International Box Office: Mission Not Impossible as Ghost Protocol Lands at the Top

on December 18, 2011

By Sterling Wong

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International audiences love Tom Cruise, especially when he's in action star mode, and this was confirmed when the superstar's latest tentpole blockbuster, Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, bowed to an impressive $68.2M internationally from 6,079 locations in 36 markets.

Even without the benefit of The Dark Knight Rises previews, Ghost Protocol earned $3 million from 85 IMAX locations overseas. Clearly, audiences worldwide seeing Cruise perform spectacular stunts up close in their faces. The film scored No.1 openings in Korea, Japan, Australia and Russia, among others. In the UAE, where fans flocked to see Cruise mount the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the film set the all-time opening record with $2.4M.

Adding for Christmas cheer for Paramount was the $30.4M Puss In Boots took in this weekend from 6,054 locations in 43 markets. The Shrek spinoff has now earned a strong $188.2M internationally. 

Debuting in third position internationally was Warner Bros.' Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which grossed $14.65M from 2,113 screens in six markets. In the UK, the Guy Ritchie-directed actioner topped the charts with $5.8M. The film also bowed at No.1 in Italy ($5M), Sweden ($1.2M) and Turkey ($966K). In Hong Kong, Downey Jr. and company earned a strong $1M, just marginally below Ghost Protocol's $1.2M bow. Next week, Sherlock Holmes will expand to Korea and Germany. 

Squeaking in just after Holmes with $14.5M from 3,815 screens in 38 markets was Fox's Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. The kiddie flick's sole No.1 debut was in Mexico, where it earned $1.6M. In the UK, it bowed at No.2 with $4M. 

Sony's Arthur Christmas fell a soft 32%, grossing $9.7M for a solid international total for $72.8M. The Aardman Animations production fared impressively in its home country, the U.K., as it actually increased 6% in its sixth weekend of release to earn $2.4M. In Australia, the film also held strong, dropping a mere 6% for a $540K weekend.

Sliding only 34% in holdover markets, Warner Bros. New Year's Eve rejoiced with an $8.9M take this week from nearly 3,200 screens in 42 markets. The ensemble romantic comedy has an international cume now of $27.8M. With France, Italy, Spain and Japan all to open next week, the movie should again hold up well as New Year's Eve nears.

Slowly winding down its international run, Summit Ent.'s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I grossed $8.1M from 7,300 screens in 74 markets. With openings in Hong Kong (Dec. 22) and Japan (Feb. 25) still to come, the vampire love story has earned an outstanding $391.4M overseas.

With Alvin & The Chipmunks providing competition for the family demographic and no new key markets this weekend, another Warner Bros. property, Happy Feet Two, plunged 56% to earn an estimated $4.4M from roughly 5,000 screens in 48 markets, lifting its international total to $55.6M. The film's final key market opening will be Australia on Dec. 26.

Edging ever closer to the $100M mark, Fox's In Time earned $3.3M from 26 markets, bringing its international total to $97.2M. With Venezuela and Japan still to open, the Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried sci-fi thriller will eventually cross $100M, perhaps as soon as next week.

Universal's Tower Heist earned an estimated $2.1M at 1,225 dates in 43 territories this weekend, which brought the international total to $50.4M.  The Ben Stiller-led comic caper has eight more territories still to open, including Australia on Dec. 26.  

Universal's local acquisition in Spain, Fuga De Cerebros 2, grossed $710k three weeks in and has now earned a strong $6M. 

In the nine Paramount-distributed markets, Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin took in $603K. The motion capture caper's total in these nine markets now stands at $54M.

Despite opening in two new markets, Disney’s The Muppets dropped 50% in its fourth weekend of release to gross $600K, bringing its international cume to $7 million. 

Tags: Happy Feet Two, new year's eve, sherlock holmes: a game of shadows, The Muppets, fuga de cerebros 2, Tower Heist, Arthur Christmas, Mission Impossible 4, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, in time, puss in boots, the adventures of tintin

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