From Russia, with love
For "The Tourist" and "Gulliver's Travels," Russia has turned out to be much warmer than the U.S.
This past weekend, the action drama starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie and the 3-D comedy starring Jack Black enjoyed strong openings in Russia of $10.3 million and $9.5 million, respectively. Both films, meanwhile, have been major disappointments at the domestic box office.
Although Russia has become one of the hottest foreign markets for movies in recent years, its theatrical industry is still nowhere near as developed as that of the U.S. or some other countries, including Britain, France and Germany.
But in the case of "Gulliver's Travels," its $9.5-million Russian launch was substantially larger than the $6.3 million it drew on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada. It was also the movie's second-largest international opening, behind only Britain.
20th Century Fox's "Gulliver's Travels" already has drawn $81 million overseas, more than twice its weak $34.6-million domestic total.
The same doesn't appear to be true of "The Tourist," which has seen weak foreign performances despite its big-name stars and European setting.
Russia, however, is a notable exception. The film's opening weekend there was the biggest anywhere outside the U.S. It's already the second-most-successful foreign market for the film, outpacing ticket sales in Germany, France and Britain. Only Italy, where much of the movie's action takes place, is bigger, at $13.1 million after four weeks.
— Ben Fritz