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International Top Five - Billion Dollar Blockbuster

January 6th, 2010

For only the fifth time in history, a film has reached $1 billion at the worldwide box office. That film is, of course, Avatar, which again dominated the international chart with $138.85 million on 13,784 screens in 88 markets over the weekend for totals of $676.88 million internationally and $1.03 billion worldwide. The film's biggest single market of the weekend was France, where it added $16.88 million on 730 screens over the weekend for a total of $65.52 million after three. It also topped $10 million in South Korea with $11.00 million on 728 screens and in Germany with $10.79 million on 738. The film has made $48.34 million and $53.97 million in those two markets respectively, also after three weeks of release. It just missed the $10 million mark in Spain with $9.66 million on 794 screens over the weekend for a total of $44.45 million and in the U.K. it earned a nearly identical weekend result with $9.60 million on 493 screens over the weekend for a total of $53.05 million. By this time next week, Avatar will be the second highest grossing film all time and while Titanic's record seems safe, for now, it is not inconceivable that Avatar could reach $1 billion internationally.

Sherlock Holmes stepped up a spot to second with $36.61 million on 3,918 screens in 30 markets and already has $87.35 million internationally and $226.07 million worldwide. The film opened in second place in Mexico with $3.37 million on 683 screens, which gives it the best per screen average in the top ten. The film held strong in Italy; in fact, it was up 1% to $6.56 million on 513 screens, which not only allowed it to climb into top spot, it also helped its running tally grow to $17.10 million. In the U.K. it grew by 12% to $5.56 million on 484 screens over the weekend for a total of $19.43 million after two. In Australia it remained in second place despite a 22% increase, earning $4.22 million on 308 screens over the weekend for a total of $11.63 million after two. With debuts in roughly half-a-dozen major markets ahead of it, the film should be able to match its domestic box office total internationally, while with a little luck it could reach $500 million worldwide. We will have a better idea of its box office potential next week after its first post-holiday weekend numbers are in.

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel slipped to third place, but was still potent with $31.79 million on 6,095 screens in 54 markets for a total of $99.79 million. It would be nearly impossible for the film to not have reached $100 million at the international box office on Monday. Its only major debut this week came in South Korea, but it struggled into fifth place with $1.43 million on 266 screens over the weekend and $2.04 million in total. Additionally, it fell more than 50% in the U.K., whereas most other films in the top 20 there saw serious growth. It did still earn third place with $3.97 million on 489 screens and it is hard to complain about its $20.36 million running tally, which is close to the $24 million the original earned in total in that market.

By some reports, 3 Idiots has become the highest-grossing Indian movie of all time. This week it added $10.79 million on 1,673 screens in 17 markets for a total of $30.23 million internationally and $34.99 million worldwide. At this pace it looks like it will become the first Bollywood film to cross $50 million at the box office.

The Princess and the Frog climbed into the top five for the first time during its run with $9.29 million on 2,866 screens in 24 markets for a total of $45.01 million. Its only opening of note this weekend came in Australia, but it only managed seventh place with $1.05 million on 229 screens, which makes me think that was just previews. I hope that was just previews. On the other hand, the film has already made more than $10 million in Italy after pulling in $2.33 million on 433 screens this past weekend giving it $10.74 million after three. So far the film's run has been a little schizophrenic with some markets suggesting the film will top $200 million worldwide, while other markets it is running at a quarter that pace. With half-a-dozen major markets left to go, it is too soon to tell where it will end up, but the high end seems more likely at this point.


Filed under: International Box Office, Avatar, The Princess and the Frog, Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel