The Washington Post

‘THE SMURFS 2’: Sequel is neck and neck with ‘Pacific Rim’ for top global spot

THE DEBUT OF “The Smurfs 2” may have disappointed domestically, but the CGI-happy sequel isn’t singing the blues globally.

Sony’s follow-up to its 2011 hit grossed almost twice as much on foreign shores ($52.5-million) as in North America ($27.76-million) over its first five days.

That worldwide tally has “Smurfs 2” running neck and neck with “Pacific Rim” ($53-million) for the weekend’s top spot, according to studio estimates released Sunday; Monday’s scheduled final numbers will officially determine the winner.

The global-market gross helped “Smurfs 2” counter its underperformance on domestic turf. The live-action/CGI-animation film grossed only $18.2-million in the United States and Canada during the weekend, getting easily outdistanced by the debut of Universal’s Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg film “2 Guns” ($27.36-million) and the second week of Fox’s “The Wolverine” ($21.72-million).

The domestic take of “Smurfs 2’s” opening weekend, in fact, was barely half that of the franchise’s first film ($35.61-million) — which doesn’t bode particularly well at home for the third “Smurfs” film, which is slated for a 2015 release.

Fortunately for the franchise, the rest of the world is receptive.

“It is one of those films that seems to resonate on every continent,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s worldwide distribution president, according to the Associated Press. “We have about 36 big territories to go, including China.

“They love the blue ones.”

BLUE CLUES: Vanity (voiced by John Oliver), Grouchy (George Lopez), Clumsy (Anton Yelchin) and Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) find that everything’s coming up roses overseas. (Courtesy of SONY PICTURES ANIMATION/.)


* The first “Smurfs” film is still Sony’s best domestic performer ever ($142.6-million) among films starring CGI characters.

* Among the summer’s five big animated and CGI-character family films so far, ”Smurfs 2” had the lowest domestic opening — trailing not only the powerhouse sequels “Despicable Me 2” ($83.5-million domestic debut) and “Monsters University” ($82.4-million), but also Fox’s twin lower performers, “Epic” ($33.5-million) and “Turbo” ($21.3-million).

* Domestically, the “Smurfs” sequel still opened better than either film in Sony’s former CGI-star franchise: Stuart Little. (That first film, in 1999, had a $15-million debut, nearly identical to “Stuart Little 2’s” $15.1-million.)

* Director Raja Gosnell is plenty familiar with big dropoffs involving CGI-star franchises: His first Scooby-Doo film grossed $153.3-million domestically; his “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” follow-up in 2004 grossed just $84.2-million.

* “The Wolverine” ($95-million) is now among the top 50 comic-book adaptations ever in terms of domestic gross, according to Also from this year, “Man of Steel” ($287.2-million) is now 10th on that list, and “Iron Man 3” ($407.4-million) is fourth — trailing only the “Dark Knight” films and “The Avengers.”


1. “2 Guns,”$27.4 million.

2. “The Wolverine,” $21.7 million.

3. “The Smurfs 2,” $18.2 million.

4. “The Conjuring,” $13.7 million.

5. “Despicable Me 2,” $10.4 million.

6. “Grown Ups 2,” $8.1 million.

7. “Turbo,” $6.4 million.

8. “Red 2,” $5.6 million.

9. “The Heat,” $4.7 million.

10. “Pacific Rim,” $4.6 million.

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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