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'Megamind' less than a mega-success overseas

DreamWorks Animation's big-budget, 3-D comedy has an international gross of $134.5 million, in contrast with other films that have done better overseas than at home.

January 03, 2011
  • "Megamind"
"Megamind" (DreamWorks Animation )

Less than a mega-hit abroad

DreamWorks Animation has often relied on outsized foreign ticket sales for its movies that aren't hits at home. But "Megamind" is proving as unimpressive overseas as it has been domestically.

The latest big-budget 3-D release from the Glendale animation studio has, over the last two months, opened in every major foreign market except South Korea and Japan and now has a tepid total international gross of $134.5 million.

Foreign ticket sales for "Megamind," a comedy about a supervillain turned good, will likely surpass its domestic gross of $144 million eventually but not by much.

That's in sharp contrast to last summer's "Shrek Forever After," which grossed $501 million overseas, more than double its domestic take. And foreign moviegoers added $277.3 million to the $218 million in domestic receipts for March's "How to Train Your Dragon."

A total worldwide gross of about $300 million looks like the best-case scenario for "Megamind." That would make it one of the three worst-performing computer-animated movies from DreamWorks in the last decade, along with the flops "Bee Movie" and "Flushed Away."

The only standout market has been Russia. Results in the rest of Europe have been soft, affected in part by recent snowstorms.

It's not clear why "Megamind," distributed by Paramount Pictures, hasn't proved more popular internationally. One person familiar with foreign distribution who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about "Megamind" noted that its main characters are humans and aliens and that many animated movies that perform well overseas feature animals. A DreamWorks spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

—Ben Fritz

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