Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘The Imitation Game’ Expands in International with Robust New Bows

Australia, Italy and Spain see spirited first weekend figures

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Sold by FilmNation, produced and financed by Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures, and making good on its Academy Award buzz plus the star presence of Benedict Cumberbatch, expanding from the U.K. and Norway “The Imitation Game” opened over the weekend to spirited numbers in six new territories.

Out-of-the-gate numbers track in Italy and Spain at least ahead of “The King’s Speech,” as well as ahead of multiple other past prestige pics with Academy Award pedigree, suggesting “The Imitation Game,” which co-stars Keira Knightley, could well be one of international’s standout independent releases of first half 2015, especially if goosed by Academy Award nominations, .

It goes without saying, however, that Weinstein Company U.S. release is unlikely to get anywhere near “The King Speech’s” remarkable final $74.9 million B.O. trawl for Momentum in the U.K.

Released in Italy by Videa-CDE, “Game” grossed a robust $1.955 million over its opening weekend, 330% above “12 Years A Slave,” and 51% up on “The King’s Speech,” FilmNation announced Monday. In Spain, “The Imitation Game” punched a first frame $807,000, 67% up on “The King’s Speech,” and 9% above “12 Years a Slave.”

Australia saw “The Imitation Game” sprint to $3.363 million, a standout performance, 330% up on “12 Years a Slave” and 152% up on “The Iron Lady.”

“The Imitation Game” also bowed in New Zealand, where it grossed $376,000, and in Croatia and Bulgaria.

The story of Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician who helped crack Germany’s Enigma Code in World War II, to later suffer a court-ordered chemical castration for homosexual acts, “The Imitation Game” has already seen success in international.

Having screened at Toronto, where it won the People’s Choice Award for Best Film, “The Imitation Game” celebrated its European premiere opening the 58th BFI London Film Festival. Studiocanal released “The Imitation Game” in the U.K. on Nov. 14. It has grossed an estimated $22.7 million through last weekend, its eighth on release.

In director Morten Tyldum’s native Norway, “The Imitation Game” has cumed a great $1.47 million after its second weekend, tracking ahead of “SlumDog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech.”

Last February, at the European Film Market, the Weinstein Company paid a reported $7 million for U.S. rights in what is claimed to the biggest deal ever at the Berlin Festival mart for a U.S. sale.