Foreign turnstiles lack fresh wide releases
While Stateside turnstiles slowed during Oscar weekend (Feb. 22-24), overseas plexes were relatively busy, thanks mostly to Fox holdover “A Good Day to Die Hard,” which claimed its second-consecutive international victory, with $35.5 million for an international cume of $132.8 million ($185 million globally).Foreign wickets also got a boost from Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which launched in China with an impressive $18.1 million, the fourth-best bow ever for a Hollywood film in that country. The pic has hit nearly $680 million overseas, with a worldwide cume approaching $1 billion. The final weekend of February saw no major wide bows either at home or abroad, a trough that precedes the release of big-budget March tentpoles, including “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Jack the Giant Slayer,” which launched day-and-date March 1 in smaller Asian territories only. The lack of fresh films benefited “Die Hard,” which expanded into three larger markets — France (debuting with $5.5 million), Brazil ($2.6 million) and India ($1.4 million) — and showed good legs in holdover countries, taking in nearly $3 million apiece over the weekend in Germany, Japan, the U.K. (where “Wreck-It-Ralph” led the B.O. in its third sesh with $5.3 million) and Russia. “The Hobbit’s” debut in China marks the film’s final overseas push, having started its rollout more than two months ago. The film’s mainland bow, which included $2.1 million from Imax, ranks as Warners’ third-biggest debut in the territory. Universal’s “Les Miserables” debuted Feb. 28 in China; “A Good Day to Die Hard” will bow there sometime in March.