‘Dracula Untold’ Tops Foreign Box Office, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Opens in China

Dracula Untold” topped the foreign box office this weekend, edging out “Gone Girl” and “Annabelle” overseas with a $33.9 million haul.

The Universal Pictures release cost $70 million to produce and has a worldwide total of $86.1 million after two weeks of release. The film added 17 new territories in its second week playing overseas and was the top opener in Russia with $9.6 million, Taiwan with $1.6 million and Peru with a $969,000 take.

Another blast from the past captured runner-up position overseas — “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the weekend’s big opening in China. The Marvel film grossed $26.6 million in the People’s Republic, making it the third best premiere for any Disney film in China, behind “Iron Man 3” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The film has now made $687 million globally.

Analysts note that there are two major approaches to attracting Chinese audiences for Hollywood films that score entry into the market. One is to fill a film with Chinese actors, settings and elements as “Transformers: Age of Extinction” did to record-breaking results last summer. The other is to embrace a less regionally specific strategy, as Marvel’s tale of a group of space cowboys proved.

“Universal themes and movies that appeal to anybody are a safe bet in China,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “You don’t necessarily have to go the route of ‘Transformers’ to succeed.”

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In China, “Guardians” had to fend off competition from the comedy smash “Breakup Buddies,” which earned $13 million and has so far generated $141.5 million since opening two weeks ago. The raunchy film reunites the “Lost in Thailand” team of Xu Zheng and Huang Bo and centers on a divorced man who goes on a road trip with his best friend.

Two films are tied for third place on the foreign charts, “Annabelle” and “Gone Girl,” both of which added $27 million to their totals. “Annabelle” has now made $122.4 million, a healthy return on its $6.7 million production cost, while “Gone Girl” is shaping up to be one of director David Fincher’s biggest hits with a worldwide total of $141.3 million.

In fifth place, “The Maze Runner” raced to $13.7 million across 62 markets. That figure includes a $3.4 million debut in the United Kingdom and a $1.3 million bow in Italy. The young adult thriller has made $140 million globally and has a number of key territories left to open including China and Japan.

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