News

Around the World Round Up: Will Smith Woos Germany with 'Hitch'

by Conor Bresnan
Willi Smith and Eva Mendes
in Hitch
March 9, 2005

Hitch made a huge impression in Germany last weekend, leading to an international No. 1 finish with $21,087,622 from 25 countries and a $29,612,463 total so far. In Germany, the Will Smith comedy racked up $8,830,879 from 905 screens, the biggest opening ever for a romantic comedy there beating What Women Want by 21 percent and Runaway Bride by 38 percent. No star is a bigger draw in Germany than Smith, it seems. His recent pictures, Bad Boys 2 ($6,006,803) and I, Robot ($5,852,322), had strong starts as well, and his past hits were even largeróMen in Black ($12.7 million), Independence Day ($11 million) and Men in Black II ($10.8 million). Hitch also scored a superb bow in neighboring Austria with a $1,120,007 opening from 99 screens.

Elsewhere in the world, Hitch didn't reach such heights. It was No. 1 in Australia with $2,760,304 from 370 screens, solid for a romantic comedy but not a blockbuster. In Spain, its potent $2,554,292 debut from 373 screens lost out to Hide and Seek. It also opened well in German Switzerland, with $1,211,604 from 96 screens, and in Singapore, with $557,007 from 36 screens.

Meet the Fockers topped $200 million last weekend, although it quieted down by over 40 percent from its previous chart-topping frame to $11,808,938 from 30 territories. The comedy sequel had just one opening last weekend, the Czech Republic, where it earned an unimpressive $83,173 from 22 screens. In Germany, it was off 44 percent in its third weekend to $2,831,254 from 628 screens for a $16,267,493 total. Two powerhouse markets still remain for the Fockers to invade: Japan and South Korea.

Keanu Reeves
With excellent openings in smaller markets and solid holds in larger markets, Constantine grabbed $11.76 million last weekend from 33 territories for a $72.5 million total to date. In Greece, it took the top spot with a $515,900 opening from 52 screens, 31 percent better than Van Helsing. In Sweden, it also nabbed first place with a $411,300 debut from 61 screens, topping Van Helsing by 49 percent. In Colombia, it bagged $292,400 from 76 prints in a first-place launch, surpassing Van Helsing by 96 percent. It also opened well in South Africa ($203,200 from 42 screens), Chile ($168,100 from 30) and Finland ($152,100 from 20).

Among holdovers, the Keanu Reeves supernatural thriller was off 40 percent in Italy to $1.6 million from 366 prints for a $4.8 million total. In Mexico, it fell 35 percent to $1.369 million from 486 prints, remaining No. 1, for a $4.5 million total. In Australia, however, it plunged 57 percent to $1 million from 289 prints for a still solid $4 million total. Impressive totals include South Korea's $11.1 million, Germany's $8.2 million, France's $8.2 million and Spain's $6.2 million.

Just like in the United States Boogeyman couldn't match Ghost House Pictures' previous surprise smash The Grudge in its opening weekend in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, the horror picture topped the market with a sturdy $1,505,456 from 318 screens, well below The Grudge's $3.3 million but 34 percent bigger than Freddy vs. Jason and comparable to Jeepers Creepers 2.

Dakota Fanning in Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek continued to quietly perform well in the international arena. The Robert DeNiro thriller moved up to $35.2 million after an $8.5 million weekend from 28 markets. It opened on top in Spain with $2.6 million from 325 screens and, in Belgium, scored a very strong $488,000 from 46 screens. It was also No. 1 its Holland bow, grossing $414,000 from 60 screens.

The Oscar telecast proved very lucrative for Best Picture nominee Ray. The Ray Charles biopic grossed $4,321,870 over the weekend for a $32,174,675 total, entering. Numbers shot up almost everywhere: the U.K. was up 17 percent, Germany 20 percent, Austria 10 percent, Belgium 25 percent, Spain six percent, Brazil 33 percent and Mexico 33 percent. After a great opening in France last weekend, Ray held strong at No. 1 with $2,238,097 at 302 dates, off just 3 percent despite the fact that some parts of France are still snowbound. Its 12-day total there is $5,251,754.

Clint Eastwood
The total for Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby jumped over $10 million from the awards telecast through last weekend to nearly $36 million, the boxing drama's co-producer Lakeshore Entertainment reported.

The Oscar telecast didn't have the same impact for Best Picture nominee Finding Neverland. In France, it fell 37 percent in its second weekend to $756,937 for a $2,248,449 total. In Spain, it slipped 34 percent to $801,280 for a $5,795,892 tally. In total, the Johnny Depp drama garnered $3 million from 38 territories last weekend, lifting its overseas total to $55.56 million.



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