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Around the World Round Up: 'Incredibles' Stretches to No. 1

by Conor Bresnan
December 1, 2004

The Incredibles soared overseas with a $44.3 million weekend on 4,362 screens in 22 markets, delivering distributor Buena Vista International's single biggest weekend ever. Thanks to huge openings in European markets, the Pixar animated feature increased its international total to $59.3 million.

Living up to its name, The Incredibles opened at No. 1 almost everywhere. Taking an amazing $18.1 million from 494 screens in the United Kingdom (including sneaks), it toppled Monsters, Inc. as BVI's best weekend there ever In pounds sterling it was the eleventh highest opening ever, just behind the recent entry by Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. In US dollars, it was 22% bigger than Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, 37% better than Monsters, Inc. and 47% better than Toy Story 2. It was the second biggest animated opening ever behind Shrek 2's $29,591,472 from 512 screens.

In France, The Incredibles grossed a stunning $9.2 million from 960 screens, which nearly matched Shrek 2's $9,931,499 and topped Tarzan's $7.2 million. It was the third highest opening ever for an American animated title. It was stellar in neighboring Belgium as well, grossing $1.3 million on 121 for the second biggest entry ever for an animated title.

In Spain, The Incredibles grossed $5.6 million from 421 screens, on par with Finding Nemo and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Italy supplied $5.4 million from 755 screens, the biggest opening ever for an animated picture there.

The Incredibles grossed $362,000 on 75 screens in Greece to record the industry's biggest animated launch, and in Israel it grossed $352,000 on 32 for BVI's biggest opening ever there. Hungary had an impressive $203,000 start, but in Holland it grossed only $764,697 from 195 screens, behind Bridget Jones' third weekend.

Fresh off its domestic disappointment, Alexander had a solid launch in the international arena. From 848 screens in 10 markets, the Oliver Stone epic grossed $7.4 million over the weekend. It commanded pole position in Russia with a strong $3.7 million from 345 screens, topping the debuts of The Day After Tomorrow and Spider-Man 2. In Croatia, it amassed $187,915 from 10 screens, ranking as the third best opening of the year there behind The Return of the King and The Passion of the Christ. It scored an impressive $580,000 on 64 screens in Turkey, making it the top foreign language picture in the market.

In Taiwan, Alexander grossed $1.1 million on 110 screens, easily No. 1 in the market. It was on top in Sweden, grossing $474,500 on 61. Finland produced $170,288 on 35, and Denmark delivered $419,602 on 48. The movie also opened well In Malaysia ($127,800 on 24), the Philippines ($263,000 on 41) and Thailand ($475,800 on 110).

Alexander's numbers, however, are misleading. Taiwan's launch was nothing to brag about for this type of picture. Troy was 136% better than Alexander, which didn't even top Face/Off from 1997. Sweden's opening might not even make a list of the all time top 60 there. It doesn't compare to Terminator 3's $1.3 million or Troy's $1 million, and the same goes for the rest of Scandinavia. In Thailand, Alexander's $475,800 gross was nowhere near Troy's $1,081,700 or even Alien vs. Predator's $1,034,000. Russia's bow is so high because the market is growing abnormally fast. The only gross that is outstanding is Croatia's $187,915, and that's not what the $155 million production wanted to hear.

Granted, Alexander is faring better overseas, comparatively at the moment, than at home, but it isn't doing as well as Troy, The Last Samurai or King Arthur, which all tripled their domestic grosses in the international marketplace. It's too early to tell what Alexander will finish with, but its overseas debut was very good, not great.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason opened in six more territories this weekend including debuts in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The weekend gross was $14,925,586 at 2,076 playdates in 25 territories, raised the international total to $84,236,044. There are 29 territories still to open, including Germany and Brazil next weekend.

Bridget opened in Mexico to $302,649 at 141 dates, ranking third behind The Polar Express' bow and The Princess Diaries 2's second weekend. The opening was 20% below Bridget Jones's Diary. Singapore's debut was $256,660 at 25 dates, 2% bigger than Diary.

Bridget Jones's Diary's box office run was mostly European-driven. It was decent in Southeast Asia, but was modest in Latin America. The Edge of Reason's recent starts in Mexico and Singapore suggest it will perform just as well as Diary in those two markets, but it's making huge strides past the original in Europe.

As expected, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason had three fantastic premiers in Europe. In Russia, the romantic comedy opened to $1,023,262 on 68 screens, topping 2 Fast 2 Furious as distributor Universal's biggest opening ever there. The original's Russia opening was $50,000 at 23 dates. The Edge of Reason also opened in French Switzerland where it had a phenomenal No. 1 debut of $325,198 at 26 dates. In Slovenia, it grossed $128,666 from 14 screens.

Among holdovers, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason had sequel-like drops in most markets, but had some strong holds as well.

After two weeks at No. 1 in Australia, Bridget slipped to No. 2 behind National Treasure's opening. It was down 47% to $1,350,173 at 261 dates for an 18-day total of $10,386,147. So far, it's 50% ahead of Bridget Jones's Diary, which made $11,353,608 in its entire run.

Bridget held strong at No. 1 in New Zealand ahead of National Treasure's opening by 132%. The weekend gross was $448,189 at 64 dates, off just 26%, which raised the 11-day total to $1,347,308. It is 171% ahead of Bridget Jones's Diary, which had a final tally of $1.8 million.

In Spain, Bridget grossed $1,916,594 from 313 screens (No. 2 behind The Incredibles' debut), off only 27% from last week's opening. The 10-day tally is $5,196,350, 73% ahead of its predecessor.

In the U.K., Bridget relinquished the top spot to The Incredibles, but nonetheless made $5,622,655 (£3 million) on 487 screens, off 40% in its third frame. The 17-day total is a phenomenal $50,231,978 (£27 million), 28% ahead of Bridget Jones's Diary in £ and 63% ahead in US$. After just 15 days, it is Universal's 4th highest grosser there ever in US$ and their 5th biggest in £.

Beginning its international tour, National Treasure had a promising $7.7 million weekend. Germany fueled the frame with $4,363,212 on 768 screens, a personal best for star Nicolas Cage. In Australia, Jerry Bruckheimer's action-adventure knocked off Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason with a $1,496,333 opening from only 277 screens. Cage scored another career best in Austria, where the picture grossed $465,000 on 73 screens.

National Treasure was best received in the Philippines where it earned a remarkable $525,000 from 54 screens—another personal best for Cage and the biggest opening ever there for a Walk Disney live-action picture. In Switzerland, it made $423,000 on 58 for a new Cage benchmark, while South Africa produced $286,000 on 100, roughly equal to the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Polar Express continued to mimic its domestic performance with good but somewhat disappointing starts followed by strong holds. In Japan, the animated fantasy adventure yielded $1.8 million (¥187.3 million) from 413 screens, which was 97% of Ice Age and 75% of Shrek but nowhere near Finding Nemo or Shrek 2. Germany's opening was also good, with a third place $2.1 million (€1.63 million) from 737 prints. Mexico supplied $1.855 million (Peso 21 million) from 500 prints, ranking first in the market and surpassing Cats and Dogs by 33% and The Grinch by 29%. It was also No. 1 in Brazil with $395,000 (Real 1.1 million), 49% higher than The Grinch. It also opened in Colombia with a first place $152,000 and in Puerto Rico with a second place $219,000.

In Australia, The Polar Express held well with $700,000 (AU$906,000), down only 23% from the opening weekend. Its total there grew to $1.82 million (AU$2.34 million) In New Zealand, it grossed $98,000 (NZ$141,000), off only 6% for a $217,000 (NZ$310,000) total.

Seven Dwarfs (Sieben Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald) whipped up $2,771,301 at 928 playdates in four territories for a 32-day total of $48,756,754. After four weeks at No. 1 in Germany, it finally succumbed (to National Treasure's debut), but was ahead of the openings of The Polar Express and Christmas with the Kranks. The weekend gross was $2,351,299 at 786 dates, off 43%, and the 32-day tally is $41,847,619. In Austria, the animated Seven Dwarfs has $4,613,906 so far and is on track to top Shrek 2 next weekend.

A Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiançailles) grossed $2.1 million from 745 screens in three markets for a $34.1 million tally. France has accounted for $31.6 million of that total.

Shall We Dance continued to draw solid business from its holdovers, grossing $4.02 million over the weekend from 1,912 screens in 21 territories for a $48.49 million total. Germany was the main contributor of the weekend with $1,103,766 from 608 screens. The Richard Gere-Jennifer Lopez dance picture has grossed $10,825,527 there, but Italy is still its top territory with $12,766,040.

Christmas with the Kranks tanked in the German-speaking markets. From Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the holiday comedy grossed only $1,025,702 from 485 screens. It was best in Germany with a fifth-place $794,305 start from 372 screens. Austria produced just $130,000 from 48, and Switzerland yielded only $115,000 from 40. Distributor Sony was wise to start its international run in the German-speaking regions as they're the most kind to family comedies such as Kranks. However, its attempt to build steam for high print counts in the rest of the world appears to have failed.

The Manchurian Candidate had another mediocre weekend at the international box office, grossing $2,731,261 from 1,415 screens in 25 markets for a $23,199,290 total. Although it had an impressive $248,356 debut in Greece, the Denzel Washington thriller's overseas campaign is riddled with soft totals in Italy ($3,366,218 in three weeks), France ($2,634,657 in four), the U.K. ($2,584,454 in two), Spain ($2,334,033 in three), Australia ($2,301,677 in five) and Germany ($2,287,937 in three).

Rank

Title

Weekend Gross

Theater Count

Territory Count

Total Gross

1

The Incredibles

$44.3m

4,362

22

$59.1m

2

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

$14,925,586

2,076

25

$84,236,044

3

Howl's Moving Castle

$11,703,526

450

1

$44,527,806

4

The Polar Express

$8.2m

-

-

$10.3m

5

National Treasure

$7.7m

-

-

$7.7m

6

Alexander

$7.4m

848

10

$7.4m

7

Shall We Dance

$4.02m

1,912

21

$48.49m

-

The Forgotten

$3,035,855

1,487

33

$26,425,012

-

The Manchurian Candidate

$2,731,261

1,415

25

$23,199,290

-

Sieben Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald

$2,771,301

928

4

$48,756,754

-

Un long dimanche de fiançailles

$2.1m

745

3

$34.1m

-

Bad Santa (Sony Only)

$1,711,713

812

-

$8,147,965

-

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

$1,458,860

765

23

$28,958,892

-

Cellular

$1,372,568

1,102

21

$11,673,762

-

Shark Tale

$1,176,765

2,013

23

$147,397,297

-

Christmas with the Kranks

$1,025,702

485

3

$1,040,986

-

Collateral

$1,024,088

654

17

$111,781,502



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