In fact, the naughty tale of a brooding billionaire and his BDSM muse is showing more staying power overseas than it is Stateside. Its sophomore weekend fell 56% abroad, whereas U.S. receipts dropped a massive 73%. All told, the picture has brought in $410.6 million worldwide, representing an impressive return on the $40 million that Universal spent to bring E.L. James’ bestseller to the bigscreen.
The picture is playing in 58 territories, and has only four markets left to open. Given how it is playing overseas, it should end its run with more than $500 million in global receipts.
“Kingsman: The Secret Service” picked up second place on the foreign charts with a robust $33 million from 5,964 screens in 54 markets. The spy adventure has earned $153.7 million worldwide.
“Kingsman” did particularly well in South Korea, becoming the biggest non-Korean R-rated title ever in the market, and earning $8.9 million last weekend. Other key openings include France with $3.5 million, Taiwan with $3.3 million and Malaysia with $2.2 million. The film will open in 14 new territories next weekend, including such major markets as Mexico, Italy and Spain.
In third place, historical action film “Dragon Blade” earned $33 million and benefited from its release during Chinese New Year. The film was backed by Chinese money but features American stars such as John Cusack and Adrien Brody.
The top five was rounded out by the 3D Hong Kong-Chinese comedy “From Vegas to Macau 2,” with $29 million, and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” with $21.9 million.
Also of note, best picture nominee “The Theory of Everything” passed $100 million at the worldwide box office after pulling in $2.7 million internationally, while Oscar hopeful “American Sniper” has earned $100 million overseas, pushing its global gross to $428.1 million worldwide. In the case of “American Sniper,” that’s an impressive accomplishment given that films with the A-word in the title are often perceived as being jingoistic by foreign audiences, who tend to steer clear of anything that reeks of flag-waving.