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Heaven Sent

May 11th, 2005

The summer box office season got off to a decidedly ambivalent start this weekend with the nearly worldwide launch of Kingdom of Heaven; the film opened in 100 markets on 6,500 screens and pulled in a middling $53.8 million. The obvious comparison is with fellow historical epic, Troy; that film brought in $54.7 million 6,722 screens in 47 markets in its first foray on the international scene. Kingdom of Heaven's biggest debut came in Germany where the film earned $6.4 million on 842 (including sneak peaks), while the film also did solid business in Spain ($4.9 million on 435 screens), U.K. ($4.8 million on 443), France ($4.5 million), South Korea ($4 million on 333 screens) and Italy ($3.1 million on 616). While the film will almost assuredly repeat as international champion next weekend (there are no massive openings scheduled), the future isn't that rosy for Kingdom of Heaven. It only has two significant markets left to open in, China and Japan, and should quickly fall down the charts as more summer blockbusters hit the international markets. The film needs about $350 million worldwide to show a profit for its theatrical release, but that seems unlikely at this point. Not out of the question, just unlikely.

Last week's winner, XXX: State of the Union, saw its fortunes fall, landing at $7.2 million on 4,615 screens in 64 markets for an international box office of $29.5 million. The film fell 40% in the U.K. to just $1.046 million on 398 screens, 59% in New Zealand, 52% in Australia, 56% in Italy and a massive 62% in South Korea. The film did fall only 14% in Germany to $1.0 million, but that is not as impressive as it first sounds as there was a national holiday and XXX: State of the Union was the only film in the top twenty not to see a jump in performance. There are not many significant markets for this film to open in, so there's little to look forward to.

Word-of-mouth is helping The Interpreter hold up well, adding $5.4 million this weekend on 2,177 screens in 31 markets for a running tally of $49.2 million. The film did crack $100 million worldwide over the weekend, but will need to double that if the film is to show a profit. The biggest single market for the film was Germany where it took in $1.6 million, up 44% from last weekend. The film also earned nearly $1 million in the U.K. pushing its total there to $11.4 million.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is having a very similar run internationally as it is domestically. This weekend the film managed $4.7 million on 774 screens in three markets for a $17.58 million early international box office. The film did suffer significant drop-offs in all three markets with $3.36 million on 462 in the U.K., down 37%; $1.16 million on 245 screens in Australia, down 43% and $170,000 on 67 screens in New Zealand, down 54%. These results are not unexpected given the Fanboy Effect and the extreme competition.

The Pacifier hung onto fifth place with $3.7 million on 2,593 screens in 33 markets for a running tally of $47.5 million. The film's best single market was Germany thanks to a 70% increase from the weekend before to $1.2 million; it also continues to do well in Mexico with $1 million over the weekend.

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Filed under: International Box Office, The Pacifier, The Interpreter, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Kingdom of Heaven, XXX: State of the Union