Although dropping 51 percent from its opening-round gross, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 still monopolized the foreign theatrical circuit for the second consecutive weekend, drawing $97.5 million from some 13,500 locations in 73 overseas territories.
The fifth and final title based on Stephenie Meyer’s series of novels about a young woman (Kristen Stewart) in love with a vampire (Robert Pattinson) has blasted its way to a total international tally of $350.8 million, about $80 million less than the franchise’s all-time offshore box-office champ, last year’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 ($430.9 million).
Breaking Dawn Part 2 -- held the top spot in most major markets, although it dropped to No. 2 in Australia (thanks to the debut of Skyfall) and in Russia (bumped by the opening of Rise of the Guardians) and No. 3 in South Korea (finishing third after a pair of local-language titles).
A Germany opening generated $15.2 million at 765 sites – a market record for a Twilight title – while an Austria debut contributed $1.8 million and a premiere in German-speaking Switzerland came up with $1.5 million.
Lionsgate International, which is handling foreign distribution of the Summit Entertainment co-production, said Breaking Dawn -- Part 2’s mighty action helped lift the distributor’s 2012 total foreign box office past the $1 billion mark.
Finishing No. 2 was Sony/MGM’s Skyfall, the 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise, which collected $41.3 million from 7,975 spots in 60 markets handled by Sony. Results from territories handled by licensees of co-distributor MGM were “not current available” on Sunday.
The third outing starring Daniel Craig as 007 collected a total foreign gross of $507.6 million via both Sony/MGM through Nov. 18. (Sony has so far collected about 86 percent of Skyfall’s foreign revenue.) The film's current international gross total is estimated to be at least $568 million.
In its Australia opening, Skyfall generated $12.5 million at 597 sites for a per-screen average of $21,000, said Sony. In New Zealand, it drew a 65 percent share of the market’s total weekend gross with $1.68 million at 111 spots.
Lighting up the foreign circuit was Twentieth Century Fox’s release of Life of Pi, the film version of Yann Martel’s novel about a young castaway and a Bengal tiger. Directed by Taiwanese-born Ang Lee, the Fox 2000 co-production opened at No. 1 in China ($10.5 million at 4,500 spots), Taiwan ($2.2 million at 165 locations), Hong Kong ($1.4 million at 96 situations) and India ($3.4 million at 697 sites).
Overall on the weekend, in its opening offshore launch, Life of Pi grossed $17.5 million at 5,458 locations in the four markets. IMAX said the film tallied $3 million on 97 IMAX screens in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, for a per-screen average of more than $30,000.
In its second round on the foreign circuit, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians opened in eight markets, grossing $10 million from 3,869 cinemas and lifting its very early offshore cume to $13.5 million.
The Paramount release, a $145 million fantasy title featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin and Hugh Jackman, premiered No. 1 in Russia with $5.85 million elicited from some 800 locations. Guardians takes off in some 50 markets this week including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and South Korea.
Thanks to a solid holdover in France ($1.4 million at 360, No. 4 in the market), Argo -- actor-director Ben Affleck’s international thriller -- grossed $6 million on the weekend overall at 2,700 screens in 47 territories. Offshore cume stands at $50 million.
Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, a comedy voiced by Adam Sandler and Kevin James about a boy who discovers Dracula is real, grossed $5.5 million at 3,825 sites in 58 markets. The title’s foreign gross total stands at $147.9 million.
Wreck-It Ralph, Disney’s 3D family animation title playing in 19 territories, dipped to $2.1 million overseas in its fourth round -- lifting its foreign gross total to $41.2 million. Its worldwide take stands at $190.8 million.
Elevating its very early overseas cume to $3.4 million was Flight, starring Denzel Washington, which has yet to really take off outside of its domestic release. The drama's fourth foreign round in five markets drew $723,000. "Major focus of the international release will hit theaters at the beginning of next year, to coincide with awards season," said distributor Paramount.
Opening No. 4 in the U.K. was The Weinstein Co’s Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell’s dramedy co-starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. A first round at 394 sites lured an estimated $2 million. The film also opened No. 7 in Russia.
The biggest-grossing local-language newcomer in France was Therese Desqueyroux, an adaptation of Francois Mauriac’s 1927 novel about thwarted passion and attempted murder.
The UGC Distribution release, which played at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival, stars Audrey Tautou, and was directed and scripted by the late Claude Miller. The opening round at some 350 screens drew an estimated $1.2 million, sufficient for a No. 5 market ranking.
Other international cumes: Universal’s The Man With The Iron Fists, $750,000 in four markets; Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 4, $84.5 million; Universal’s Pitch Perfect, $4.6 million; Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $79 million.
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