Pirates….tops opening weekend b-o crown

MUMBAI: Though the sequels of Kung Fu Panda and Hangover opened strongly in the foreign theatrical circuit, but it was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides went on to wear the weekend’s No. 1 box-office crown.

On Stranger Tides reached the $600 million worldwide box office mark in just 12 days with a accumulated total of $623.7 million, making the sequel 2011’s biggest-grossing title globally.

The film’s foreign gross total has already surpassed that of the franchise original, 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which racked up $352.9 million.

The fourth sequel in producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s fantasy-action franchise captured $122.8 million that was a 48% drop from the film’s record-setting opening of $260.4 million. The film’s total foreign box-office total so far comes to $470.8 million, more than three times its domestic gross of $152.9 million.

The sequel of Hangover II namely The Hangover Part II, that grossed $191.6 million on the foreign circuit, opened at 5,170 screens in 40 territories for $59 million, that is said to be three times higher than the comparable opening gross of Hangover in the same markets. The film finished second overall on the weekend.

Hangover II drew huge numbers from its No. 1 UK bow ($16.4 million from 920 screens, the biggest market opening for a U.S. comedy) and from Australia ($11.6 million from 424 screens). A first place debut in France kicked in $5.8 million from 445 screens, which Warners calculates was 154% higher the comparable market opening gross for the original. Germany and Russia will open this week.

On the other hand, Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D opened in just 11 markets and drew $57 million from 8,023 locations. It ranked No. 3 on the weekend. The sequel to 2008’s Kung Fu Panda -- which grossed a total of $416 million overseas -- finished in the top spot in nine of its debut territories with China, Russia and South Korea leading the list. Paramount is the distributor in almost all markets.

In China the weekend threw off a humongous $18.5 million from 5,540 situations. Russia came up with $15 million from 700 sites while Korea (via C.J. Entertainment) chipped in $13 million from 1,080 venues. All-time opening box office records for an animation title were set in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and in India.

This week will see Kung Fu Panda 2 opening in another 11 markets as it rolls out gradually over the summer month to capitalize on school holidays, topped by a Japan bow on 19 August.

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