.

With an international cume of $615.1 million through July 27, “Part 2” has surpassed total international grosses for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” ($547.1 million) and “Goblet of Fire” ($606.9 million). As it stands, the first “Deathly Hallows” film is the franchise’s best international performer, with $660.4 million, while series originator, “Sorcerer’s Stone,” is the worldwide champ at $974.8 million.

If “Part 2” can keep its current pace, the film should have no problem becoming the top-grossing “Potter” pic worldwide. The film’s odds are made even better with comparatively few tentpoles staking claims this summer.

The summer slowdown should also benefit Par’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which after bowing in China with a whammo $40 million and Japan on July 29, has gone out now in every major market.

With an overseas total of $558.3 million as of July 24, “Dark of the Moon” stands as Par Intl.’s biggest-grossing movie internationally, beating last year’s “Shrek Forever After,” which cumed $513 million overseas.

South Korea has been the best market for “Transformers,” with a cume of $65.5 million, followed by Russia and the U.K. with $43.8 million and $41.9 million, respectively. Pic’s totals in Australia reached $38.1 million through the weekend, while in Germany, the film has collected $34.6 million.

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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