The first “Captain America” movie was a hit in North America, but it didn’t resonate as well abroad. The sequel is having no such problems at the foreign box office.
A sensational $39.2 million opening in China propelled “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” to an eye-popping $107 million overseas this weekend, even bigger than its $96.2 million domestic debut.
The second-week haul — building on the $75 million it rung up last weekend, its first abroad — raises its international total after 10 days to $207 million. That’s well above the $193.9 million that the original film, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” took in over the course of its entire run in 2011. “Winter Soldier,” which stars Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, is playing in roughly 50 markets, or roughly 92 percent of its eventual international run.
The first film wasn’t a big performer overseas, with 52 percent of its $370.5 million in worldwide grosses coming from overseas. That was considerably under the roughly 70 percent from foreign that makes up the global total for many blockbusters. There were concerns that anti-American sentiment might hurt it in some countries, and Paramount even gave overseas distributors the option of calling it “The First Avenger,” rather than “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Only three countries — Russia, Ukraine and South Korea — opted to go with the shorter handle.
There are no signs of a backlash this time, and “The Winter Soldier” is benefiting from the momentum established by “Marvel’s The Avengers,” as did as “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World.” Both of those sequels saw their global totals surge in the wake of the 2012 blockbuster superhero mash-up, the third-highest grossing film of all time.
The Marvel sequel is showing much more foreign muscle than its predecessor. It has taken in $18 million in its first two weeks in the U.K., for example, where the original managed just $14 million total. That’s its third-highest total of any market so far, behind China and Korea, where it’s brought in $19.8 million.
The villain in “Winter Soldier” is an amnesiac Soviet assassin. That may not have helped it in Russia, but it didn’t seem to hurt as it opened No. 1 there with $7.4 million. It also debuted in the top spot in Australia with $6 million.
There were some other impressive foreign performances this weekend.
Paramount’s Biblical epic “Noah” took in a splashy $45.6 million from 45 markets to raise its international total to $106.2 million.
Around $31 million of that came from new openings, which included No. 1 debuts in Brazil ($8.5 million) and Germany ($3.5 million), where it topped “Captain America” and “Rio 2.” Its worldwide total is now at $178.5 million.
A week before its U.S. debut, Fox’s “Rio 2” brought in $22.2 million from 12 markets. That ups its international total to $55.5 million. Its biggest market has been Brazil, where it has rung up $15.3 million. It added $5.6 million there this weekend, just a 28 percent drop from its big opening last weekend.
Lionsgate’s sci-fi adventure tale “Divergent” continued its gradual international rollout this weekend and brought in $11.1 million from 44 markets to up its foreign total to $22.4 million.
It faced some tough competition from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Rio 2,” and finished fourth in the U.K. with $3 million and second in Italy with $1.3 million. Mexico was its first Latin American opening, and it finished second to “Winter Soldier” there with $2.5 million.
“Divergent” will debut this coming weekend in France, Australia, Germany and Russia.
“The Lego Movie” is still scoring for Warner Bros. The animated family film opened with $7.3 million in Australia to raise its foreign total to $160 million. Its biggest foreign market to date is the U.K., where it is up to $52.7 million. Its domestic total is about to cross $250 million and it is at $410 million worldwide.
The Universal-distributed “Ocho Apellidos Vascos” (which translates to eight Basque surnames, although the film’s English title is “Spanish Affair”) became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film of all time in Spain and Universal’s highest-grossing release ever in that territory. The romantic comedy has been No. 1 for four weeks in a row and is at $32.5 million after adding $7.2 million this weekend and topping both “Noah” and “Rio 2” there.
Universal acquired distribution rights to “Ocho Apellidos Vascos” from Spain’s Mediaset. which produced.