Around-the-World Brief: 'Transformers' Lays Waste to World
Paramount Pictures International had plenty of reason to celebrate this holiday weekend: on top of its strong domestic start, the third installment of the Transformers franchise debuted to a massive $210 million overseas. That's one of the biggest-grossing foreign starts ever and ranked second this year behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which finally passed the coveted $1 billion worldwide mark on Saturday. 

According to Paramount, Transformers: Dark of the Moon topped Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's opening by 51 percent. Its biggest territory was South Korea, where it set a new opening weekend record with an estimated $28 million. It also set opening weekend records in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Panama. Dark of the Moon's next biggest market was Russia, where it debuted to $22 million. Its splashy premiere in Moscow, which included a Linkin Park concert in Red Square, probably goosed initial results a little but there's no way to measure the impact of such events. 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon was strong across all of its regions, including the United Kingdom ($16.5 million), Australia ($16.1 million), Germany ($14.3 million), Mexico ($11 million), France ($10.9 million) and Taiwan ($10.2 million). Paramount reported that 70 percent of its grosses came from 3D presentations, which was a higher 3D share than Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides's 66 percent. With debuts in China and Japan scheduled for later this month, it's a foregone conclusion that Dark of the Moon will ultimately finish significantly higher than its predecessor's $434.2 million total. Based on these initial results, an overseas total north of $600 million appears within reach, and the movie could even make a run at $1 billion worldwide.

With no significant openings, Cars 2 fell 49 percent to an estimated $22.1 million. Its top territory was Mexico with $4.7 million, followed by Russia with $3.2 million. It played in 35 percent of the international market and has tracked 123 percent ahead of the original Cars in the same territories. Cars 2 has made $82.2 million overseas and is set to open in nine additional markets, including Spain, next weekend. The summer's other major animated offering, Kung Fu Panda 2, added an estimated $19 million from 56 territories for an overseas total of $374 million. 

The Hangover Part II earned $8.9 million to push its foreign total to $300 million. Sometime last week, it passed Pretty Woman's $285 million to become the top-grossing R-rated comedy ever overseas, though it obviously came nowhere close to that movie in terms of attendance. 

Bridesmaids and Bad Teacher remained neck-and-neck in fairly limited release. Bridesmaids added $7.2 million from 11 territories for a total of $34.8 million, while Bad Teacher grossed $6.7 million from 25 markets for a $28.6 million tally.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides earned an estimated $6.9 million, which pushed its enormous foreign total to $774 million. Add in its domestic take, and the movie has made $1.007 billion, which places it seventh on the all-time list ahead of The Dark Knight ($1.002 billion) and behind Alice in Wonderland ($1.024 billion). Out of the top seven movies ever, four are from Disney (two Pirates, Toy Story 3 and Alice), and three have Johnny Depp in a lead role. 

Other Notables - Weekend Gross - Gross-to-Date (in millions) 
1. Mr. Popper's Penguins - $5.7 - $11.1
2. X-Men: First Class - $4.9 - $195.7
3. Super 8 - $3.6 - $45
4. Larry Crowne - $3 - $3
5. Thor - $1.8 - $261.7
6. Green Lantern - $1.7 - $33.3
7. Monte Carlo - $1.3 - $1.3

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