×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Hancock’ exerts its Will overseas

Will Smith tentpole super at foreign B.O.

Underlining Will Smith’s worldwide appeal, Sony’s “Hancock” ruled a robust international box office with a launch weekend of $78.3 million at 5,444 playdates in 50 markets.

“Hancock” notched the year’s third-largest foreign opening after “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “Iron Man” — and did so while holding off on launches in key territories such as France, Mexico and Russia, where it opens next weekend. The superhero pic showed socko traction with a $14,400 per-location average.

And overall biz surged thanks to solid perfs in Europe following the conclusion of the four-week Euro Cup soccer tourney — not just from “Hancock” but also from “Kung Fu Panda,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” and “Wanted,” with the latter three bringing in a combined $80 million overseas.

So far this year, foreign box office for the big six studios has been about even with last year’s record-setting pace, as Fox joined Par this weekend in hitting the $1 billion milestone. Studios had been holding back many tentpoles until this month, waiting for soccer mania to end and school vacations to start, so the coming weeks should see more of the same super-charged biz.

“Hancock” topped internal forecasts, already elevated due to the sterling record of Smith’s previous pics such as “I Am Legend,” which had an international gross of $324 million. Sony noted that “Hancock” beat comparable launches last July in the same markets of “Transformers” ($387 million final foreign gross) and “The Simpsons Movie” ($343 million).

Mark Zucker, president of Sony’s international releasing arm, forecasted “Hancock” will top $300 million offshore by the end of its run.

Best “Hancock” numbers came from the U.K., with $19.3 million, beating “Kung Fu Panda” by 70%; Germany, with $12.4 million for a 61% share; South Korea, with $8.5 million; Australia, with $7.3 million; and China, with $5.5 million in the fourth-biggest opening ever for a Hollywood film. Brazil opened with $3.4 million and Taiwan took in $3.1 million.

Reflecting the strong foreign appeal of CGIanimation, “Kung Fu Panda” led the rest of the pack with an impressive $38 million at 5,448 in 44 markets, including a U.K. launch of $10.7 million and a $3.6 million German opening. Foreign cume’s already hit $151 million, with most of Europe opening in coming weeks, and should finish far past the $160 million international total for Paramount’s previous CG toon, “Bee Movie.”

Disney’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” also expanded as it continued to collect coin from family audiences with $24.3 million at 5,000 in 42 markets, pushing the foreign cume to $194 million. Its $6.3 million Spanish launch outgrossed the next nine films, and its French soph sesh slid only 12% to $5 million.

Universal’s “Wanted,” last weekend’s leader, remained a respectable player from holdover biz with $18.8 million at 2,312 in 23 markets. Thanks to the popularity of director Timur Bekmambetov, Russian biz led the way with $6.5 million for an 11-day cume of $21.7 million — U’s largest gross in that market and the 10th largest of all time.

Disney/Pixar’s “Wall-E,” which has been on a go-slow track offshore, grossed $13 million at 1,645 in nine markets, mostly from its $5.3 million Mexican launch and its $5 million Russian opening in the best Disney animated debuts in those markets. Next key “Wall-E” opening comes in the U.K. on July 18.

U opted to open “Mamma Mia!” two weeks ahead of its domestic debut in two markets — Greece with $1.6 million, tying “Asterix and Obelix” for the best 2008 launch, and at one screen in the U.K. with $240,000 at the Odeon Leicester Square, where it broke the previous record for a musical set by “Chicago.”

More Film

  • Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home

    Film News Roundup: Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home for Christmas'

    In today’s film news roundup, “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” is in the works, the NFL has made a documentary about female team owners and D Street Pictures has signed Kenny Gage and Devon Downs to direct the dance feature “Move.” HOLIDAY PROJECT Miramax has acquired film rights to Lauren Iungerich’s holiday-themed screenplay “I [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros. has been developing the project for many [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content