Around the World Roundup: 'Wallace & Gromit' Unseat 'Charlie'

by Conor Bresnan
October 13, 2005

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit knocked off the four-week reigning champion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at the foreign box office over the weekend. Led by the United Kingdom's strong $5 million in paid previews, the clay-animated feature produced $9.2 million from 13 countries.

Results elsewhere weren't as impressive. Wallace and Gromit settled for second place in Mexico, grossing a disappointing $1.25 million from 353 screens in the kid-friendly market. Similarly, the family comedy made about $900,000 from 225 screens in Spain. Things turned uglier in Latin America as the movie managed just $415,392 from 244 screens in Brazil and a mere $119,278 from 65 screens in Argentina. Lengthy runs might be in store, though, as Australia has shown, reaching $6.9 million in four weeks after a soft start.

Surprisingly, Wallace and Gromit's best performance outside of the U.K. was in Hong Kong. The picture grossed a sturdy $401,088 from 37 screens there, which was in the same league as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's fall from the top spot was a long time coming as it hadn't opened in a new territory in two weeks. From 48 markets, the family fantasy grabbed $7.9 million, pushing its total to $233.4 million. Standout sessions were in Italy and Japan. The picture eased 27 percent in Italy to $1.9 million from 436 prints, tally $9.5 million. In its fifth weekend in Japan, Charlie was tops again with $2.4 million from 363 prints, down 20 percent for a $32.4 million total.

Matt Damon in The Brothers Grimm
Finally having a substantial weekend at the foreign box office was The Brothers Grimm. Now playing in 17 markets, the adventure comedy snared $6 million over the weekend for a $21.1 million total. European results were good, and it looks like the continent will be the picture's strongpoint. The Brothers Grimm was tops in both Germany and France, grossing $1.5 million from 416 screens and $2.8 million from 456 screens, respectively. It also had a solid second-place start in Brazil with $500,000 from 189 screens.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin bagged $6.3 million from 22 markets over the weekend for a $26.6 million total. The comedy opened on top in Australia with $1.7 million from 200 screens. Other debuts were in the Netherlands (No. 1 with $329,309 from 65 screens), the Philippines ($133,580 from 27) and Singapore ($179,651 from 12). In second outings, The 40 Year Old Virgin was off 35 percent in Germany ($4.4 million total), up one percent in Mexico ($1.2 million) and down 37 percent in Russia ($1.1 million), while, through its sixth weekend, it has $13 million in the U.K.

Cinderella Man showed resiliency in Australia, dipping 26 percent to a second place $764,727 from 294 screens for a $2.5 million total. The boxing drama did not open anywhere, leading to a $2.6 million weekend and $40 million total.

Stealth flew into Japan with a $2.5 million start at 335 screens and a second place finish. It's the first decent showing in the costly action picture's troubled run. The total stands at $34.7 million, and it now has a realistic shot at the $50 million mark.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose took hold of Italy in its first foreign foray. Targeting the massive Catholic crowd, the horror picture claimed $2 million from 324 screens.

Trailing the top-ranked Pride and Prejudice ($20.4 million tally in 24 days) in the U.K., Serenity opened well with $1.7 million from 354 screens. The result was in line with its domestic and Australian premieres, relatively speaking. Early in its run, its total stands at $3.4 million.

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