Sequel eclipses original's foreign box office

It was clear sailing for the second-straight weekend for “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” which again navigated to the top of the overseas box office. Pic grossed a resilient $27.5 million over the Feb. 17-19 weekend, pushing its worldwide cume to $130 million.

The Warner Bros.-New Line family film got an early overseas push, bowing in territories like Australia and South Korea four weeks ahead of the U.S. And later key markets, such as China and Russia, are contributing topnotch grosses.

In China, the sequel grossed $9.5 million in its second outing, while in Russia, the pic tallied a soph-sesh take of $4.1 million — a whopping 176% ahead of the original “Journey” in its similar local frame.

In North America, “Journey 2″ held best among the domestic top 10, down just an overall 27%. Pic showed even more stickiness in Canada, falling 3%, thanks to the country’s nationally recognized family day Feb. 20.

Toplining franchise newcomer Dwayne Johnson, and budgeted at a reported $79 million, the sequel already has more than recouped its production cost, grossing $183 million worldwide as of Feb. 19. Warners and New Line have committed to a “Journey 3,” based on the sequel’s success.

Elsewhere on the family front, Disney’s holiday holdover “The Muppets” proved resilient in the U.K., rising a remarkable 60% on Friday and Saturday in its second weekend over its opening two days (Feb. 10-11). The film’s three-day second-weekend total of $5.8 million in Blighty rang in 36% ahead of its opening weekend.

In just 10 days in the U.K., the Disney pic, with $17.4 million, has outpaced Sony’s “The Smurfs” by 36% and Warners’ “Yogi Bear” by 193%. Pic has hit $59.1 million internationally through Feb. 19, with a global cume of $147.3 million.

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