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Beginning Below Expectations

June 22nd, 2005

Batman Begins opened worldwide in a day-and-date release but it's international fortunes were no better than its domestic. The film was easily the number one movie on the international scene with $41.7 million on 8,000 screens in 73 markets. Compared to other international hits this year, Batman Begins' debut is softer than Kingdom of Heaven, ($53.8 million on 6500 screens in 100 markets) and not that much above last week's champ, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which wasn't even a worldwide release, ($32 million on 3,600 screens in 35 markets.) It's best market was the U.K. at $7.8 million, but the film also did well in Mexico, ($4.2 million over five days) and France, ($3 million.) On the other hand, in Australia the film finished in second place to Madagascar, ($3,223,600 to $3,578,000) and the same happened in both Spain and Holland, but box office numbers from those markets are unavailable at the moment. Overall the film performed below expectations, but well enough that it should show a profit before it reaches the home market.

Thanks to openings in markets like Spain, South Korea and Russia, Mr. and Mrs. Smith held up reasonably well on the international scene dropping to $25.6 million for a running tally of $73.5 million. The film didn't hold up well in the U.K. where it dropped 60% to $2.90 million and had a similar drop in Australia falling 53% to $2.37 million. The film finished first in South Korea more than doubling its nearest competition, but box office numbers are unavailable, or to be more specific, they're available but in Korean. Assuming I got the right figures / exchange rates it made $4.5 million over the weekend and $5.2 million since its midweek debut.

Madagascar popped into third place with $15.9 million, more than doubling its international box office, which now sits at $30.8 million. As previously mentioned, the film finished first in Australia, Spain and the Netherlands, but only the Australian box office numbers are known at this moment, ($3,578,000 on 365 screens.)

Revenge of the Sith tumbled to just $8.7 million on the international box office, but with $358.9 million internationally and $707.17 million worldwide there will be little complaining. It is now the 19th highest grossing film on the international charts, just behind The Incredibles and 19th place Worldwide just ahead of Forrest Gump. And, to top it all off, it still has to open in Japan. If the film beats Attack of the Clones, which it has done in almost all markets, then it will crack $800 million worldwide. And if it tops The Phantom Menace it could finish in the top ten on the Worldwide Charts beating Finding Nemo.

The only film in the top five internationally that wasn't in the top five domestically was Sin City, which added $2.5 million to its $27.4 million international total and $101 million worldwide . The film fell sharply in the U.K. to $680,000 for a $10.4 million total there, but since the film is on pace to show a profit before its international run is over the studio should still be very happy.

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Filed under: International Box Office, Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, Batman Begins, Madagascar, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Sin City