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Heroes Hit $100 Million

December 8th, 2004

Due to technical difficulties beyond my control, this week's international box office report is much shorter than I would otherwise want. Hopefully all problems will be solved in time to publish tomorrow's Website Reviews.

A few big opening and very strong holdovers helped The Incredibles continue its torrid pace with $36.3 million in 24 markets, lifting its international tally to $104.6 million. It was the 16th film to cross that mark this year, and one of two films to do so this weekend. The film's biggest opening of the weekend was in Japan where it took in $7.3 million to finish in second place to local phenomenon, Howl's Moving Castle. Ironically, out of all the new openings, Japan was the only market where the film failed to open in first place. The biggest holdover was in the U.K. where the film took in another $8.1 million, down just 29%, and now sits just shy of $30 million there. The film was equally strong in other major markets: France, ($6.5 million, down 29%); Italy, ($4.4 million, down 19%); Spain, ($3.7 million, down 33%.) With major openings in Germany, among other markets, the film looks like it will keep up this torrid pace for quite some time, perhaps hitting $200 million before Christmas.

Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason opening big in Germany with $4.2 million on just over 700 screens. Compared to the original that's nearly 125% bigger in American funds, but just 50% bigger in Euros, which goes to show that the strong show of some films on the international scene has almost as much to do with the decline in the dollar as it does with the quality of the film. While the film continues to perform well in Europe, it is doing less well in the rest of the world. For example, the film took in less than $500,000 on 149 screens in it's debut in Brazil while opening with just $120,000 on 34 screens in the Philippians. Overall, the film managed $17 million on3,431 screens to raise its international box office to $108.3 million, breaking $100 million one day earlier than A HREF=>The Incredibles. It should easily take in $200 million internationally, and may have a shot at $300 million worldwide if it can turn around its fortunes outside Europe.

Mirroring its domestic run, Polar Express continues to opening with just mediocre results, but it is able to turns those into strong box offices with amazing legs. This week the film opened with just $1.8 million on 670 screens in France and $1.58 million on 455 screens in Italy. However, in Germany in the film took in $1.6 million, flat from last week's opening, (not including sneak peaks.) All in all, the film managed $11.3 million on 4400 screen in 25 markets, lifting its early box office to $24 million. This is a better than expected result given its poor start, but not enough to make the film profitable.

Howl's Moving Castle took top spot in Japan for the third weekend in a row with $9.8 million. The film has already topped $50 million and should hit $100 million in the region before its run is done.

Thanks to a better than expected $3 million opening in Spain, National Treasure added $8 million to its early haul of $18.1 million.

Other highlights on the international scene include:

  • Studio hopes that Alexander's international performance will save the film from sinking into a sea of red ink took a hit this week. Despite opening in 10 new markets, doubling last weeks numbers, reported figures have the film losing screen count and per screen average falling to $4.02 million on 648 screens in 20 markets. Individual results are not available for all markets, but in Taiwan the film drop nearly 65% during its second weekend there to just 392,000 on 190 screens. Not surprisingly, the best relative result was in Greece where the film earned $948,356 on 83 screens. The best result in terms of raw dollars was in Mexico, where it opened first with $1.33 million on 400 screens.
  • Christmas with the Kranks's international box office was buoyed by a $1.4 million, third place finish in the U.K. The film fared even worse in its debut in Australia with just $695,000, good enough for fifth place. Over the weekend it added just $3.8 million on close to 1500 screen in 16 markets to its $5.1 million international total.
A few films started their international runs this past weekend
  • Team America: World Police finished in second place in Australian with $968,000 from 142 screens and had the best per screen average in the top ten. This is a good start and the film should match its domestic total on the international scene.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie managed $967,000 in Mexico, a market that is usually very friendly to animated family fare. However, mostly likely, the film will only be able to earn a fraction of its domestic haul overseas.
  • The Merchant of Venice opened in semi limited release in the U.K. taking in $285,000 on 67 screens.

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Source: Variety

Filed under: International Box Office, The Incredibles, The Polar Express, National Treasure, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie, Christmas with the Kranks, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, Alexander, Team America: World Police, The Merchant of Venice