By Sterling Wong
Puss in Boots leaped to the top of the international box office chart this weekend, grossing a robust $45.6M from 5,911 locations in 42 markets. The Paramount-distributed film has now earned an international total of $142.3M.
The Shrek spinoff opened in 16 new territories this weekend, including No. 1 debuts in Germany, Brazil, Australia and the UK & Ireland. In Germany, the film bowed to $7.2M from 680 locales, which was 6% ahead of Kung Fu Panda 2's bow, 28% more than Despicable Me's, and 125% better than Shrek Forever After's. In Argentina, the film produced the fourth highest all-time opening gross, topping the box office there with an excellent $2.7M from 124 locations.
Finally relinquishing its stranglehold on the international box office, Summit's The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 earned an estimated $19.8M from 73 markets and 7,800 playdates. The film did not open in new markets this weekend, and hold had to rely on holdover business. In Germany, the film was solid at No. 2 with $3M from 753 locations, placing it behind only Puss in Boots' opening frame. The penultimate Twilight film has wooed its way to an incredible $374M internationally, and it is still to open in Hong Kong (Dec. 22) and Japan (Feb. 25).
Coming in at No. 3 was Sony's Arthur Christmas. The 3D animation flick collected $14.3M from 7,460 locations in 63 markets, thanks in large part to a $3.3M runner-up opening in Russia from 732 screens. The Aardman Animations production's international cume is now $57.5 million, and it should enjoy strong legs in the next two weeks leading up to Christmas.
While it came on top domestically, Warner Bros' New Year's Eve was fourth with $12.85M from approximately 2,765 screens in 38 markets. In Australia, the ensemble piece bowed with $2.8m. In the UK and Germany, the film earned $2.5M and $1.8M respectively, while Brazil contributed with $715K. Next up, the film will open in Mexico (Dec. 16), France (Dec. 21), Italy, Spain, Japan (Dec. 23) and Russia (Jan. 12).
Another Warner Bros property, Happy Feet Two, grossed $10.1M from 6,830 screens in 47 markets, bringing the international cume to date to $49.2M. The sequel premiered with an estimated €854K ($1.1M), including previews, in France. Australia will be the next new market where the film will open the day after Christmas.
Fox's In Time grossed $5.9M from 2,046 screens in 34 markets, which brings the film's international cume up to an impressive $91.5M. The film displayed strong legs in its second week of release in Germany ($1.9M, down only 22%), Spain ($1.2M, down only 39%), Austria ($267K, down only 21%), Argentina ($150K, down only 22%), and Poland ($150K, down only 24%). With Japan still to open in February next year, the film should inch past the $100M mark overseas.
Universal's Tower Heist took in $2.9M at 2,200 dates in 45 territories this weekend to raise the international total to $47M. The film opened in Mexico at No. 3 with $775K at 358 dates. Ben Stiller and co. have 9 territories to take over, including Brazil on Dec. 16 and Australia on Dec. 26.
The Spielberg-directed The Adventures of Tintin journeyed its way to $1.4M for Paramount from 1,996 locations in nine markets. In these nine Paramount-distributed international markets, the motion-capture film has grossed $52.7M thus far.
In its third weekend of release, Disney's The Muppets garnered an estimated $1.2M in seven markets for an international cume of $5.8 million.
Fuga De Cerebros 2, a local Universal acquisition, continued to perform strongly in Spain, holding at No. 3 with $1M in its second weekend. The filming, playing at 320 dates, has now grossed $4.9M in ten days.
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Timur Bekmambetov will receive the International Filmmaker of the Year Award, as part of CinemaCon's International Day, it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon, which will be held April 23 - 26, 2012 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. CinemaCon, the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), is the largest and most important gathering of cinema owners and operators from around the world. Bekmambetov will receive his special honor during International Day festivities, to take place on Monday, April 23, 2012.
Bekmambetov is currently directing and producing the live action adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Produced by Tim Burton and Jim Lemley, this visceral and genre-bending 3D action-adventure reveals the incredible story of Lincoln's lifelong war on vampires, and the role these creatures played in the untold history of the United States. The Twentieth Century Fox film is slated for a June 22, 2012 release.
"With some of the highest grossing films in Russian history, Timur Bekmambetov has brought a unique narrative to international film audiences since his feature film debut ‘Peshavar Vals' (‘Escape from Afghanistan') took a violent and realistic look at the war between Russia and Afghanistan," noted Neuhauser. "From the fantasy films ‘Night Watch' and ‘Day Watch' to the action blockbuster ‘Wanted,' Bekmambetov has thrilled audiences around the globe with his cinematic point of view. And with the impending release of what is sure to be one of the most original, unique and exciting films of 2012, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' we could not be more honored to present Timur Bekmambetov with the CinemaCon International Filmmaker of the Year Award."
Born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, Bekmambetov graduated from the A. N. Ostrovsky Theatrical and Artistic Institute in 1987 with a degree in theater and cinema set designing. He began his career as one of the directors of Bank Imperial's popular "World History" commercials before founding the Bazelevs Group in 1994. Making his feature film debut in 1994 with "Peshavar Vals," Bekmambetov went on to direct some of the highest grossing Russian movies of all time, including the smash hits "Night Watch" and "Day Watch." In 2008, Bekmambetov made his Hollywood directorial debut with the Angelina Jolie fronted blockbuster "Wanted." Additional directing and producing credits include: "GAZ - Russian Cars," "The Irony of Fate-2," "Black Lightning," "Yolki" and "Vykryutasi." Bekmambetov has also produced a number of films in the US and Russia including "9," the story of a rag doll in a post-apocalyptic world and the upcoming "The Darkest Hour," a science fiction film set in Moscow and produced by New Regency. The film stars Emile Hirsch and will be released December 25, 2011.
CinemaCon will attract upwards of 5,000 motion picture professionals from all facets of the industry-from exhibition and distribution, to the equipment and concession areas-all on hand to celebrate the moviegoing experience and the cinema industry. From exclusive Hollywood product presentations highlighting a slate of upcoming films, to must-see premiere feature screenings, to the biggest stars, producers and directors, CinemaCon will help jumpstart the excitement and buzz that surrounds the summer season at the box office. In returning to Caesars Palace, CinemaCon is able to offer its delegates a modern and upscale conference facility and a one-of-a-kind moviegoing experience in The Colosseum, the 4,200 seat theatre and crown jewel of Caesars Palace.
CinemaCon is delighted to have both the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) and National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) as its trade show partners.