‘Dracula Untold’ Tops Foreign Box Office, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Opens in China

Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold” topped the foreign box office this weekend, edging out “Gone Girl” and “Annabelle” overseas with a $33.9 million haul.

The Universal Pictures release cost $70 million to produce and has a worldwide total of $86.1 million after two weeks of release. The film added 17 new territories in its second week playing overseas and was the top opener in Russia with $9.6 million, Taiwan with $1.6 million and Peru with a $969,000 take.

Another blast from the past captured runner-up position overseas — “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the weekend’s big opening in China. The Marvel film grossed $26.6 million in the People’s Republic, making it the third best premiere for any Disney film in China, behind “Iron Man 3” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The film has now made $687 million globally.

Analysts note that there are two major approaches to attracting Chinese audiences for Hollywood films that score entry into the market. One is to fill a film with Chinese actors, settings and elements as “Transformers: Age of Extinction” did to record-breaking results last summer. The other is to embrace a less regionally specific strategy, as Marvel’s tale of a group of space cowboys proved.

“Universal themes and movies that appeal to anybody are a safe bet in China,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “You don’t necessarily have to go the route of ‘Transformers’ to succeed.”

In China, “Guardians” had to fend off competition from the comedy smash “Breakup Buddies,” which earned $13 million and has so far generated $141.5 million since opening two weeks ago. The raunchy film reunites the “Lost in Thailand” team of Xu Zheng and Huang Bo and centers on a divorced man who goes on a road trip with his best friend.

Two films are tied for third place on the foreign charts, “Annabelle” and “Gone Girl,” both of which added $27 million to their totals. “Annabelle” has now made $122.4 million, a healthy return on its $6.7 million production cost, while “Gone Girl” is shaping up to be one of director David Fincher’s biggest hits with a worldwide total of $141.3 million.

In fifth place, “The Maze Runner” raced to $13.7 million across 62 markets. That figure includes a $3.4 million debut in the United Kingdom and a $1.3 million bow in Italy. The young adult thriller has made $140 million globally and has a number of key territories left to open including China and Japan.

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