Asia adds a few beans to ‘Jack’ pot

Warner Bros. fantasy starts off well overseas

While Warner Bros.’ big-budget fantasy “Jack the Giant Slayer” stalled at home, the film got off to a better-than-expected start in Asia, where it sprouted $14.3 million in 10 smaller markets over the March 1-3 weekend in kicking off its overseas rollout.

In fact, in that sampling of international territories, the pic got off to a 46% better start vs. Warners’ comparable family adventure film, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” which wound up earning more than $220 million at foreign wickets. “Jack” also performed in line with the $200 million-plus international grosser “Wrath of the Titans.”

With a budget of $190 million, however, “Jack” faces a giant beanstalk-sized climb toward profitability.

The pic opened to just $27 million Stateside, and is unlikely to reach $100 million domestically, putting more pressure on its playability overseas. And while Asia contributed plus-sized results (the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” is lesser known there), the film still will have to deal with “Oz the Great and Powerful” bowing in the region day-and-date March 9.

The top territory for “Jack” by far was South Korea, where the pic earned $4.8 million from 511 screens. “Jack” crossed $1 million in five other territories, including Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines. It was No. 1 in eight of its 10 territories.

Warner begins expanding “Jack” over the March 15-18 weekend, with bows in Germany, Mexico and Spain. Australia, China, Japan and the U.K. will follow the weekend of March 22-25.

Meanwhile, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” afforded Warners some better news: The pic crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide, becoming just the 15th film ever (but the fourth 2012 release) to do so.

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