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‘Noah’ Opens as Strong No. 1 at Box Office in Mexico, Korea

Paramount’s Biblical epic starring Russell Crowe takes in $14 million ahead of its U.S. debut Friday

“Noah,” the special effects-laden Biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, is off to the fast start overseas that distributor Paramount Pictures was hoping for.

“Noah” brought in $14 million from Mexico and S. Korea in No. 1 openings ahead of its debut in the United States on Friday. International grosses will be critical for the $125 million “Noah,” which is tracking to debut in the $40 million range domestically.

Paramount was encouraged, and pointed out that the total from the two markets topped those of films including “Gravity,” “Inception” and “Skyfall” at a similar point in the same territories.

Also read: Why ‘Divergent’ Is Conquering the U.S. Box Office Before Overseas

In Korea, “Noah” dominated with $8.3 million from 500 screens, topping the grosses of all the other films in the market combined. The $5.7 million from 635 theaters that “Noah” scored in Mexico was the biggest opening of the year in that country, and the best ever for a film starring Crowe there.

“Noah,” which co-stars Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Jennifer Connelly, will open in 20 more foreign markets next week, including Russia and Australia.

Also read: ‘Divergent’ Scores $56 Million Box-Office Opening, ‘A’ CinemaScore – And a Franchise Is Born

Disney’s “Need for Speed” was the biggest overseas earner this weekend, with $29 million from 56 foreign markets.

DreamWorks’ video game-based hot car film starring Aaron Paul of TV’s “Breaking Bad” opened at No. 1 in Germany with $3 million for distributor Disney. It also fell just 47 percent in its second week in China, where it has taken in a whopping $41.7 million in 10 days, and just 49 percent in Russia, where it’s total is over $10 million. “Need for Speed” has taken in $126 million worldwide, with $96 million of that coming from international.

Warner Bros.’ R-rated sword-and-sandals sequel “300: Rise of an Empire” added $21 million from 64 markets to raises its international total to $195.4 million. With its $93.7 million domestic haul added in, it’s at $289 million worldwide. The original “300” wound up with $456 million globally.