Angels & Demons took over the international box office this weekend with an estimated $104.3m from 10,468 screens in 96 territories.

It was the international marketplace’s biggest opening weekend gross in almost a year, though Angels fell well short of the $155m international opening achieved three years ago by its predecessor The Da Vinci Code.

Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) reported that Angels  – which opened simultaneously in North America with an estimated $48m, for a worldwide tally of $152.3m — was the top earner in all of its territories and becomes the tenth biggest international opener ever.

The Rome-set thriller, which reunites Tom Hanks with director Ron Howard in another adaptation of the work of Da Vinci Code novelist Dan Brown, was one of the ten biggest openers in ten markets, including Italy and Brazil.

SPRI president Mark Zucker said the studio and filmmakers were “extremely pleased” with the opening.

Though Angels opened bigger than The Da Vinci Code in nine markets, including Russia, it was not expected to beat the latter’s May 2006 opening mark. Da Vinci had a bigger screen count (12,200) for its international launch and went day-and-date in two more major markets -Mexico and China. The novel was also better known than Angels, which was published several years before, and was boosted by controversy over its plot.   

Angels took its biggest haul in Germany, grossing an estimated $12.6m from 1,188 screens. In Italy, it earned $11.4m from 823 screens, the territory’s fifth biggest opening ever. The UK produced $9.7m from 900 screens and Spain $7.1m from 700.

In Japan, the opening tally was $6.9m from 767 screens, and in Russia $6.8m from 691. France delivered $6.3m from 788 screens, Korea $4.1m from 484, Australia $4m from 433, and Brazil $3.8m from 512.

SPRI suggested that the film’s performances in smaller Latin American territories bodes well for its launch next weekend in Mexico. The studio is still waiting to hear if Angels has been accepted for distribution in China.

The size of the Angels & Demons release did not leave much room in the marketplace for other films.

  • Star Trek, which dominated the international arena with its debut last weekend, was strong again with an estimated $21m from 6,131 locations across 57 territories. Distributor Paramount Pictures International (PPI) said the international total so far of $70m has already made the franchise re-boot the most internationally successful Star Trek film ever.  

The film opened in only three new markets, the largest being China, where preliminary reports, said PPI, suggested a gross of $1.8m from 723 locations.

The sci-fi adventure had good legs in some of its holdover markets. In the UK it took $5.1m from 497 locations, only 36% off, for a total to date in the territory of $19m.

In Germany, the take was down 45% to $2m from 691 locations, for a total to date of $7.5m. In Australia it was off 42% to $2m from 212 locations (for a $6.7m total), in Korea it was down only 31% to $1.4m from 303 locations (total - $4.2m), and in France it dived 60% (after a holiday weekend) to $1.2m from 492 locations (total - $4.7m).

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine, previous international market leader, emerged from the weekend with an estimated $13.5m from 7,640 screens in 103 markets, for a three week total of $144.5m.

20th Century Fox International reported that the comic book franchise entry grossed $1.7m from 445 screens in the UK, for a total to date in the market of $20.9m; $1.5m (down only 32%) from 575 screens in Brazil (total - $10.2m); $1.3m from 659 in France (total - $13.3m); $1.2m from 322 in Australia (total - $11.2m); and $1.1m from 425 in Spain (total - $9.7m).

Wolverine held the number two spot in China with $703,598 from 860 screens, for a total to date of $7.4m. 

  • New Line International’s 17 Again took in an estimated $5.2m over the weekend, from 2,571 screens in 38 territories, bringing the film’s international total to $48.3m.

The comedy opened, through Warner Bros Pictures International, in three new major markets. Germany produced $1.3m from 266 screens, Italy $955,000 from 333, and Japan $490,000 from 119.

  • The similarly targeted Hannah Montana The Movie, from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, grossed an estimated $4.7m from 1,813 theatres in 16 territories over the weekend, for an international total to date of $26.1m.

Most of the take came from Spain, where the film was down 49% in its second weekend to $1.9m from 376 screens, and the UK, where it was down 31% in its third weekend to $1.4m from 416 screens.

  • One of the few new entrants on the international scene, Fighting, from Universal Pictures International (UPI), made its debut with an estimated $1.9m from 473 dates in the two territories. In the UK, the brawling drama opened at number four with $1.5m from 293 dates (including previews) and in Spain it grossed $360,000 from 180 dates, placing seventh in the market.
  • UPI opened The Last House on the Left in Germany and took an estimated $302,000 from 149 dates. Also opening in three smaller markets, the horror remake took $504,000 from 262 dates in six territories over the weekend, for an early international total of $1.4m.

Also from UPI:

  • Coraline grossed an estimated $2.7m from 1,423 dates in 21 territories for an early total of $18.5m
  • Fast and Furious grossed $1.6m from 3,600 dates in 55 territories (total - $191.5m)
  • The Boat That Rocked took $1.3m from 1,100 dates in 18 territories (total - $20.5m); State of Play added $1.2m from 1,230 dates in 14 territories (total - $18.8m)
  • Duplicity earned $850,000 from 850 dates in 32 territories (total - $33.2m).