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GERMANY: 'Smurfs' Sequel Wins Top Spot Despite Soft Numbers on August 07, 2013

s2.pngThe Smurfs opened in 575 locations across Germany in 2011, posting a fantastic $6.3 million debut that paved the way to a $29.3 million cume. The sequel opened in Germany on the same weekend two years later, gearing up for a big weekend at over 1,000 locations -nearly twice the ammount of screens dedicated to its predecessor. The sequel's $3.6 million opening result was good enough to lead the weekend but is nevertheless a disappointing return for considering the franchise's potential. 

The Wolverine took a backseat to the Smurfs in its second frame, earning $2.1 million across 604 screens to take its total to $7.2 million. Despicable Me 2 came in third place, continuing a strong run at the box office with a $1.8 million weekend that raises its 5-week total to $27.3 million. The Conjuring scored weekend's highest per-screen average with $4,044 across 228 locations. The limited release for the horror film saw it land on fifth place with a $935k debut. 

Top Ten Films in Germany. August 2-4, 2013

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FRANCE: 'Now You See Me' Makes 'The Smurfs 2' Disappear on August 07, 2013

NowYouSeeMeStill.jpgA $6.4 million opening weekend for Now You See Me eclipsed the debut of The Smurfs 2 in France. Now You See Me played in 503 screens against The Smurfs' 700, outgrossing the children's film in a reduced screen count by $2.5 million. The combined business of the new releases bumped down The Wolverine to third place in its second weekend, where the superhero film managed a $2.9 million take from 689 locations. The Wolverine has grossed $12.4 million in France.

Despicable Me 2 has had a spectacular run in France. It took in $1.2 million in its sixth weekend, bringing its total to an impressive $34.1 million, well beyond the $25.3 million total of its predecessor. Monsters University pales in comparison to the success of the Minions sequel; the Pixar prequel hit the $13 million mark after a $1.1 million tally in its fourth weekend. R.I.P.D. officially bombed in France. A lackluster $907k opening weekend landed the film in sixth place, a poor result that will likely see the film slide out of the top ten chart in the coming weeks.  

Top Ten Films in France. August 2-4, 2013

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AUSTRALIA: 'Wolverine' Hits $10M; 'Conjuring' Continues Packing Theaters on August 07, 2013

Wolverinestill.jpgThe Wolverine led a second consecutive weekend in Australia, reaching a $10 million cume after collecting $2.9 million from 581 screens. Hugh Jackman's superhero has found a receptive audience in the star's home country but is unlikely to match the $21.9 million currently reported by Man of Steel's theatrical run. 

The Conjuring posted the weekend's best per-screen average, grossing $7,148 from 170 locations. The $1.2 million weekend take represented a 19% drop in the film's third weekend, taking the total gross to $5.4 million. Third place went to The Heat, another hold over, which grossed $1.1 million over the weekend and reached an $11.7 million total.  The World's End was the best performing new release of the weekend despite coming up with an underwhelming $959k debut from 224 locations. The Way, Way Back opened to a $3,173 average from 124 screens.  

Top Ten Films in Australia. August 2-4, 2013

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UPDATED GLOBAL: 'The Smurfs 2' Opens to $80.2M, 4% Under the Original on August 04, 2013

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Monday: Studios are reporting several revisions to their weekend numbers. Here are Monday's actuals, organized by distributor.

Fox
The Heat: $37,319,789
The Internship: $31,425,512
Turbo: $56,493,274
The Wolverine: $160,051,891

Universal
Despicable Me 2: $386,542,266
Fast & Furious 6: $535,213,308
R.I.P.D.: $18,294,066
The Purge: $15,275,412

Warner Bros.
Pacific Rim: $200,000,000 
The Conjuring $28,800,000
Man of Steel: $359,500,000

The Weinstein Company
Scary Movie 5: $44,698,333
Escape From Planet Earth: $13,883,905
Only God Forgives: $8,024,453

SundayThe Smurfs 2 couldn't live up to the opening success of the original, earning 4% less than the debut of its predecessor in its day-and-date premiere. The animated sequel grossed $52.5 million from 43 overseas markets and posted an $80.2 million worldwide debut.

The Smurfs sequel dominated in Latin America, bringing $18.2 million from the region, including big debuts in Brazil ($4.7M) and Mexico ($4.3M). The family film also posted positive results across Europe, including big openings in Russia ($5.4M), the UK ($5.1M), France ($4.2M), Germany ($3.8M), and Spain ($3M).

Fast & Furious 6 earned $8.8 million from 32 territories since Friday, bringing its overseas total to a robust $533.1 million. Fast 6 is the second biggest film of 2013 with a $771.1 million global total. China has given the film a late push, contributing $52.3 million and making it Universal's biggest performer in the market after only ten days in release. 

Despicable Me 2 grossed $13.8 million from 51 territories over the weekend, taking the animated film's overseas total to $387 million. The Minions have grossed $713.7 million worldwide. Despicable Me 2 opened in first place in Lebanon with $260k, the biggest opening of all time for an animated film in the market. The film reached a $58.1 million cume in the United Kingdom, making it the second biggest film of the year in the U.K. behind Les Miserables. The animated film still has a dozen territories left to open, including Russia on August 15. Despicable Me 2 is third biggest film of the year at the global box office, behind Iron Man 3 and Fast 6. 

Monsters University added another $12.8 million to its global cume over the weekend. The lion's share of that figure came from overseas, where the Pixar prequel has reached a total of $354.9 million over seven weeks. Monsters University is a $613.5 million hit for Disney, with Japan's $58.3 million leading the overseas markets. The film will open in Italy and China by the end of the month. Other top markets for Monsters University include Mexico ($38.1M), the United Kingdom ($31.7M), Argentina ($23.5M), Australia ($22M), and Russia ($20.9M). 

The Wolverine continues its strong overseas run, reaching a $160.2 million overseas total and a $255.2 million worldwide cume. The superhero spin-off earned $38.5 million overseas in a weekend without any new openings. Top performers for the film include Russia ($17.7M), the United Kingdom ($14.5M), Brazil ($13.9M), and Mexico ($12.5M). The film still has a dozen markets left on its rease schedule.

World War z posted the biggest opening weekend of the summer in Spain, drawing $4.5 million from 665 locations. Brad Pitt's zombie movie has grossed $292.5 million overseas and $488.3 million globally. Next weekend's opening in Japan can put the film on track for a $500 million worldwide cume.

Pacific Rim hit the $200 million overseas mark before being able to reach $100 million in North America. The popcorn flick earned an estimated $45.2 million from its opening in China, the highest performance for a Warner Bros. release in the market. Other top performers for Pacific Rim include Russia ($20M), South Korea ($17.9M) and Mexico ($15M).

A $3.8 million opening in the UK helped The Heat reach a $37.3 million overseas total. There are 30 markets left in the film's overseas run and it is poised to top the overseas performance of co-star Melissa McCarthy's previous comedy, Identity Thief, which earned $41 million outside of North America. The Heat has grossed $186.8 million worldwide.

Disney has struggled selling The Lone Ranger overseas. The film has been released in around 50% of the overseas marketplace and only registered an $88.7 million total. The film had a strong $3.7 million opening in Japan over the weekend and will be released in top markets like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom by August 9. The Lone Ranger has grossed $175.4 million globally, with Russia ($15.8M), Australia ($9.4M), and Mexico ($8.9M) leading the overseas markets. 

R.I.P.D. continues to be a disappointment for Universal. The action flick has failed to attract audiences in 19 territories, where R.I.P.D. has only earned $18.4 million. The box office woes in North America are just as bad with a $30.4 million take from North America and Canada. Universal's losses won't compare to the red ink dripping from Disney's Lone Ranger, thanks to a smaller budget and a comparatively softer marketing campaign for R.I.P.D.  

GLOBAL PREVIEW: Can 'The Smurfs 2' Top the $563M of the Original? on August 02, 2013

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By Daniel Loria

2013 has proven to be a great year for family fare at the global box office. Early hits like Oz: The Great and Powerful ($258.3M Overseas / $493.2M Global) and The Croods ($400M Overseas / $586.5M Global) set the stage for a busy summer that has seen four animated wide releases take over the overseas marketplace, posting big openings and strong holds throughout their respective runs.

Despicable Me 2
is the biggest success story of the year in this arena. The Universal release has been one of the biggest hits of the summer with a $369.1 million overseas gross and a $683.1 million global total. The sequel is the third highest grossing film of the year worldwide, behind Iron Man 3 and Fast & Furious 6. Despicable Me 2 will have to close out its theatrical run without a release in China, a market that allowed The Croods to thrive despite an inconsistent track record for Hollywood animation in the country. The original Despicable Me finished its overseas run with $291.5 million and a $543 million global total.

Monsters University has also posted big numbers around the world. A $321.6 million overseas tally and $577 million worldwide total ranks the Pixar prequel among the year's most successful releases. Monsters U has surpassed the success of Monsters Inc., which walked away from theaters with $269.1 million overseas and $559.2 million worldwide.

Turbo and Epic haven't reached a similar blockbuster status but have performed steadily overseas. Epic has earned $140.6 million outside of North America and $246.9 million globally, without the help of an established property behind it. Turbo is having a much slower time at the box office, a factor that can be attributed to an overseas release scheduled to scale out through the rest of the summer. Turbo has grossed $41.5 million overseas and $103.1 million worldwide with 41 territories still left to release.

Sony desperately needs good news this summer and will hope that this weekend's day-and-date roll out of The Smurfs 2 will help mitigate the box office damage instigated by costly misfires like After Earth and White House Down. The company was able to soften the blow of After Earth's disastrous $60 million in North America with a respectable $181 million overseas, a figure close to Tom Cruise's Oblivion ($197 million). White House Down hasn't been able to find a comparable audience, languishing with $45.5 million from a limited overseas exposure and $116.5 million global total. The Smurfs 2 will have team up with the upcoming Elysium to turn around Sony's summer. The original Smurfs film was a global hit through a $420.4 million overseas run and $563 million worldwide total.

As with any animated release, Latin America should indicate just how much global audiences are looking forward to the Smurfs sequel. Brazil was a key market for the original film, earning a $32.9 million cume after opening to $6.9 million. Mexico contributed $20.6 million to the original after a $5.7 million opening weekend. Those are high numbers to match but it shouldn't be an impossible feat in a global market where Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University have already had ample time to shine. The easy counter-argument to make is Turbo, which has been swept by the one-two punch of Monsters and Minions. The Smurfs 2 can't be considered in the same light, however, if we take into account the global recognition of the franchise across generations. The Smurfs doesn't need to create the audience that Turbo needed to succeed; The Smurfs created that audience decades ago and confirmed the brand's viability with the original feature film release.

A $500 million overseas tally is a possibility for The Smurfs 2, particularly if the franchise can succeed in China again. A crowded animated slate, however, could damper those expectations. No animated film has hit the half-billion overseas mark this year, and the strong runs of The Croods, Despicable Me 2, and Monsters University raise doubts that global audiences are clamoring for another family-oriented picture. A more realistic expectation for The Smurfs 2 involves a strong overseas debut this weekend and a steady hold through the remainder of the summer, even if it can't reach the same heights as the original. The Smurfs 2 will need to rely on strong word of mouth if it wants to surpass, or even match, the $420 million overseas gross of its predecessor.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.


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