Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures Of Tintin has been winging through the world on its way to U.S. theaters since late October and has just flown to a $207 million international cume. Sony Pictures Releasing International and Paramount Pictures International are sharing most distrib duties abroad ahead of Paramount’s North American release on December 21, four days before Spielberg’s other Oscar hopeful, War Horse, goes out on Christmas Day.
Tintin began its run in Belgium, the native land of the comic’s creator Hergé, where it’s now taken $8.7 million. In neighboring France, the film jolted the box office in October with the best opening of any film this year, selling over 3 million tickets to leap ahead of the Harry Potter finale. Its cume there is $51.8 million. Sony has the pic in both territories. The UK and Ireland have also been big contributors to the effort for Paramount where the film now boasts a $24.3 million cume after falling just 24% in its 5th frame. Paramount also has China, where Tintin opened last weekend and just added $3 million for a $14.5 million total. Overall, the tally currently stands at $161.5 million for Sony and $45.5 million for Par releases across more than 50 territories.
Given Tintin’s huge popularity outside America, it’s no surprise that the film has been tearing up the box office — nor is it a surprise the powers that be would want to capitalize on that popularity to build buzz as Tintin draws closer to U.S. shores. I’m hardly the first to say it, but it’ll be interesting to see whether Spielberg’s name alone will make up for any lack of awareness of the boy reporter and his dog Snowy for Stateside moviegoers. Personally, I tend to equate Tintin to football, another worldwide phenomenon that has traditionally eluded Americans. Some savvy soccer-playing pre-teens I know in the States recall seeing the Tintin previews recently but aren’t yet clamoring to see the film. So can Spielberg give Tintin the same kick in the pants that David Beckham and Landon Donovan have recently given soccer for some? Rotten Tomatoes today lists Tintin with 85% of about 20,000 users wanting to see the movie and 86% of 44 reviews skewing positive.
Meanwhile, Tintin mania of another sort continued at an auction this weekend in Paris. Over 850 Tintin-related objets d’art, paintings and books brought in more than $2.4 million on Saturday. A drawing of a battle scene from the original Unicorn comic had an estimated price tag of about 40,000 euros before going for more than four times that.