“Eagle Eye” soared past rivals, collecting $12 million at 3,779 playdates in 49 markets to top a moderate frame at the international box office.
The Coen brothers’ dark comedy “Burn After Reading,” Russian sensation “Koltchak” and family favorite “Wall-E” supplied most of the remaining box office firepower with combined grosses of $23 million. Domestic winner “Max Payne” shot down respectable foreign coin with $6.3 million at 1,305 in day-and-date launches in 32 territories, led by $1.26 million in Spain.
“Eagle Eye” scored its top grosses from its Japanese launch and its second South Korean sesh, both with $2.5 million, and Korean biz held impressively with a drop of just 8%. The actioner’s cumed $45.6 million in foreign markets in the middle of its offshore run.
The “Eagle Eye” victory meant that the foreign weekend winner has differed from the domestic leader in every session dating back to the final frame of July, when “The Dark Knight” took both crowns. That streak should end next weekend when Disney launches “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” day and date in 30 markets, including France, Germany, Spain and the U.K.
Expectations are sky high for “Senior Year,” partly due to the sensational foreign performance by “Mamma Mia!” The tuner took in $5.9 million at 3,789 to become the fourth pic of 2008 — and 32nd of all time — to top $400 million in overseas box office.
Foreign grosses also will get goosed the following frame when “Quantum of Solace” begins its international launch ahead of its Nov. 14 domestic debut.
In the meantime, distribs are opting for targeted openings such as with “Burn After Reading,” which continued to impress overseas with a first-place launch in the U.K. with $3.3 million. The George Clooney-Brad Pitt laffer held well in Spain, down 32% in its soph sesh to $1.7 million, and in Germany, off 5% to $1.6 million in its third frame.
“Burn,” still early in its foreign run with about $30 million from 14 markets, could wind up being one of the few American comedies to see its foreign grosses top its domestic total (currently at $57 million). Sony’s “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” achieved that milestone with $740,000 to boost the laffer’s foreign total to $100.8 million — making it the second Adam Sandler pic to hit the $100 million mark offshore, after “Click.”
When they hit international multiplexes, most U.S. comedies fall short of matching their Stateside performance. For example, Par’s “Tropic Thunder” opened moderately in France with $1.8 million as part of a weekend that saw it score $4.1 million at 1,662 in 48 markets to lift its foreign cume past $60 million — still $50 million shy of the domestic total.
Sony’s “The House Bunny” has turned in mild numbers with $3.2 million at 1,375 in 37 markets for a $13.7 million cume — less than a third of its domestic total. “Get Smart” has totaled $99.4 million, or $31 million behind its domestic total.
By contrast, animated family fare’s often golden overseas, such as “Kung Fu Panda” with an eye-popping $418 million outside the United States. “Wall-E” scooped up another $7 million at 2,844 in 22 markets, led by a $3.8 million Italian launch, to push its foreign cume to $247 million — with Japan likely to push that total past $300 million when following its December debut.
In other highlights, last weekend’s leader “Koltchak” continued to impress with $8.2 million at 1,223 in Russia and the Ukraine. The epic, handled by Fox, has cumed $27.6 million.
And in Germany, action topped romance as moviegoers gave the edge to U’s opening of “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army” with $2.1 million over Warner’s launch of “Nights in Rodanthe” with $2 million including Ladies Night sneaks on Wednesday.