Univeral pic bowed abroad before tentpole season

Universal’s 3DBattleship” rose to the top of the overseas box office, collecting $58 million in its second outing for an international cume of $121.8 million.

The U tentpole went out internationally nearly a month before its U.S. bow, and is playing in 49 territories, getting out ahead of summer tentpoles like Disney-Marvel’s “The Avengers,” which opened in 42 markets April 25.

Despite U’s strategy, “Battleship” was broadsided by an unexpected rival: the 3D reissue of “Titanic,” which has grossed $225 million internationally.

In China, “Battleship” collected a solid $17.7 million, but the film still ranked second locally behind “Titanic” 3D, which grossed $24 million — enough to cross the $100 million mark at the Chinese B.O.

Despite the overperformance of “Titanic,” “Battleship” has seen notable returns so far. In China, it scored the biggest opening weekend for Universal, delivering almost twice the studio’s previous top Chinese debut of “Fast Five.” Russia contributed a No. 1 bow for “Battleship” with $11.2 million — another Universal best locally.

For “Titanic,” international markets have seen OK grosses, though they pale in comparison with China.

The 3D re-do has tallied $15.9 million in the U.K., making it the film’s second-highest grossing territory, followed by Russia, with $12.6 million. France and Italy are the only other markets where the pic has so far cumed more than $10 million.

The conversion already has expanded throughout most of the world, to 70 markets.

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