Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Foreign Horse Races of August

Animation continues to figure prominently in the moving picture palaces beyond the seas.

The weekend's No. 2 title, "Toy Story 3," wound up two months on the foreign theatrical circuit with a cume of $539.3 million, making the Pixar/Disney 3D title the distributor's biggest-grossing animation release of all time overseas, surpassing 2003's "Finding Nemo" by $11.1 million.

A muscular Thailand debut propelled "Toy Story 3" to a $22.7 million overall from 7,773 venues in 50 markets. Top market is Japan where the threequel captured the No. 1 spot for the sixth consecutive round ...

A No. 1 opening in Venezuela (an estimated $550,000 at 65 spots) plus first-place holdovers in Brazil and Mexico propelled "Despicable Me" to a $7.5 million weekend at 1,725 venues in a total of 25 territories. Foreign cume for Universal's family-oriented 3D animation voiced principally by Steve Carell stands at $56.2 million. A Poland bow is up for this week ....

DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek Forever After" in 3D is still playing internationally via Paramount, grossing $6 million on the weekend from 4,460 venues in 57 territories, and pushing its foreign gross total to $440.5 million. A China opening this week should boost the animation franchise's fourth installment's cume nicely. ...

For the number crunchers among us, the ogre has now collected $677,730,000 with 65% of the take coming from foreign box office; Toy Story 3 is just shy of a billion with $940,067,000. ($57.4% of the number comes from abroad.)

Despicable Me meanwhile, has cvollected a mere 20% of its worldwide total of $278.2 million from countries outside the U.S. and Canada.

Still in all, the three animated features have chalked up almost $1,9 billion over the past few months. Their collective production costs? $434 million*.

* Listed budgets: "TS3" -- $200 million; "Shrek 4" -- $165 million. "Despicable Me" -- $69 million.


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