Fox International has become the first distributor to cross $1bn this year following a string of mighty performances by Ice Age 3, Night At The Museum 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The three releases have each grossed more than $150m and Fox International chiefs have now set their sights on bigger rewards. Co-president Paul Hanneman said 2009 promised to be a banner year for the company with Alvin And The Chipmunks 2 and Avatar yet to open.
Last weekend’s powerhouse overseas launch of Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, the current number one film on $151.7m, pushed the company past the milestone with the biggest animated opening ever and the sixth biggest grossing opening weekend of all time.
Night At The Museum: Battle of The Smithsonian opened in late May and went on to gross $207.2m with Japan still to come.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine kicked off the summer season with the day-and-date May 1 launch that weathered the impact of a pirated version to accumulate $184.7m by the end of its run. Again, Japan remains the final market to receive the film and could well push the gross over $200m.
Other players in this year’s overseas success this year were MGM’s Valkyrie, which took $90m in Fox territories, and a $48.3m run from Dragonball: Evolution.
Several 2008 releases played their part, too. Marley & Me took $98.1m in 2009, while Baz Luhrmann’s Australia opened on Christmas Day 2008 and grossed $99m this year.
The extraordinary box office success in Brazil of Se Eu Fosse Voce 2 deserves special mention, grossing $21.7m to become the second highest grossing film of all time in that territory behind Fox’s own Titanic.
“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 Tomas Jegeus said.