After setting a new Quentin Tarantino record at the domestic box office, Django Unchained got off to a fantastic start overseas this weekend. The movie grossed $49.4 million from 54 markets, which is up over 30 percent on Inglourious Basterds across the same territories. That's particularly impressive considering Basterds was a European-set World War II movie, while Django is a Western set in the American South (rarely appealing to foreign audiences).
Django's great start in spite of its genre challenges can be attributed to the personnel involved. Quentin Tarantino's brand is clearly at an all-time high following the critical and commercial success of Inglourious Basterds, while Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson range from international superstar (DiCaprio) to highly recognizable at least (Foxx and Waltz).
Django had great first place debuts in Germany ($9.6 million), France ($7.3 million), Italy ($4.3 million) and Spain ($3.3 million). It also performed well in Russia ($5.4 million) and was solid in the U.K. ($4.8 million), though it wound up in second place in both cases.
Inglourious Basterds ultimately closed with over $200 million, which now appears to be an achievable figure for Django Unchained. At the very least, it will easily exceed True Grit, which was a domestic hit but failed to impress overseas with less than $80 million.
Life of Pi added $22.2 million for a new total of $394.6 million. With openings in Japan and Venezuela to look forward to, a final tally around $450 million is well-within range.
Les Miserables continued its great overseas performance this weekend with $19.1 million. It held first place in the U.K. with $7 million, and has now grossed $28.6 million there. Through Monday, the movie has earned $152.7 million overseas for a stellar worldwide total of $284.3 million.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey dipped 50 percent to $13.2 million this weekend. So far, it has grossed over $920 million worldwide, and will likely get to $1 billion after opening in China in late February.
Jack Reacher added $10.9 million for a new foreign total of $97.96 million. Including previews, it earned a very good $3.2 million in its debut in South Korea.
A week ahead of its U.S. debut, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters opened in first place in Russia with a great $8.4 million. While the movie looks like a non-starter in the U.S., this debut suggests that Hansel and Gretel (which, of course, is in 3D) could save a lot of face overseas: along with the U.S., it opens in 19 other markets in Latin America and Asia this weekend.
Worldwide comedy sensation Ted reached its final market this weekend, and it was a doozy: the Seth MacFarlane comedy scored $4.5 million in Japan, which is the best start ever for an R-rated comedy there. In comparison, it grossed more in its opening weekend than The Hangover Part II made in its entire run ($3 million). Ted's overseas total is now $290.2 million, while its worldwide total is at $508.2 million.
On the heels of its 12 Oscar nominations, Lincoln began its overseas roll-out this weekend. It earned a very good $2.9 million in Spain, but faltered in Mexico with just $664,255.