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Competition Can't Stop the Supers

December 15th, 2004

Several films made their international debuts this weekend, but that didn't stop The Incredibles from taking top spot on the international box office, again. This weekend the film brought in an addition $32.1 million on 6,343 screens in 37 markets to lift its international tally to $152.1 million so far. The films busiest weekend in terms of raw dollars was the $5.7 million it earned in Germany, but with a theatre count of more than 1000, that wasn't as strong as the studio would have liked. The film did break the record for biggest opening for an animated movie with $1.7 million in Brazil. The film also opened first in Switzerland with $1.2 million, Austria with $931,000 and South Africa with $310,000.

Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason stayed in second place thanks mainly to openings in France, South Korea and Belgium. In France the film opened with $5.3 million, which while good enough for first place, it was well below expectations. The same can't be said for its performance in South Korea where the film took in a shocking $2.4 million on just 162 screens. That was the third best debut for a Universal film in the market behind just The Mummy Returns and The Lost World. Overall, the film took in $18.9 million on 4000 screens in 35 markets for a running total of $135.7 million.

Polar Express continues to grow on the international scene taking in $16.5 million on 5900 screens in 45 markets for a total international box office of $47.2 million so far. Just like last weekend, and in fact every weekend since the film opened, the debuts were quite soft while the holdovers were very solid. For instance, the film opened in the U.K. with $4.4 million on 440 screens, good enough for just third place behind The Incredibles' third weekend in wide release and Blade: Trinity's debut. On the other hand, the filmed dropped just 12% during its second weekend in France landing at $3.7 million.

Howl's Moving Castle moved closer to the $100 million mark as it earned an amazing $9.3 million in its fourth weekend in its home market of Japan. So far the film has amassed $82.8 million there ahead of next weekend's opening in South Korea.

Disappointing is really the only way to describe Blade: Trinity's domestic debut, but if this past weekend is any indication, its international run will be anything but. The Vampire flick took a surprise first place finish in both France with $2.1 million and the U.K. with $5.1 million, (the latter figure represents its 5-day total.) Add in its second place finishes in both Singapore, ($262,00 on 26 screens) and the French speaking region in Switzerland, ($73,000 on 9 screens) and its $7.5 million start is well ahead of the pace set by the its predecessors. Perhaps the spin-off isn't dead yet.

Other highlights on the international scene include:

  • National Treasure brought in $2.6 million over the weekend in Italy, (and $2.3 million in previews) as well as $2.4 million in Spain. Like its domestic run, the film is beating expectations internationally.
  • It was a strange start to Andrew Lloyd-Webber's The Phantom of the Opera international run. In his home country of the U.K., the film could only manage a fourth place, $2.3 million opening on 422 screens. However, the film did amazingly well in South Korea where it picked up $3.4 million on just 235 screens.
  • Alexander is doing well in markets that used to be part of his empire, or at least close to it. Unfortunately for the studio, the movie industry is rather small in those markets. The highlights for the weekend include a $262,000 in Hungary on just 29 screens and a sophomore stint in Greece worth $775,000 on 82 screens. Overall the film managed just $4.7 million in 21 markets for a running total of just $24.7 million.
  • Ocean's Twelve made its international debut in 5 markets over the weekend playing on 563 screens and raking in $4.6 million. The vast majority of that figure came from Australia where the film made $3.5 million and easily took top spot. It's opening box office was 16% lower than the original's, but the comparison is a little dicey as the first one opened during school holidays there. In the rest of the smaller markets the film debuted in it beat the original's take ranging from 8% higher in Thailand at $388,000 to a whopping 260% larger in India at $221,000.
  • Christmas with the Kranks isn't tanking as bad as its poor reviews and initial box office would seem to indicated. That's not to say the film is doing well, it's just not doing as bad as earlier projections. This week the film suffered in Mexico with just $400,000 on 300 screens. However, in the U.K. is dropped just 13% to $1.3 million and in Australia it held up even better dropping 4% to $660,000 on 222 screens climbing to second place. Overall the film made $3.5 million on 1800 screens in 22 markets for a $10.4 million running tally.
  • Closer got off to a strong start with a third place, $1.6 million opening. This is an excellent result for a film playing in only 233 theatres.
  • Seed of Chucky started its international run in Spain with a $850,000 on 172 screens for a nearly $5000 per screen average. However, Spain is historically very kind to horror films, so this result is not too exceptional and should not be used as a guide for future releases.
  • Team America: World Police slipped into third place in Australia with $650,000 this weekend and $2 million overall.
  • Garden State debuted in the U.K. with a $240,000, eighth place on just 48 screens. While the film is doing well overseas in limited release, it is unlikely to match its amazing domestic run.
  • The Merchant of Venice saw its opening weekend haul sliced nearly in half to just $145,000. Not the usual legs a limited release has.

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Source: Variety

Filed under: International Box Office, The Incredibles, The Polar Express, National Treasure, Christmas with the Kranks, Blade: Trinity, The Phantom of the Opera, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, Alexander, Closer, Team America: World Police, Garden State, Seed of Chucky, The Merchant of Venice