“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ranks as only the fifth film in history to cross the $1 billion mark at the foreign box office.
The space opera racked up $47.3 million overseas this weekend, topping charts and driving its global haul to $1.86 billion. In China, the seventh film in the “Star Wars” saga retained its first place position for the second weekend in a row. It should pass the $100 million mark in the Middle Kingdom some time next week, although it will be unable to match the nearly $400 million worth of business that “Furious 7” did in China last year. The film has done well in the Asian country, but it has had to introduce Chinese moviegoers to the ways of the Force. Previous “Star Wars” movies did not screen heavily in China.
“The Revenant,” an Oscar-nominated survival story, took second place on the charts, earning $31.5 million from 5,140 screens in 25 international markets. That’s good news for Fox and New Regency, the companies behind the $135 million drama. The film represents a big gamble. It has a genuine movie star in Leonardo DiCaprio, but it does not flinch from depicting bloodshed and a scene in which DiCaprio is mauled by a bear, is not for the faint of heart. “The Revenant” needs to do roughly $400 million worth of business globally if it wants to make a profit and earn back its production and promotion costs.
It’s off to a solid start. Bolstered by awards attention, “The Revenant” opened in first place in the United Kingdom with $7.8 million, topped charts in Korea with $5.7 million, and racked up $3 million in Italy. Globally, the picture has generated $146.3 million in receipts.
Chinese animated film “Boonie Bears” nabbed third place with $16 million, pushing the film version of a popular children’s show to $21 million in revenue.
The top five was rounded out by boxing drama “Creed” with $14.2 million and China’s “Royal Treasure” with $11.5 million. “Creed,” a spin-off to the “Rocky” series, has grossed $136 million worldwide since debuting in November.