News

Around the World Roundup: 'Zorro' Leaves Modest Mark in Mass Foreign Bow

by Conor Bresnan
Antonio Banderas in The Legend of Zorro
November 1, 2005

The Legend of Zorro leaped to the top of the foreign box office with a $26.3 million weekend from 45 markets ($28.2 million total including previews). Distributor Sony's massive 6,094-screen launch assured a sizable opening, but, like its domestic start, the movie was decisively unspectacular, especially for a sequel to a picture that grossed $156.2 million overseas.

Several key territories reported sub-$3,000 per screen averages. Although, The Legend of Zorro was tops in Brazil, it managed just $1 million from 355 screens. It was No. 1 in Mexico as well with a paltry $1.4 million from 502 screens. In Germany, it landed below Flightplan's second session in Germany, with $1.8 million from 674 screens, while, in Italy, it came in third with $1.3 million from 500 screens.

The Legend of Zorro posted solid numbers in a few major markets. The swashbuckler clicked in France with nearly $6 million on 683 screens, or 30 percent more than what the well-liked The Mask of Zorro bowed to there. Legend also played well in the United Kingdom, where it grossed $3.3 million from 485 screens—on par with the original but settling for third place in the family-dominated marketplace. The movie swung into Spain with $3.3 million from 550 screens, handily No. 1 and five percent higher than Mask.

The Legend of Zorro was the second picture ever to open day-and-date with the United States and China—the first being Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith—and grossed a sturdy $1.4 million from 300 screens.

A scene from Wallace and Gromit
The U.K. once again fueled Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit's weekend. Overall, the clay-animated comedy mustered $13.7 million, but $6.3 million of that came from the U.K., where the picture is in its third week and has tallied $45.4 million. The movie is tracking 25 percent ahead of what The Incredibles did at the same point that and is on par with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Wallace and Gromit's opening territories, however, did not impress. In Russia, the picture made $626,044 from 206 screens, while, in Turkey, it grossed $214,143 from 94 screens. Other debuts included Sweden's $227,867 from 87 screens and Portugal's $153,141 from 38 screens.

Still ahead for Wallace and Gromit are Italy, Japan, South Korea and more. With $91.7 million thus far, its foreign total will top $100 million by the end of next weekend.

The other stop motion animation picture playing internationally is Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, which took in $11.1 million from 29 markets for a $28 million total. The macabre fantasy had good starts in Italy and Spain. Leading into the buoyant All Saint's Day holiday in Italy, it grossed $1.3 million from 220 prints. In Spain, it nabbed $1.3 million from just 155 screens, ranking behind Zorro.

Like the last collaboration between director Tim Burton and Warner Brothers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride should enjoy strong holdover business. Charlie was typified by very long runs, leading to a $256.9 million total. In France, Corpse Bride was down only 16 percent to $2.3 million from 455 screens. Its $6.1 million total is on par with Wallace and Gromit there. Corpse Bride was off 19 percent in the U.K., grossing $1.6 million from 400 sites and a $5.6 million total. Other holdovers include Japan ($3.9 million total), Mexico ($3.5 million) and Brazil ($1.1 million).

Nanny McPhee is behaving like a blockbuster in the U.K. Emma Thompson's family movie fell only 15 percent to $5.4 million from 424 screens. Its 10-day tally of $17.3 million puts it past the final total of Peter Pan ($16.6 million).

Flightplan logged $6.3 million for a $31 million total. The Jodie Foster thriller had one opening, in Belgium, where it made a solid $580.000. In Germany, it maintained pole position with $2.8 million from 661 screens for a $7.5 million total.

A scene from Doom
Doom boomed in Russia with $1.4 million from 191 playdates and delivered distributor Universal's largest opening day there in ten years. The video game adaptation was also No. 1 in Australia with a stout $1.1 million from 169 screens, but arrived in fourth place in Germany with a $1.1 million take from 299 screens, on par with Resident Evil. Overall, Doom grossed $4.8 million from 19 territories for a $6.5 million total.

Russia saw another landmark recently. Last weekend the local drama, Company 9, about the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan, was the first picture to cross the $20 million mark. The picture is still playing in most theatres and has over $23 million to date.

Saw II bowed in two countries. Similar to the domestic opening, the horror sequel's U.K. $3.8 million debut at 305 screens was 70 percent bigger than its predecessor and marked distributor Lions Gate's biggest start ever in the market. The picture also opened in Japan to $750,000 in limited release (67 screens). The first Saw grossed $47.7 million last year, but the early results for Saw II suggest it could climb as high as last year's Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which bagged $78.2 million.

Two movies opened in their final markets. The Interpreter's last stop was in Italy, earning $2.1 million from 360 screens, for an international total of $85.6 million. Madagascar's end of the road was Greece, where it made $543,996 from 82 screens. The computer-animated comedy's total stands at $327.7 million.



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