Around-the-World Roundup: 'Smurfs' Still on Top Overseas
by Ray Subers
September 20, 2011
With a nice boost from openings in Australia and Italy, The Smurfs led the foreign box office for the sixth-straight weekend. Over a month ahead of its U.S. debut, Johnny English Reborn got off to a strong start overseas, while Friends with Benefits continued to score in Europe. The Smurfs added $18.2 million from 72 markets for a huge $345.6 million foreign total. It debuted in first place in Italy ($4 million) and Australia ($3.6 million), and continued to hold well throughout other major European territories. It has now earned $483.2 million worldwide (domestic plus foreign), and likely passed Rio on Monday or Tuesday to become the highest-grossing non-sequel of 2011. Johnny English Reborn opened to $12.1 million from 1,372 locations in 15 territories, 13 of which were first place debuts. Its top market was Australia with $2.6 million, followed by Russia with $2.55 million. Also, distributor Universal Pictures International is reporting that it had their best opening ever in Malaysia, though the specific figure is not currently available. The first Johnny English made over $160 million worldwide in 2003, and the sequel set for a U.K. opening on Oct. 7 and a U.S. debut on Oct. 28. Friends with Benefits grossed $8.9 million from 31 markets for a total of $42.5 million. It held well in Germany (off 29 percent to $1.83 million), the United Kingdom (off 35 percent to $1.6 million) and France (down 38 percent to $1.1 million), though its $944,000 debut in Mexico wasn't all that impressive.
After holding second place for five weekends in a row, Rise of the Planet of the Apes dipped to fourth with $8.7 million. It added $1.8 million in Mexico and $1.2 million in Brazil, and its foreign total reached $220.6 million. On a worldwide basis the prequel has earned over $392 million, and it still has debuts in Italy, Japan and China on the horizon.
Cold War spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy debuted in first place its native U.K. this weekend with a solid $4.45 million. Focus Features currently has it scheduled for a domestic limited release on Dec. 9.
Much further down the chart, Super 8 added $1.85 million to bring its foreign total to $129.3 million. In the process, it passed director J.J. Abrams's Star Trek reboot, which mustered just under $128 million in 2009.
Domestic champion The Lion King (in 3D), which has actually been rolling out overseas for the past two months, grossed an estimated $700,000 from 17 territories this weekend. The 3D re-release's foreign total is now at $12.1 million, which brings The Lion King's overall total to $467.9 million. On a worldwide basis, the Disney animated classic improved to $825.7 million, and now ranks 28th on the all-time chart.