By Sterling Wong
Warner Bros.’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows made it three weeks at No. 1 internationally, earning $18.1M this week, which was a respectable 39% drop without any new markets opening. The Guy Ritchie-directed film has now grossed $261M overseas, which is 33% ahead of the 2009 original at the same point of release. The next major opening for the film is France on Jan. 25.
David Fincher’s interpretation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo brought home $15.7M internationally, which represented a 5% drop from last week. The Sony production has an overseas total of $70.1M now.
Marking Kate Beckinsale’s return to the franchise, Underworld: Awakening started its international campaign with an estimated $13.4M from 2,344 screens in 36 markets. According to Sony, the movie scored the biggest opening of the franchise in 19 of the 20 tracked markets and was the No. 1 film in 12 of the 20 overseas markets.
Falling to No. 4 this week is Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. The Paramount film drew $9.4M from 4,687 screens in 58 markets, bringing its total overseas to $336.7M. The action flick will open this week in China and Scandinavia.
Fox’s Alvin & the Chipmunk: Chipwrecked dropped a modest 39% to gross $9.3M from 5,500 screens in 47 markets, bringing its international total to $170 million.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island opened abroad this weekend to a solid $8.2 million from 1,082 screens in six countries.
With no new markets opening this week, Disney’s War Horse dropped 14% to gross $7.3M. Now in 12 markets representing 29% of the market, the Steven Spielberg-directed film has now cumed $28.8M internationally.
After winning Best Picture and Best Actor at the Golden Globes, Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants took in $6.2M from 637 screens in 8 markets. The Alexander Payne-directed film has now grossed $9.9M internationally.
The vampire v. werewolves flick debuted atop the Russian box office with $5.4M on 684 screens, which was 7.2 times the opening of Underworld: Evolution. Other No. 1 openings included Malaysia ($900K), India ($895K), the Philippines ($820K), Colombia ($515K) and the UAE ($480K).
In France, the film opened at No. 1 with a strong $3.2M on 514 screens, which was 9% higher than the Swedish original. The first of the Lisbeth Salander saga also scored No. 1 openings in Holland (720K on 114 screens), Belgium (465K on 50 screens) and Mexico ($1.2M on 501 screens).
Now in 50 markets, Fox’s The Darkest Hour grossed $5.1M from 3,200 screens in 50 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $37.2M. The horror flick opened in four new markets this week, including weak openings in Australia and Italy.
Expanding to nine new markets, another Fox release, We Bought a Zoo, earned $2.3M from 1,046 screens. The film opened at No. 1 in Peru and Panama, and also posted strong results in South Korea, Colombia and Chile. With most top markets yet to open, the family film’s overseas cume is now $19.5M.
Heist held firm at $1M at 413 dates in 15 markets for a total of $64.8M.
The Ben Stiller-fronted movie opened this week in Argentina at No. 4 with $322K
at 50 locales. It has five markets still to open, including Panama on Jan. 27.
Commentary: I only hope it can top The Artist for the Best Picture Oscar.
Best Actor (Drama):
George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Comedy or Musical:
Best Actress (Drama):
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Commentary: A minor upset. I still think Viola Davis is the Oscar favorite.
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical):
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Commentary: Dujardin could pull an upset at the Oscars if Clooney and Pitt split the vote.
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Commentary: Wow! What a great surprise.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture:
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Commentary: This is another safe bet for the Oscar. Put it in writing now.
Best Foreign Film:
Commentary: This one has the Oscar in the bag. It's one of the year's safest bets.
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Commentary: It was either this or Moneyball. A great pick. Maybe they should host an awards show in New York so Woody will actually show up—or maybe that doesn't matter.
Best Animated Feature Film:
The Adventures of Tintin
Commentary: A big hit abroad, so no real surprise that it topped Rango.
Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical:
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Commentary: Kristen Wiig deserved this!!!
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture:
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Commentary: Completely deserved. Plummer is easily the favorite for the Oscar—Albert Brooks is now more of a dark horse. A classy and funny acceptance speech.
Best Original Score:
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Best Original Song:
"Masterpiece" by Madonna
Commentary: The Globes always pick something interesting and surprising in this category. The Oscars will find a way to make a boring pick.