Long assumed the secret weapon for any big-budget film's distribution wing on account of its enormous profit, the international roll-out is one aspect that permits a second chance to disappointing domestic results. Now that the holidays have come and gone, a number of films are realizing this very fact, and at the top of the list is Paramount as they wait to see if author Lee Child's series of books continues on in film form.
Budgeted around $60 million and hoping for the same domestic reception that greeted its lead Tom Cruise many times before, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed “Jack Reacher” instead opened Christmas week to a rather overshadowed reaction and soft box-office take of $15 million (the domestic total stands at $72.6 million presently). And so the spotlight now turns to Asia, where Paramount are hoping for a major boost to their $80.4 million international take thus far, and if they reach $250 million worldwide, the potential for a sequel comes with it.
That number represents the point at which the studio will even begin to discuss a continuation, so the pressure's on for overseas audiences to turn up and support the flick. However, as evidenced by their plethora of one-off commercial oddities, certain stars enjoy a loyally passionate following in Asia, and if anyone can pull that target off, it's definitely Cruise. The film debuts this week in Korea, and then moves on to China and Japan (the latter being a sure bet), so we'll soon see if Paramount finds that core group that inexplicably propelled “Knight and Day” to its $185 million overseas grab, and prays for some Werner Herzog allure as well. [THR]