With the popularity of 3D and Star Wars across the world, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that The Phantom Menace's 3D re-release would dominate when it opened in nearly all markets this weekend. That didn't come to pass, though, and instead Journey 2: The Mysterious Island easily took the top spot.
The sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth earned $30 million from 30 markets. It took first place in China with an outstanding $13.5 million, and also claimed first in Russia with $6.8 million. So far, Journey 2 has made $79.2 million, which is 76 percent ahead of the first Journey across similar territories. The movie is set to expand in to France and Spain this upcoming weekend.
The Phantom Menace opened to $20.5 million from 59 markets, including all major ones aside from Japan and China (where it doesn't seem to have qualified for release). Its best opening was a first place start in Germany ($3.9 million), and it was also solid in the United Kingdom ($2.4 million), France ($2.3 million), Australia ($1.7 million), Russia ($1.3 million) and Spain ($1 million).
Oddly, it seems like 3D re-releases are more popular in the U.S. than they are abroad. The Lion King's 3D re-release made $94.2 million domestically, but has slowed down at $74.3 million overseas. Phantom Menace opened to $22.5 million in the U.S., but only $20.5 million in nearly the entire world. This data runs contrary to most 3D movies, which usually make at least 60 percent of their worldwide grosses overseas.
Regardless, Phantom Menace's 3D re-release has brought the movie's worldwide total to over $968 million (12th on the all-time list), and it should be close to passing $1 billion by the end of next weekend.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol added $11.8 million from 50 markets for a massive total of $446.9 million. It scored $8.3 million in its third weekend in China, which is now its top market with nearly $76 million. Worldwide, the action sequel has earned over $653 million.
Similar to the tight race at the domestic box office, The Vow edged ahead of Safe House overseas as well. The Channing Tatum-Rachel McAdams romance debuted to $10.3 million in 20 markets, including a strong first place start in Australia ($3 million) and a respectable third place debut in Germany ($2 million). Both of those grosses were noteworthy improvements over Dear John's openings.
Safe House snagged $10.1 million in 25 markets in its opening weekend overseas. It claimed second in Australia with $2.9 million, first place in Spain with $2.3 million, and third place in Russia with $1.5 million.
The Woman in Black also made its overseas debut this weekend. The movie earned an estimated $7.5 million in seven markets, most of which came from a strong first place start in the U.K. ($5 million). It also took second place in Mexico with $1.9 million.