Demonstrating the power of the sequel, Taken 2 rocked the foreign box office this weekend with grosses that were drastically higher than its predecessor's figures. Meanwhile, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted continued to finally roll out in Europe and scored one of its best debuts yet.
Taken 2 earned $55.2 million from 50 territories this weekend. It topped the U.K. box office with $11.9 million (including previews), which is more than the original earned in its entire run. It was also incredibly strong in France ($8.8 million) and Australia ($8.1 million), though it was less impressive in Mexico ($2.5 million), Russia (roughly $1.9 million), Spain ($1.2 million), China ($1.1 million) and Brazil ($1.03 million). Through two weekends in South Korea, Taken 2 is already the highest-grossing 20th Century Fox movie of the year with $13.8 million.
The original Taken was a massive success in the U.S. with $145 million, but was comparatively weak overseas with just $81.8 million. The sequel has already banked $66.8 million, and will blow past Taken's total by the end of the week. In fact, it's on pace to at least double that amount by the end of its run, which is a very impressive accomplishment.
Madagascar 3 grossed $22.3 million this weekend, most of which came from a huge debut in Germany. The animated three-quel tallied $14.9 million through its first six days there, which helped push the movie's worldwide total past $450 million. It is now the highest-grossing Madagascar movie on an overseas basis ahead of Escape 2 Africa ($423.9 million). Worldwide, Madagascar 3 reached $667 million, which ranks just ahead of Kung Fu Panda 2 ($666 million) as DreamWorks Animation's top non-Shrek movie ever. Its final major market is the U.K. (Oct. 19), which will help get the movie past the coveted $500 million overseas mark.
Hotel Transylvania earned $13.9 million this weekend for an early foreign total of $29.9 million. The movie is performing particularly well in Latin America: it scored first place in Brazil with $3.4 million (including previews) and had a strong $1.3 million first place start in Argentina as well.
Resident Evil: Retribution added $11.8 million, which brings its total to $159.1 million. Its only significant opening came in Spain, where it took first place with a decent $1.4 million. Including its domestic earnings, the fifth installment in the Resident Evil franchise has now earned more than $200 million worldwide.
At the risk of sounding redundant, Ted once again occupied a place near the top of the foreign charts this weekend thanks to a very good $3.3 million second place start in Italy. Overall, it grossed $11.2 million from 46 markets for a new total of $232.2 million. The Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy sensation has so-far taken in over $450 million, and with France and Belgium opening next weekend the movie is well on its way to passing the original Hangover's $467.5 million worldwide total.
Outside of Russia and China (where results are not currently available), Looper made roughly $7.4 million this weekend. It's only major debut was in Germany, where it earned a middling $1.2 million over its first five days. It also added $2.45 million in the U.K. and $2.1 million in Australia.
Other Notables - Weekend Gross - Gross-to-Date Ice Age 4 - $5.5 - $699.4 The Bourne Legacy - $3.6 - $120.1 Wimpy Kid 3 - $2.1 - $23.8 The Lorax - $2 - $127.6 Abe Lincoln - $1.9 - $69.1 Intouchables - $1.9 - $382 ParaNorman - $1.7 - $34.8 Savages - $1.4 - $15.7 To Rome with Love - $1.2 - $50.2 The Watch - $1 - $29.1