James Bond may have had to settle for No. 2 two frames in a row at the domestic B.O., but internationally the newly canary-haired supersleuth was tops for a second straight frame.
Sony’s “Casino Royale” picked up $67 million from 50 territories to raise its overseas cume to $129.2 million.
Starring Daniel Craig as 007 in the franchise’s 27th pic, Bond tapped the most B.O. booty from key markets including the U.K., France, Spain and Germany, where he finished No. 1.
Pic will open in Japan next frame, where it will likely continue to make hay. Other remaining territories include South Korea, Australia, Italy and Mexico.
Sony said during the current frame that it had posted its best year ever in overseas box office with $1.39 billion, surpassing the 2002 mark of $1.31 billion. “The Da Vinci Code” accounted for $532 million in foreign takings earlier this year, and Bond has pushed the bar higher.
Bond was No. 1 on his Brit home turf for the second weekend in a row, taking in $16.5 million more to bring the cume there alone to $54 million.
Blighty per-theater average, off 506, was a whopping $32,698.
Superspook was also the toast of Spain, where “Casino” reaped $3.8 million in its bow there.
France was also a highlight, with Gauls pumping nearly $8.4 million into Bond’s coffers, off 743.
Besides Bond, the B.O. overseas was tepid.
“Borat,” the holdover from Fox, landed at No. 2 on the international charts, raising its cume to $82.6 million by taking in $14.2 million from 31 territories.
Reflecting the global appeal of the Kazakh crazy man of the pic’s title, Sacha Baron Cohen vehicle finished No. 1 in territories as disparate as South Africa, Sweden, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
With no real competish for Bond and “Borat,” the top five was rounded out by leftovers “The Departed” (Warner Bros.), “Saw III” (Lionsgate) and Sony’s CG-animated “Open Season.”
But “Casino” took in more than double the combined grosses of the next four pics on the charts.
“Casino” will next look to surpass the record worldwide gross for a Bond pic, set by “Die Another Day’s” $431 million.
Pic will also greatly help the foreign box office total for Hollywood studios to exceed the 2004 record of $8.5 billion and finish far ahead of last year’s $7.9 billion.
Meantime, “Departed” was able to shoot up an additional $6.8 million at 2,100 in 42 markets, led by a Korean launch of $1.7 million and a Greek opening of $829,000, which topped the soph sesh of “Casino.”
Scorsese pic has cumed $79 million overseas and $195 million worldwide.
Territories without Bond decided to settle for holdovers and local product.
Italian B.O. fell 3% to $9.26 million as it awaited the arrival of the secret agent.
Without Bond, Medusa Film’s homegrown comedy “Anplagghed” (Italian for “Unplugged”) toppled Fox’s “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” but it failed to lift the Italo box office to its second straight weekend gain.
“Anplagghed” written by the popular comic troupe Aldo, Giacomo and Giovanni, netted $2.8 million on a very generous 525 screens.
“My Super Ex-Girlfriend” fell to No. 2 in Italy, with a $972,000 tally on 247 in its sophomore session, a 37% decline. Sony’s “Marie Antoinette” moved up a slot to No. 3, netting $672,000 on 164 screens.
In France, Bond was followed by local pic “Prete-moi ta main,” which grabbed $2.7 million.
German auds who didn’t see Bond still flocked to local sensation “7 Dwarves,” which has cumed $23.7 million in one month of release.
Another local pic, “Who Is Fred?” was No. 3, taking in $3.5 million in 11 days of release.
Beyond the top five films abroad overall, Warner Bros. saw solid returns for its foreign launches of domestic hit “Happy Feet” with $3.4 million at 750 in eight markets, led by first-place openings in Brazil and the Philippines. “Feet” opens next frame in Germany and Italy.
Fox’s “A Good Year” continued to die on the vine abroad as it did domestically. Russell Crowe starrer juiced only $2 million at 2,936 to lift its overseas gross to $16 million.
Fox’s “Deck the Halls” launched in Brazil and Taiwan with $738,000. The studio was also handling rights on Darren Aronofsky’s “The Fountain” which only trickled in the same two markets with $200,000 at 90.
(Esther de Prado in Spain, Bernhard Warner in Italy, Liza Klaussmann in France and Archie Thomas in the U.K. contributed to this report.)