International box office: 'Pirates' overcomes 'X-Men'

For the third week in a row,
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has captured the top spot at the international box office, having collected $69.4 million internationally in more than 100 markets over the weekend and closing in on $800 million in earnings worldwide - so far, the biggest film of 2011.

The top territories for this fourth installment of the fantasy adventure franchise, starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush, are Japan with $61.5 million, Russia at $57.1 million and China with $53 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.

Already On Stranger Tides beats the total of the original 2003 film, which made $352.9 million in international markets and is likely to exceed previous sequels.

More than 75% of the gross has come from outside the US, while Stateside Pirates has made a disappointing $190.2 million, leading The Hollywood Reporter to speculate that Americans might be tired of 3D or the extra cost.

Coming in at a close second, X-Men: First Class took in $64 million across 74 markets and expected to reach the top spot in 30 countries, including the UK and France.

The fifth installment and reboot of the comic franchise, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones and Jennifer Lawrence, debuted better than X-Men: Wolverine in 14 countries, including France, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

In third, The Hangover Part II took $62 million from 53 markets, including debuts in 13 countries, such as Germany with an impressive $12.6 million and Russia with $5 million.

After nine days, the international gross of the comedy sequel, $151 million, has reached 78% of the take of the original's run. Starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Ken Jeong, the film opens in Spain on June 23 and Japan July 1.

Kung Fu Panda 2 finished fourth in its second weekend with $40 million in 28 markets and an international total of $125 million - $25 million more than the US.

With 17 new territories, the animated sequel stayed in first in South Korea, grabbed $13.9 million in China and was the biggest-ever debut in Vietnam with $1 million.

KFP 2 opens in 13 more markets, including the UK, Brazil and Mexico, next weekend.

In fifth was Fast Five, making $10 million in 63 territories. The fifth installment of the car action movie opened in Venezuela, collecting $1 million.

The 2011 international box office is up seven percent from last year and May's gross of $311.5 million marks an increase of 66% from 2010, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

RC

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