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International Top Five - Pirates Pound Competition into Submission

August 2nd, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest may have lost its box office crown domestically, but it is still rules the international markets. This week it earned $55.34 million while playing on 7,610 screens in 44 markets, lifting its totals to $301.90 million internationally and $660.39 million worldwide. After the weekend it was sitting in 40th place on the international charts and 26th worldwide. The film opened in first place in Germany with an outstanding $17.34 million on 1,330 screens while Curse of the Black Pearl re-entered the charts in fifth place with just over $500,000. The film also had million dollar openings in Austria at $2.8 million on 105 screens, Belgium at $2.06 million on 127, and Switzerland at $1.57 million on 101. Meanwhile, the film was down a jaw-dropping 64% in its second weekend in Japan, earning a still impressive $6.11 million on 764 screens for a total of $32.44 million after just two weeks. The reason for this steep, nearly vertical drop-off is simple, the Japanese hate cliffhanger endings in movies. They like movies that are individual units and if they feel the film is just a two-hour setup to the next installment, it will suffer at the box office.

Second place went to Gwoemul, a.k.a. The Host, a South Korean horror-comedy, sci-fi / action thriller that will undoubtedly be remade here. The film opened in first place in its native market with $12.63 million on 620 screens over the weekend and $16.39 million in total. That was about seven times more than its nearest competitor and more than double the rest of the top ten combined. Even if the film has large drop-offs common in the market, it is already a success.

Superman Returns slipped to third over the weekend with $11.74 million on 4,571 screens in 44 markets for a $132.35 million international total. The film was also able to cross $300 million worldwide and is beginning to climb that chart. The film's biggest opening came in Russia where the film finished a distant, and disappointing second place with $718,000 on 294 screens over the weekend and $910,000 over all. It also earned second place in both Sweden ($505,000 on 90), and Norway ($494,000 on 75), but those were much stronger results. The next milestone is for the film's international box office to surpass its domestic gross, which will probably end at just under $200 million.

Cars climbed a spot to fourth with $9.90 million on 3,781 screens in 35 markets as it crossed $100 million some time during the midweek. As expected, the film opened in first place in the U.K., but it was much closer than most people thought it would be with the film just topping Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's fourth weekend $4.98 million to $4.90 million. This is quite disappointing as in the past Pixar films were almost guaranteed to top $10 million during their opening there.

The final film in the top five was another local hit as Gedo senki, a.k.a. Tales From Earthsea, opened in first place in Japan with $7.96 million on 435 screens. There is no North American release date, but if the film holds well in Japan, it could get a limited release here, but most fans of the genre will likely have to wait till the home market to see it.


Filed under: International Box Office, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Cars, Superman Returns