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Fockers are Fabulous

February 9th, 2005

Note: Today's column was an absolute nightmare to complete as I've had to suffer through not one, not two, but five power outages / surges today. Fortunately my UPS was up to the challenged or I would be a broken man. However, the delays have caused the column to be a little shorter than usual.

A higher than expected opening in Spain and a lower than expected decline in the U.K. allowed Meet the Fockers to retain top spot on the international charts. The film opened first in a handful of markets, including a $4.7 million opening in Spain on 356 screens, $377,000 in Denmark, $352,000 in Taiwan and $275,000 in Israel. Its most prolific market continues to be the U.K. where the film brought in $8.5 million during its second weekend there; that's a 42% drop-off, which is a little high for the market, but not as high as expected given its huge start last weekend. That one market represented more than half of its weekend total of $16.3 million on 1700 screens in 28 markets for a running tally of $82.9 million.

It was a milestone weekend for Ocean's Twelve as the $11.2 million the film earned internationally this weekend pushed its total to $201.1 million. The lion's share of that total came from its $6.3 million, second place finish in the U.K., however, that's 20% lower than the original's debut in the market. On the other hand, the film opened in first place in Turkey with $916,000 and had 9% more ticket sales than the original.

Without any major openings The Aviator slumped to third place with $7.17 million this weekend to lift its total to an estimated $46 million so far. Holdovers were mixed for the film as it dropped 44% in both France and Italy, very high for the market, while the film climbed into first place during its second weekend in Germany with $1.4 million. Depending on how many of its 11 Oscar Nominations the film wins, it should hit $100 million, unfortunately due its high cost, ($105 million production budget) and lackluster performance domestically, it would need to double that figure to show a profit.

Closer slipped another spot this weekened to fourth place with $6.1 million on 2400 screens in 31 markets for a $55.3 million international box office so far, and its just a couple of weeks away from breaking $100 million worldwide. Its biggest debut came in South Korea where it brought in $520,000 on 99 screens, not a great start, but inline with expectations considering the movie's appeal in that market. Its best market was the U.K. where the film earned a $953,000, fourth place finish during its fourth weekend there and the film held on to top spot in Australia with $822,000 there.

Alexander had a disappointing, $1.9 million opening on 261 screens in Japan. And while it was able to jump back into the top five with $4.2 million on 1900 screens in 52 markets, its international box office of $120 million is not acceptable for a film that cost $155 million to make.

Other highlights on the international scene include:

  • The French comedy, Espace Détente, debuted in France with a first place, $4.1 million finish. Add in its $100,000 it made in Belgium and the film just missed the top five.
  • Italy is a market that usually very kind to films that are limited releases fodder domestically, and it was no different for Finding Neverland, which opened in first place with $2.1 million on 273 screens, for easily the best per screen average in the top twenty. That was more than half of its $4.0 million on 1000 screens weekend haul pushing its international box office to $26.1 million.
  • Aided by a $1 million debut in Hong Kong, The Incredibles took in $3.2 million over the weekend. That was enough to push its international total to $359 million and ahead of E.T. and into 20th place on the all time charts.
  • Ray continues to struggle this weekend opening in 8 more markets, yet it failed to make an impact in any of them. Its best performance was a weak $150,000 on 40 screens in Brazil. On the other hand, the film flopped in Mexico where it took in just $50,000 on 35 screens. In total, the Biopic took in $2,741,837 on 1200 screens in 27 markets for a runny tally of $13.4 million, surprisingly, it has done the best in German speaking regions.
  • Million Dollar Baby opened in three more markets over the weekend earning a $1.3 million, second place finish in Spain; a $718,000, second place finish in Australia, ($894,000 with sneak peaks) and $229,000 in Greece. Adding in the $462,000 it made in its fourth weekend in the U.K. and you get $2.7 million for the weekend and $8.7 million internationally.
  • Another film that is struggling internationally is Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which opened in a couple of smaller markets with $2.6 million on 1700 screens in 19 markets for a running tally of $62.6 million so far. There was a piece of good news as the film opened well in Norway bringing in $185,000 on 26 screens for a strong per screen average. Also, the film held up as well as expected in Germany with just a 35% drop-off to $925,000.
  • Andrew Lloyd-Webber's The Phantom of the Opera dropped by 22% in Japan, which is average for the market, landing at $2.5 million for the weekend. Overall the film has made about $70 million with strong runs in the U.K. ($16.7 million and in South Korea ($12 million) but has struggled in nearly every other market.
  • Racing Stripes opened in third place in the U.K. with $2.1 million on 394 screens, strong enough for third place. In Australia the movie spent its last weekend in the top 10 with $234,000 bringing its total in that market to a respectable $6.1 million. On the other hand, the film tanked in the Netherlands opening with just $41,000 on 82 screens.
  • Unleashed, a.k.a. Danny the Dog, opened in France with $2.3 million on 480 screens. That's a pretty good start and bodes well for its May 13th release domestically, although the subject matter may be a turn off for most moviegoers.
  • A Very Long Engagement held up well in Germany dropping a mere 17% to $860,000. That market had the biggest share of the film $2.3 million weekend box office, while the lion's share of its $47.6 million came from France where it earned $32 million.
  • There's more than a month till National Treasure opens in its last major market, but this weekend it added another $2.2 million to its $139 million international total.
  • Elektra tumbled out of the top five with just $2 million over the weekend lifting its international box office to just $19 million after opening in 15 markets. The film opened in fifth place in Italy with $625,000 on 215 screens, not a good start, but it could have been much worse.
  • Blade: Trinity added another $1.7 million to its $51.3 million box office this weekend, over $1 million of which came from its third weekend in Germany. It's just a week away from topping its domestic box office internationally, and should top the international box offices of its predecessors when it opens in Spain and Italy in March.
  • Going the limited release route is turning out to be a profitable choice for Sideways. This weekend it opened in Germany with $450,000 on 75 screens for the best per screen average in the top ten. In the U.K. it saw its box office climb by 15% to $746,000 on 88 screens; it also climbed from 8th to 5th in that market. And in Australia the film managed to increase its box office take by 1% over last weekend with $412,000 on 59 screens and had the best per screen average in the top twenty. Overall the film has brought in $4.4 million after limited release in 18 markets.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants easily took first place when it debuted in Holland over the weekend with $400,000 on 150 screens. That result lifted its weekly take to $1.5 million and its international total to $26.8 million.
  • Felix - The Film, a German animated film, opened in 4 German speaking markets over the weekend bringing in $1.3 million on 700 screens, most of which came from its $970,000 opening on 560 screens in Germany.
  • Ladder 49 had a few openings over the weekend, but they were mixed at best. In Italy the film had the widest opening of the weekend at 325 screens but could finish no better than fourth place with $736,000. The news was even worse in Germany where the film failed to open in the top 10 with just $270,000 on 221 screens. There results are not surprising since John Travolta lacks drawing power in many international markets.
  • White Noise opened in France with $800,000 on 125 screens and added $200,000 from the U.K.
  • Around the World in 80 Days dropped just 34% in Italy to $425,000. In Germany, on the other hand, it fell out of the top ten with just $330,000.
  • Spanglish made its international debut in Mexico over the weekend, but even with the movie's connection to that market it could only manage $727,000 on 300 screens. That's respectable for that market, but doesn't bode well for the film's chances elsewhere.
  • Assault on Precinct 13 saw its box office get cut in half landing at $650,000 for its second weekend in the U.K.
  • Team America: World Police has stayed its last weekend in the top ten in the U.K. with $322,000, 64% less than it made last weekend.
  • The Stepford Wives ends its international run in Japan where it picked up $155,000 on 32 screens. The film had already topped $100 million worldwide and now sits at $41.8 million internationally.
  • Raising Helen opened poorly in Italy and is holding up even worse as it lost nearly 60% of its box office falling to $150,000.
  • Raise Your Voice added just over $100,000 to its box office from Australia and the Netherlands. There's still a couple months before it opens in its next mid-level market, Mexico.
  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid lost almost 75% of its box office during its second weekend in Italy dropping to just $80,000.

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Source: Variety

Filed under: International Box Office, Meet the Fockers, The Incredibles, National Treasure, Ocean's Twelve, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie, Ray, Ladder 49, Sideways, The Stepford Wives, White Noise, Blade: Trinity, Finding Neverland, The Phantom of the Opera, Racing Stripes, Spanglish, Raising Helen, Alexander, Closer, Team America: World Police, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Danny the Dog, Elektra, Around the World in 80 Days, Assault On Precinct 13, Raise Your Voice, A Very Long Engagement