Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) has reported a new company record after amassing $1.634bn at the overseas box office so far this year, powered by the $165m weekend launch of Roland Emmerich’s disaster movie 2012.

Along with other SPRI releases this year like Angels & Demons ($352m), Terminator Salvation ($220.6m from Sony territories), This Is It ($155.2m), The Ugly Truth ($112m) and District 9 ($67.7m from Sony territories), the studio overtook its previous international mark set in 2006.

Sony’s chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake said the performance “re-emphasises the importance of the international marketplace and the enormous value of a release slate with global appeal.”

Combined with Sony’s efforts in North America this year, which have yielded eight number launches and $1.259bn in grosses, the studio’s releases stand at $2.9bn worldwide. This is the studio’s second biggest grossing year ever worldwide, passing the $2.878bn tally from 2002.

Sources said there was “potential” to beat 2006’s $3.334bn record global mark and possibly cross the $2bn international milestone, which has only been done on four occasions.

Returning to 2012, the film pounded its way onto 12,685 screens in 105 markets to deliver $165m according to update results confirmed on Monday [16] for the biggest international opening of all-time for a non-sequel.

2012 ranks fifth in the all-time overseas opening weekend pantheon and combined with the $65m number one North American launch to recoup its $200m production cost in its first worldwide weekend with a $225m global haul. The film pulled off the remarkable feat of ranking number one in all its markets. Highlights were $17.2m in France from 750 screens, $15.3m in Russia from 840 in the second biggest opening ever behind Ice Age 3, $12.4m in Germany from 1,002 and $12.3m in China from 1,946 in the fourth biggest ever industry opening there.

Elsewhere the disaster movie starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet took $10.8m in the UK from 828, $9.9m in South Korea from 622, $8.1m in Spain from 585, $6.9m in Italy from 520, $5.5m in Australia from 405, $5m in Brazil from 551 in the eighth biggest ever industry opening, and $4.9m in Mexico from 781.

In other key results the film amassed $4m in India from 674 in the second biggest ever industry opening behind Sony’s Spider-Man 3, $3.9m in Poland from 141, $3.4m in Taiwan from 205 in the tenth biggest ever industry opening, $2.8m in Thailand from 185 in the fourth biggest ever industry opening, $2.3m in Malaysia from 136 in the second biggest ever industry opening behind PPI’s Transformers 2, $2.1m in Turkey from 178, $2.1m in Belgium from 88 in the tenth biggest ever industry opening, $2.05m in Holland from 127, and $2.04m in Hong Kong from 55.

2012 plundered $1.9m in Greece from 138 in the seventh biggest ever industry opening, $1.9m in Switzerland from 121, $1.7m in the Philippines from 100 in the tenth biggest ever industry opening, $1.6m in Austria from 97, $1.6m in Singapore from 95, $1.6m in Sweden from 110, $1.2m in Indonesia from 75 in the sixth biggest ever industry opening, $1.2m in Denmark from 74, $1.2m in Norway from 90, $1.1m in Ukraine from 91, $1.1m in UAE from 39, and $1m in Chile in the eighth biggest ever industry opening.    

  • SPRI had two other not films in release this weekend. The Michael Jackson tribute film This Is It added a considerable $11.5m from 5,770 screens in 100 markets for $155.4m, while animated title Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs added $1.4m from 1,360 for $59.9m.

A Christmas Carol added a further $16m through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International from 3,229 screens in 21 territories to raise the tally to an early $33.6m. 3D screenings accounted for more than 60% of weekend business on less than 40% of available screens. The family film opened top in Japan on $3.1m from 375 and debuted in Spain on $2.4m from 440.

It added $4.2m in the UK from 641 for $9.1m to rank second behind 2012. Roughly 75% of business came from 3D screens. In Mexico, a further $1.4m from 622 pushed the tally to $4.1m. Next week the film lands in 19 new markets including Russia, Poland and Belgium.

  • Pixar hit Up added $4.9m from 3,348 screens in 25 territories for an excellent $374.5m that positions it as Disney’s fourth biggest international performer. The worldwide tally stands at $668m and Japan opens on December 5.

Family releaseG-Force added $2.4m from 1,993 in 24 territories for $157.2m, while Surrogates grossed $2.2m from 1,270 in 35 countries for $68.9m. France added $1.2m in its third weekend and stands at $8m and the sci-fi thriller still has a way to go, with launches set for Italy on January 8, German-speaking Europe on January 21 and Japan on January 23. Disney’s local Russian production Book Of Masters stands at $11m in Russia after three weekends.

  • Universal/UPI’s comedy Couples Retreat grossed $3.8m from 1,400 sites in 20 territories for $34.1m and opened in the Middle East, Norway and Serbia. The second weekend in Germany yielded $1.9m from 332 for third place and a $4.9m tally. Austria stands at $1.4m, Mexico $900,000 and Australia $9.6m after six. There are 40 territories to go.

Public Enemies added $1.5m from 282 venues in its second weekend in Italy and has grossed an excellent $5.2m. The gangster film’s international total is $106m and Japan is the final destination on December 12.

Inglourious Basterds from Quentin Tarantino grossed $1.2m from 1,500 in 39 for $187.7m and opens in Japan on November 20. The film has crossed $300m worldwide and set records in 50 territories as Tarnatino’s highest grossing movie ever. “This Tarantino masterpiece has resonated with audiences all over the globe becoming his highest grossing film ever,” UPI president David Kosse said. “Our collaboration with Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender, and with our partners Harvey and Bob Weinstein [domestic rights], has been an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience for myself and my colleagues at Universal and we look forward to opening the film this week in Japan.”

The fantasy adventure Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant has taken $10.5m from eight territories so far and arrives in France on December 2. Dutch title De Storm ranks fourth in the Netherlands after nine weeks and has amassed $6.3m and $6.4m including Belgium. Broken Embraces opened in second place in Mexico on $125,000 behind 2012 and has amassed $780,000 from Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela. UPI will release Pedro Almodovar’s film in a further five further territories.

  • Fox International’s animated Fantastic Mr Fox grossed $1.2m in its fourth weekend in the UK following a mere 9% drop and stands at $12.6m. The Amelia Earhart biopic Amelia landed in five new territories and took $437,564 over the weekend for $478,904. Horror title Jennifer’s Body and indie romance 500 Days of Summerstand at $15.3m and $22.1m, respectively.