Superman movies have struggled to connect with foreign audiences in the past, but “Man of Steel” took a big step toward reversing that trend this weekend.
Warner Bros.’ first Superman movie in seven years brought in $71.6 million from 24 foreign markets in its international debut. Coupled with its $125 million domestic debut, its worldwide total after just four days is $196 million.
Superman, like Batman, is a very American superhero and has not traditionally performed strongly overseas. Less than half of the $888 million the previous films have brought in globally has come from overseas. But “Dark Knight Rises” reversed that trend for the Caped Crusader and Warner Bros., and it appears Nolan’s involvement helped with “Man of Steel.”
British actor Henry Cavill plays Superman in “Man of Steel,” and U.K. audiences turned out in force to contribute $17 million, the film’s highest overseas total. That’s the third-biggest all-time opening weekend for a Warner Bros. film there, behind 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and last year’s “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“Man of Steel” also added $9.8 million from Mexico and $8.8 million from South Korea.
Another film from a franchise that foreign audiences have typically been cool to, Paramount’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” crossed the $200 million mark abroad after adding $17 million from 58 territories.
The studio made a concerted effort to connect with foreign audiences on this one, and it has worked. “Into Darkness” has already outgrossed the lifetime total of 2010’s “Star Trek” by 60 percent, with a number of territories left to release, including Spain and Japan.
Sony’s “After Earth” was the No. 2 film at the overseas box office this weekend, earning $24 million from 51 markets. That raises its international total to $91.1 million and its worldwide haul to $145.3 million.
“Fast & Furious 6” was just behind it, adding $20 million from 63 territories. That gives it a foreign total of $417.3 million makes it the highest-grossing film in the 12-year-old franchise. Its worldwide total is now $637 million, surpassing the $628 million of 2011’s “Fast Five.”
Warner Bros.’ “The Hangover Part III” crossed the $200 million mark at the foreign box office this weekend. It took in $17.5 million from 57 markets, and upped its international haul to $201.8 million and its worldwide number to $309.7 million.