MUMBAI: Twentieth Century Fox International has become the first distributor to reach the $1 billion mark in box office receipts this year.
A series of consecutive theatrical successes, including three blockbuster titles, each of which surpassed the $100 million level, contributed to this milestone.
Just this past weekend, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur’s overseas debut of $151.7 million melted several industry records. The film was the highest grossing animated opening ever and the sixth highest grossing opening weekend of all time internationally, shattering industry records in many local markets as well. It was also the highest grossing 3D film ever overseas.
Night At The Museum 2’s box office gross also exhibited Fox’s earning power this year. The Ben Stiller starrer has collected $207.2 million cume-to-date at the overseas box office, with the lucrative Japan market still to come.
Fox International’s summer began with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which clawed its way to the #1 spot in 66 territories in its first weekend and remained in the top spot in 34 markets after its second weekend. So far, the mighty mutants have minted a muscular $184.7 million abroad, again with Japan yet to release.
Other films which added to Fox’s overseas success this year were MGM’s Valkyrie ($90 million in Fox territories only, $115.7 million total), Bride Wars ($56.3 million) and Dragonball: Evolution ($48.3 million).
Even films which opened last year continued to earn for Fox in 2009: Marley & Me dug up a meaty $98.1 million this year alone for a total cume-to-date of $100.3 million. Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, which opened on Christmas Day in many parts of the world, roped in a roaring $99 million in 2009 to reach an overall cume of $158.3 million. Another highlight for Fox was the box office success in Brazil of Se Eu Fosse Voce 2 ($21.7 million), the second highest grossing film of all time in that territory (behind Fox’s own Titanic.)
Fox International co-president Tomas Jegeus said, "This sensational achievement is a tribute not only to Fox’s outstanding product but also to the efforts and creativity of our international team, both in Los Angeles and overseas."
Fox International co-president Paul Hanneman added, "We are looking forward to continued success in 2009, from the sequel to the hit film Alvin And the Chipmunks to James Cameron’s highly anticipated Avatar. This promises to be a banner year for Fox International."
In India, Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaur had opening weekend collections of Rs 22 million (Rs 2.2 crores) on 60 prints. On the other hand, Wolverine grossed Rs 100 million (Rs 10 crore) in its first week.