Sci-fi pic plays in Latin America, Asia

Disney’s “John Carter” entered salvage mode internationally over the March 16-18 weekend, collecting $44.8 million in its soph sesh for an overseas cume of $130.2 million from 54 markets.

Globally, “Carter” had tallied $183.4 million in its first 10 days.

Still, the $250 million tentpole is expected to fall far short of recoupment, which includes a nine-figure marketing spend. Last week, Disney warned Wall Street of a forthcoming $200 million loss on the film during the studio’s second quarter, ending March 31.

Naturally, the Mouse will continue to support the film as it plays out overseas, especially in blue-chip regions like Latin America and Asia.

“Carter” recently bowed in China, where it opened to $12.1 million, making it the second-best Chinese bow ever for a Disney pic behind “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Bizzers speculate that China will eventually become the top territory for the film, though to date its local tally trails the two-week Russian cume of $25.8 million.

The holdover presence of “Carter” in Russia couldn’t prevent Universal-Illumination Entertainment’s 3D “The Lorax” from scoring $9.8 million, which is better than the Russian opening for “Despicable Me” — Illumination’s inaugural pic. “Lorax” also became the biggest bow ever for a Dr. Seuss adaptation in Russia.

“Lorax,” which so far is 2011’s highest-grossing Stateside release, with $161.5 million as of March 20, has only just begun to roll out internationally. Currently, the toon is playing in 16 overseas markets for an international cume of $14.6 million.

U plans to expand “Lorax” into 48 additional territories over the next five months, the majority of which will come this week timed for the Easter holidays.

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