December 18, 2007 / 1:47 AM / 11 years ago

"Compass" spins towards $100 million overseas

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “The Golden Compass” sped towards the $100 million mark at the overseas box office, even as the costly family fantasy lost steam in North America.

Australian actress Nicole Kidman arrives on the red carpet at the Australian premiere of "The Golden Compass" at the State Theatre in Sydney, December 16, 2007. REUTERS/Patrick Riviere

According to final data issued Monday, the film took in $29.2 million from 44 foreign territories, lifting its tally to $91.2 million after two weekends.

The 12-day take from the U.K. came to $25.1 million; France, $9.9 million; Spain, $11.2 million; and Germany, $9.2 million in 11 days.

“Compass”‘ performance overseas provides another sign of how meaningful the foreign market has become in rescuing domestic disappointments. The North American total stands at only $41 million, after a 66 percent slide in its second weekend. But its distributor, New Line Cinema, sold off foreign rights to help cover the $180 million cost.

Other examples include “Beowulf,” which reached $100 million overseas during the weekend, compared with a gross of about $70 million in the domestic market; “The Heartbreak Kid” ($83.4 million foreign, $36.8 million domestic); and “Stardust” ($96 million foreign, $38.3 million domestic).

New North American champ “I Am Legend” found enthusiastic fans in eight Asian markets, generating $20 million. Its top-place bows included Korea ($6.5 million) and Japan ($6.4 million). The Will Smith sci-fi tale set a December opening record in North America with a $77.2 million haul.

With the addition of 21 countries, Jerry Seinfeld’s animated “Bee Movie” tallied $20.4 million from 40 territories. Debuts included the U.K. ($4.7 million), France ($3.1 million) and Germany ($2.1 million). The international total rose to $58.3 million. Including North America, the total is $180 million. DreamWorks Animation is on the hook for about $300 million in production and marketing costs.

The Disney fairy tale “Enchanted” delivered $16.3 million from 27 markets for a foreign total of $54.1 million to date. It arrived in the U.K. with $5.2 million, No. 2 behind “Golden Compass.” It was No. 1 in Mexico with $3.3 million.

“Hitman,” armed with 14 openings, provided $7 million from 51 markets, raising its total to $34.6 million. It came in at No. 3 in Germany and No. 4 in Brazil.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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