U's summer tentpole gets strong start in int'l bow
Furthering the trend of early overseas bows, Universal’s big-budget tentpole “Battleship” claimed an estimated $7.4 million during its opening day from 11 overseas territories — a strong start for a film that doesn’t open Stateside until May 18.“Battleship” scored the third-highest opening day for an English-language film in South Korea at $2.8 million, while in Australia, the pic debuted Thursday at No. 1 with $1.1 million, comparable to “Iron Man” and “Thor” locally. It’s no surprise that “Battleship” opened strong overseas, thanks in large part to the film’s advanced international bow that’s meant to avoid heated summer competition. Moreover, the U tentpole aptly fits the mold of high-profile Hollywood fare that the majority of overseas moviegoers welcome with open arms. U kick-started the film’s weekend in the U.K. with previews, totaling $1.5 million. Pic bows wide locally on Friday. “Battleship” earned $870,000 including previews in France — bigger than the local opening of recent pics like “The Hunger Games,” “John Carter” and “Wrath of the Titans.” U reported that “Battleship” is No. 1 in every territory where it opened or previewed, except France. Pic expands this weekend into a total 26 territories, before bowing next weekend in an additional 24 markets, including Russia and China.