Smith, Will: Movie Star–Global Appeal

Will Smith’s worldwide appeal was again demonstrated when Sony’s “Hancock” ruled a robust international box office with a launch weekend of $78.3 million at 5,444 playdates in 50 markets.

“Hancock” became the year’s third-largest foreign opening after “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “Iron Man.” It did so while holding off on launches in key territories such as France, Mexico and Russia, where it opens next weekend. The superhero picture tracked at $14,400 per-location average.

“Hancock” topped internal forecasts, already elevated due to the sterling record of Smith’s previous picturess such as “I Am Legend,” which had an international gross of $324 million. Sony noted that “Hancock” beat comparable launches last July in the same markets of “Transformers” ($387 million final foreign gross) and “The Simpsons Movie” ($343 million).

Mark Zucker, president of Sony’s international releasing arm, forecasted “Hancock” will top $300 million offshore by the end of its run.

The best “Hancock” numbers came from the U.K., with $19.3 million, beating “Kung Fu Panda” by 70%; Germany, with $12.4 million for a 61% share; South Korea, with $8.5 million; Australia, with $7.3 million; and China, with $5.5 million in the fourth-biggest opening ever for a Hollywood film. Brazil opened with $3.4 million and Taiwan took in $3.1 million.