For the second weekend in a row, and fifth overall, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol took the top spot at the foreign box office. The blockbuster espionage sequel added $24.3 million from 50 markets, most of which came from an enormous $18.5 million second weekend haul in China. The movie has already made $54.4 million there, and China should pass Japan ($66.7 million) soon to become Ghost Protocol's highest-grossing territory. Since opening in mid-December, the movie has earned a massive $424.3 million overseas for a worldwide total of $629.6 million.
Ghost Protocol passed a handful of milestones late last week. On Thursday, it eclipsed War of the Worlds ($592 million) to become Tom Cruise's top movie ever worldwide. Then on Friday it passed $600 million worldwide, making it just the seventh movie of 2011 to reach this level. Yesterday, Ghost Protocol inched past Fast Five to become the sixth-highest-grossing movie of the year, and it now looks poised to finish with at least $650 million.
French comedy three-quel La verite si je mens! 3 opened to $14.9 million from three markets, including a very strong $14.2 million start in France. No data is available on the previous installments, which hit theaters in 1997 and 2001, though it's reasonable to expect that they weren't much better than this.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island continued its solid overseas run ahead of its U.S. debut on Friday. The movie discovered $14.1 million, and has already made $41.5 million (up 52 percent on the first Journey movie). It opened in first in Mexico ($3 million) and Brazil ($1.8 million), and was a solid second in the U.K. ($2.1 million). Aside from its U.S. release this weekend, the movie also expands in to Russia and China.
Domestic winner Chronicle debuted to $12.7 million from 32 markets this weekend. That includes strong first place finishes in the U.K. ($3.45 million) and Australia ($3.12 million), and it also took second place in Russia ($2.04 million). The movie still has most of its major foreign markets left to open, and should be in for a strong run with the backing of 20th Century Fox International.
Underworld Awakening eased 28 percent to $11.6 million from 57 markets. It claimed second place in Germany with just over $3 million, which is more than the lifetime gross of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Underworld Awakening is now the highest-grossing entry in the franchise with $58 million in overseas coin so far.
In a sign of George Clooney's overseas drawing power, The Descendants continued to be a strong presence with $11.1 million. It had another solid frame in the U.K. ($1.75 million), and held first place for the third-straight week in Spain ($1.49 million). Its only major opening came in Mexico, where it took fourth place with $545,000.