July 9, 2008 / 1:42 AM / in 10 years

"Hancock" joins legion of box office superheroes

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.

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

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.

Will Smith and Jason Bateman in a scene from "Hancock". REUTERS/Sony Pictures/Handout

“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.

The Angelina Jolie thriller “Wanted” hauled in $17.8 million from 23 territories, raising its international gross to $63.5 million. “Wanted” opened at No. 1 in Italy ($2.2 million) and held the top post in Russia for a second weekend with $5.9 million.

Rounding out the weekend’s top five was the much-acclaimed animated film “WALL-E,” which took in $13.6 million from 11 countries, with No. 1 entries in eight markets, including Mexico ($5.5 million) and Russia ($5.2 million). “WALL-E’s” overseas rollout continues through December, when it opens in Japan.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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