Around the World Roundup: 'Heaven' Still First on Earth

by Conor Bresnan
Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven
May 17, 2005

On the eve of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, 20th Century Fox stable mate, Kingdom of Heaven, ruled the international box office for the second straight weekend, grossing an estimated $27.2 million from 98 territories for an $88.9 million total—two and a half times its domestic haul.

The first major release of summer 2005, Kingdom of Heaven is closely following the path of 2004 summer starter Van Helsing. After a similar debut, Kingdom's second weekend was only $2.7 million higher than Van Helsing's. The horror adventure had amassed $95 million by the same point on course to a $180 million final, and Kingdom could reach a similar height. An impediment to hitting that mark, however, was Japan's modest $2.4 million debut from 492 screens. Van Helsing grossed $5.8 million from 500 screens in its opening there.

Kingdom of Heaven's best hold came from South Korea, where it was down three percent to $1.5 million from 289 screens for a $6.4 million total. Drops were in the 30 percent range in Spain (an impressive $9.5 million total so far), Mexico ($5.3 million), Australia ($4.3 million) and Brazil ($3.1 million). The Crusades epic's top grossing market, Germany, tumbled 46 percent to $3.4 million from a very wide 848 screens, pushing its total there to $11.3 million. In the United Kingdom, business was down 40 percent to $2.9 million from 446 screens for a $10 million total.

Coinciding with its United States premiere, Monster-in-Law opened in the U.K. and Israel. The Jennifer Lopez-Jane Fonda comedy's $2.5 million debut at 380 screens in the U.K. was comparable to what it did domestically and was just shy of the openings of Runaway Bride, Miss Congeniality and Calendar Girls. In Israel, it grossed only $78,011 from 20 screens. Over the next three months, New Line will counter-program the picture against the summer's blockbusters, via a slew of distributors. The studio hopes the movie will grab women who are uninterested in the upcoming onslaught of action. Next on the list are France on May 25 and Australia and Germany on May 26.

Monster-in-Law's fellow domestic opener, Unleashed, or Danny the Dog as it is titled in most countries, bowed at No. 2 in Germany with a $1.1 million from 346 screens. After successful launches in mainly the French-language markets, the Jet Li action drama has a $7 million international total.

Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter
The Interpreter took in $3.6 million from 33 territories over the weekend, lifting its overseas tally to $55.1 million. The Nicole Kidman-Sean Penn political thriller is still in the Top Five in countries where it's entering its fourth and fifth weeks, and it has 17 more territories to open, including Japan on May 21. Highlights include the U.K. ($12.4 million total), Germany ($7.5 million) and China, where its $3.0 million gross after four weeks has already topped The Bourne Identity ($1.9 million) and The Bourne Supremacy ($1.8 million).

The Pacifier brought in $3.3 million over the weekend for a $54 million total. The Vin Diesel family comedy had a poor start in Brazil, with $260,000 from 150 screens, but held well in Mexico, where it has made $6.8 million so far.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy continued its strong run in the English-language markets. The sci-fi comedy was down only 26 percent in Australia for a $5 million total, 20 percent in New Zealand for a $794,954 total and 37 percent in the U.K. Overall, its weekend came to an estimated $3.1 million for a $22 million total.

After a surprisingly potent opening, House of Wax fell just seven percent in Taiwan to $576,600 from 80 screens for a superb $2 million 10-day total. Singapore dropped a steeper but still solid 38 percent to $152,600 from 28 screens for a 10-day tally of $494,100.

A Lot Like Love premiered poorly in its first major market, Mexico. The Ashton Kutcher-Amanda Peet romantic comedy mustered a mere $230,000 there and has made only $1.1 million overall to date.

Business will boom next weekend with the massive launch of Revenge of the Sith. George Lucas' prequel opens in every market between May 18 and May 21, with the exception of South Korea (May 26) and Japan (July 9). It even bows in China, making it one of the first U.S. productions to open day-and-date there. Back in May 2002, Attack of the Clones grossed $69.1 million its first weekend from 52 territories, unseating Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to become the highest grossing overseas weekend ever. That record has since been broken several times and is now claimed by The Matrix Revolutions and its $117.6 million 5-day global assault. Clones ultimately made $338.8 million overseas, down from The Phantom Menace's $493.4 million.

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