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Lasting Reign

February 10th, 2004

After crossing $250 million international some time during the mid-week, The Last Samurai opened in another 10 markets pushing its weekend total to $17.7 million. Most impressive is the film's run in Japan; it was first in its 10th week of release and it crossed the $100 million mark in that nation. If Ken Watanabe wins the Oscar it should outperform its domestic run in Japan. It is very unusual for a Hollywood film to earn more in a single international market than it earned domestically.

Despite a sharper than expected drop-off, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was able to meet all expectations. Its weekend haul of $11.1 million pushed it past The Two Towers internationally into fourth place all-time. Worldwide its total hit $942.6 million, third all time. With a major opening in Japan this weekend, the last of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy should hit $600 million internationally quickly, before crossing $1 billion worldwide shortly after that.

Setting a record for a local production helped TaeGukGi into a tie for second place this weekend with $11.1 million. Producers are shopping around for a domestic distributor, although a remake may have better chance at a wide release here.

Like its domestic run, Something's Gotta Give will rely on long legs to make its mark on the international scene. Openings in Europe and Taiwan were solid, but not spectacular, pulling in $8.5 million.

School of Rock, which was a pleasant surprise at the box office last fall, rounds out the top five with $6.9 million. Most of that total cam from its number one debut in the U.K. At this pace, the Jack Black comedy should cross $100 million worldwide by next weekend with debuts in many major markets yet to come.

Local film also won in two other major markets. In France The 11 Commandments won with $5.7 million and in Italy Le Barzellette earned a first place finish and $3 million. Neither films has much prospects in the domestic market since they are comedies and those tend to not translate well into other languages / cultures as dramas and action movies do.


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Source: Variety

Filed under: International Box Office, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Something's Gotta Give, The Last Samurai, School of Rock