News

Around the World Roundup: 'Island' Hopping Overseas

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from The Island
August 17, 2005

Warner Bros.' neck-and-neck tandem of The Island and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory topped all competition at the foreign box office over the weekend.

The Island eked ahead of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a $13.95 million weekend, lifting its total to $63.2 million—nearly double its domestic gross. Key debuts supplied solid business for the clone thriller. In Mexico, the picture was No. 1 with $2 million from 500 prints, on par with what sci-fi thriller, Minority Report, opened to. Russia welcomed The Island with a $1.2 million debut from 241 screens, 29 percent better than Minority Report. The Island also bowed in the Netherlands ($481,920 from 86 screens) and in Argentina ($157,965 from 50). The picture's most dominant market has been South Korea, where it's pulled in a massive $19.1 million.

In the United Kingdom, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remained on top, while The Island opened in second with $2.6 million from 404 screens. Charlie, on the other hand, amassed $5 million in its third weekend. With $45.5 million in the till, the Roald Dahl adaptation is the U.K.'s fourth highest grossing movie of 2005 so far.

Overall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory consumed $13.86 million over the weekend, raising its tally to $91.5 million. Two European debuts weren't impressive, but two Asian openings were very good for the genre. In Germany, Charlie attracted just $1.6 million from 484 prints, though it did outperform Herbie: Fully Loaded and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. The reception in Spain was also lukewarm with a $1.5 million from 314 prints. In Hong Kong, though, the picture made $639,121 from 41 prints, ranking No. 1 ahead of local opener Tom Yumg Goong as well as Valiant. Charlie was tops in Turkey as well with a $198,399 start from 85 screens.

Madagascar grabbed $8.2 million from all markets for a $252 million total. The computer-animated comedy got a boost from Japan, where it bowed to $2.7 million. It ranked second there behind Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, which was up 17 percent in its sixth weekend thanks to the Obon holiday. After a $2.8 million weekend, George Lucas' digital epic pushed its Japanese haul to $62 million and its international total to $444 million. By comparison, Attack of the Clones grossed $78.2 million by the end of its run in Japan, while The Phantom Menace did $109.9 million.

Tom Cruise
War of the Worlds also enjoyed the holiday in Japan with a 30 percent boost from last weekend for a $48.5 million total. Its $4.2 million foreign weekend pushed its overall total up to $332.1 million.

Sin City ironically chose the weekend before Assumption Day (Monday) to open in Germany and Spain, but it paid off. In Germany, comic book noir opened in the top spot with an impressive $2.4 million from 430 screens. The picture came in second place in Spain with $1.7 million from 331 screens. After a $5.1 million weekend, its international total is $58.3 million.

Herbie the Love Bug in Herbie: Fully Loaded
Herbie: Fully Loaded racked up $5.7 million over the weekend, pushing its total to $41 million. The Love Bug's return had a $1.3 million second weekend in France for a $4 million total, and it took in $1.2 million in the U.K. for $4 million.

Dark Water is as much of a trickle overseas as it is domestically. Opening in Brazil—the homeland of its director, Walter Salles—the haunted apartment thriller grossed just $130,000 from 70 screens, ranking fourth for the weekend. The picture has made $5.4 million to date and will have a hard time crosssing $20 million.

Fantastic Four stretched into South Korea and grabbed $2.2 million from 248 screens, opening at No. 1. Overall, the comic book adaptation made $4.5 million over the weekend for a $136 million total, and it still has Italy (Sept. 16) and Japan (Sept. 17) ahead.

Perfect Catch, the international title for Fever Pitch, didn't register in its first major market. The romantic comedy grossed $455,000 from 254 screens in the U.K.



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