You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Shrek’ tops overseas box office

'Transformers' int'l release brings in $34.7 mil

The ugly ogre’s sitting pretty overseas as “Shrek the Third” dominated a robust weekend at the foreign box office with $69.6 million at 6,489 playdates in 52 markets.

But there was plenty of international green for tentpoles as “Transformers” debuted ahead of its U.S. launch with a stellar $34.7 million at 2,261 in 10 territories and “Live Free or Die Hard” shot down a solid $30.7 million at 3,583 in day and date openings in 35 markets.

And a trio of holdovers — “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” — impressed with each grossing at least $14 million.

With the top six pics combining for $179 million, the frame dwarfed the year-ago weekend when “Superman Returns” led with $20 million amid a chill in moviegoing due to soccer’s World Cup. And it highlighted the strong performance so far this year of Hollywood films in foreign markets, well above 2006’s record-setting pace.

The tentpoles are mostly meeting studio expectations that each sequel can match its previous iteration, underlining the strategy of focusing on easily recognized franchises that can perform throughout the world. The third “Pirates of the Caribbean” became only the seventh pic to cross the $600 million mark in international grosses and trails the final “Pirates 2” foreign cume by only $33 million after six weeks; “Shrek the Third” has already grossed $259 million overseas, more than halfway to matching “Shrek 2.”

Paramount’s “Shrek the Third” grabbed an eye-popping $31 million at 537 in its U.K. launch, including $12.7 million in previews in an indication that Brits were undeterred by the latest wave of terror threats. Minus previews, the opening came in 5% ahead of “Shrek 2,” which went on to gross $88 million in Blighty.

French patrons stayed supportive in the third frame as Shrek declined only 29% to $5.3 million for a $29.2 million cume while Spanish biz remained beefy with a 37% fall to $4.8 million. And the ogre turned monstrous in Poland, smashing the launch record with $4.1 million at 88, and set the second-highest opening mark in South Africa with $921,000.

“Shrek the Third” opened more moderately in Japan — where American animated pics have a mixed record — with $2.8 million at 542, trailing the launch of “Live Free or Die Hard” and the sixth frame of “Pirates 3.” Still, that was 42% ahead of “Shrek 2,” which went on to gross $22 million in Japan.

Paramount also saw stalwart numbers from “Transformers,” which logged the top per-location average with $15,351, as the disrib opted for playing into local holidays plus distancing itself from Warner’s mid-July launch of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” South Korea sparked to “Transformers” in the fourth biggest launch ever with $12.4 million at 549 while the Michael Bay pic posted the best 4-day launch ever in Singapore with $1.7 million.

“Transformers” led in all 10 of its markets, including Australia with $6.7 million, Italy with $3.6 million, Taiwan with $3 million and the Philippines with $2.1 million; in eight of those, it topped “War of the Worlds,” which rang up a stellar $357 million overseas in 2005. “Transformers” moves into a dozen more markets next weekend, including Russia, Spain and Scandinavia.

“Live Free or Die Hard,” known mostly by the “Die Hard 4” moniker internationally, turned in its top numbers in Germany with $7.6 million at 873 and in Japan with $7.2 million at 735 in the first appearance of the Bruce Willis franchise in a dozen years. Fox Intl. co-topper Paul Hanneman asserted the performance met internal forecasts — geared to matching the $265 million international cume for 1995’s “Die Hard With a Vengeance.”

Fox’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” also showed enough traction to remain on track to equal the international performance by its predecessor, which took in $175 million two years ago. “Surfer” landed with $15.2 million at 6,200, pushing the cume to $81.2 million, as Mexico kicked in $3.3 million in its second frame and Brazil launched with a beefy $2.9 million; it opens in August in France, Korea and Spain.

Warner’s “Ocean’s Thirteen” chipped in with $14.5 million at 5,700 in 51 markets to raise its foreign cume to $124 million — more than halfway to matching the final overseas figure for “Ocean’s Twelve” — as the studio sees respectable performance from counter-programming against fare aimed at the younger demo. “Thirteen” took in its best figures in its second French frame with $2.2 million, its fourth U.K. weekend with $1.9 million and its Mexican launch of $1.8 million.

BVI’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” followed with $14.1 million at 8,779, led by Japan with $3.9 million and France and the U.K. with $1.4 million each — all with impressive holds, falling less than 28%. It’s now sixth highest in foreign grosses at $608.9 million and ninth in worldwide at $904.7 million.

BVI also saw decent numbers from its limited day and date opening of “Ratatouille” with $4.7 million at 520 in half a dozen markets, mostly from Russia with $3.3 million. The Pixar pic moves into Brazil and Mexico next frame and will launch gradually over the rest of the summer and early fall as the distrib tries to take advantage of strong reviews.

Sony’s “Spider-Man 3,” which fulfilled forecasts as it jump-started summer biz overseas, ensnared $1 million to become the 10th largest international film with $548.9 million and the 11th biggest globally with $883 million.

Other notable pics during the frame included Sony’s “Hostel Part II” with $2.2 million, Warner’s “Zodiac” with $1.2 million and U’s “Evan Almighty” with $900,000.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content