Around-the-World Roundup: 'Pirates' Sails to New Overseas Record

by Ray Subers
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

May 24, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides off-set its domestic franchise dip with an unprecedented $260.4 million foreign debut. That topped Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as the highest-grossing start ever overseas, and it was also up 21 percent from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End's $216 million.

Non-IMAX 3D showings accounted for 63 percent of Pirates's foreign gross, while IMAX 3D contributed $8.3 million on 138 screens or around three percent of the gross.

Further illustrating their rapid growth and increased importance in the foreign marketplace, Russia and China were Pirates's top territories with $28.6 million and $20 million, respectively. On Stranger Tides is already the top Pirates movie ever in China, and it's just a day or two away from reaching that mark in Russia as well.

On Stranger Tides also had strong launches throughout the rest of Europe and Asia and set industry records in Latin America, the Middle East, Norway, Turkey and Ukraine. Key territories included Germany ($20.5 million), the United Kingdom ($18.9 million), Japan ($18.6 million), France ($16.6 million), South Korea ($12.4 million), Italy ($11.5 million), Australia ($10.8 million), Mexico ($9.9 million), Spain ($9.5 million) and Brazil ($8.4 million).

Including its $90.2 million domestic take, On Stranger Tides logged a $350.6 million worldwide launch. That ranked slightly ahead of the debut of At World's End but behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($394 million) and Spider-Man 3 ($381.6 million). Through Monday, Pirates has earned $286.5 million overseas, and its worldwide total will top $400 million today (Tuesday).

The big question now is whether On Stranger Tides can surpass At World's End's $654 million foreign total. It's obviously off to a strong start, though it will likely fade quickly over the coming weeks against stiff competition from The Hangover Part II, Kung Fu Panda 2 and X-Men: First Class.

In a distant second, Fast Five took a 54 percent dive but continued its impressive foreign run with $26.6 million. That brought its total to $322.2 million, passing Rio as 2011's top-grossing movie overseas (a title which should belong to Pirates by Friday or Saturday). Worldwide, it became the year's first movie to cross the $500 million mark.

Thor lost most of its 3D screens to Pirates and, in turn, lost most of its audience: the God of Thunder plummeted 74 percent to $7.8 million for a foreign total of $246 million. With its Japanese debut still on the horizon, Thor should easily out-gross the first Iron Man's $266 million, though reaching $300 million seems like a stretch.

Foreign Top Ten - Weekend Gross - Gross-to-Date
1. Pirates 4 - $260.4 - $260.4
2. Fast Five - $26.6 - $322.2
3. Thor - $7.8 - $246
4. Rio - $5.6 - $314.5
5. Water for Elephants - $5.3 - $45.4
6. Priest - $4.6 - $37.6
7. Midnight in Paris - $3.9 - $11.5
8. Sunny - $3.8 - $18.4
9. Source Code - $2.2 - $57.8
10. Black Swan - $2.2 - $203.5

Related Stories:
Weekend Report: 'Pirates' Rides Smaller 'Tides'
'Pirates' Already Making Waves Overseas
Summer 2011 Foreign Forecast
Forecast: 'Pirates' Has Some Life Left in It
Around-the-World Roundup: 'At World's End' Massive in Beginning
Around-the-World Roundup: 'Thor' Conquers,' 'Fast' Speeds Up

Related Charts:
Latest Foreign Charts
2011 Worldwide Grosses
All-Time Worldwide

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