December 18, 2007 / 1:47 AM / 10 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.

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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