"Hancock" joins legion of box office superheroes

Tue Jul 8, 2008 1:49am EDT
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By Hy Hollinger

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Welcome to the Summer of the Superheroes. The international appeal of Will Smith and the overseas market's fondness for action heroes saw "Hancock" open to a mighty $78.6 million from 55 territories during the weekend, according to final data issued Monday.

The Sony release became the fourth comic-book adaptation to dominate an opening overseas weekend since May, when "Iron Man" bowed to $95.5 million from 57 markets. Since then, "The Incredible Hulk" bowed with $31 million from 38 markets, and "Wanted" exploded last weekend with $32.5 million from 22.

Still to come is "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," starting out this weekend, and the new Batman picture "The Dark Knight," which is set for a wide release in mid-July.

Sony executives are estimating that "Hancock" will reach a foreign gross in the mid-$300 million range by the time it completes its offshore run.

According to Sony, "Hancock" opened at No. 1 in 52 markets, with the U.K. delivering $19.2 million; Germany, $12.6 million; Korea, $8.5 million; Australia, $7.3 million; and China, $6.6 million. Eleven markets, including France and Russia, are scheduled to open this weekend.

"Kung Fu Panda" took in $39.6 million from 39 markets -- 18 of them new -- lifting its international total to $153.6 million. Weekend action was highlighted by $11.9 million from the U.K., $5 million from Germany, $2.5 million from Brazil, $2.2 million from Poland and $1.1 million from Argentina.

"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" -- opening at No. 1 in 10 new markets -- reached an international total of $194.2 million after gathering $24.6 million from 42 territories.

The fantasy -- which has taken in $27.1 in seven weeks in Japan, $15.3 million in two in the U.K., and $14.2 million in two from France -- opens July 31 in Germany and August 14 in Italy.   Continued...

<p>U.S. actor Will Smith and South African actress Charlize Theron pose on the red carpet for the German premiere of their latest movie "Hancock" in Berlin, June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>