‘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

  • Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales

    Berlin: Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales on B.O. Hit ‘100 Things’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — In the long run-up to February’s Berlin Festival, Picture Tree Intl. has rolled out multiple pre-sales on “100 Things,” which Warner Bros. Pictures bowed in Germany on Dec. 6 to a robust first eight-day €2.7 million ($). “100 Things” will receive a market screening at the Berlinale’s European Film Market. The third feature [...]

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

  • 'Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies

    ‘Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies 'Weathering'

    Three years after the animation “Your Name” began its long triumphant reign over the Japanese and international box office, its director Makoto Shinkai has announced his next animated feature. Titled “Weathering With You,” the film will arrive in theaters in Japan on July 19 of next year, with Toho distributing. Set in a world where [...]

  • Berlin: The Match Factory Boards New

    Berlin: The Match Factory Boards Competition Titles From Fatih Akin, Emin Alper (EXCLUSIVE)

    German indie powerhouse The Match Factory will handle world sales on two Berlin Film Festival competition titles: German director Fatih Akin’s serial-killer chiller “The Golden Glove” and Turkish director Emin Alper’s family drama “A Tale of Three Sisters.”  Akin, a Hamburg native whose “Head-On” won the Golden Bear in 2004, is returning to the Berlinale [...]

  • First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring

    First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring ‘Captain America’s’ Sebastian Stan

    The first-look image from Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Monday,” starring Sebastian Stan – best known for “I, Tonya” and the “Captain America” movies – and “Colette’s” Denise Gough, has been released. Protagonist Pictures will launch international sales on the pic in Berlin. “Monday” follows the story of Mickey (Stan) and Chloe (Gough), two Americans in [...]

  • The Wedding

    Film Review: 'The Wedding'

    Two considerations need to exist side by side when discussing “The Wedding,” the debut feature of Egyptian-American multihyphenate Sam Abbas. One involves the film itself, a dull slice of Lower Manhattan mumblecore about a heterosexual New York couple fitfully planning their wedding until she discovers his gay dalliance. The other, getting the lion’s share of [...]

  • The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Whether you know a film buff who needs to upgrade their collection, or you just want to upgrade your movie nights at home, here are eight gifts that will cast your favorite flicks in a whole new light. 1. Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema: The Criterion Collection Thirty-nine films from the legendary Swedish filmmaker are collected in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content