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Around the World Roundup: 'Flightplan' Ascends

by Conor Bresnan
Jodie Foster in Flightplan
November 16, 2005

Openings in Australia, France, South Korea and Spain sent Flightplan flying to first place. Its $15.9 million weekend was plenty to dethrone The Legend of Zorro, and its foreign total grew to $60.2 million, putting the Jodie Foster thriller on course to top its $86.7 million domestic haul in the coming weeks.

Leading Flightplan's way was Spain's $2.5 million debut from 303 screens, which was 25 percent better than Foster last thriller, Panic Room. In France, it opened to $2.2 million from 500 engagements, 22 percent higher than Panic Room. However, South Korea was arguably its most impressive market with $2.1 million from 120 screens, the eighth-biggest opening ever for distributor Buena Vista International.

Flightplan was No. 1 in Australia ($1.6 million from 313 screens and the Netherlands ($535,000 from 85 screens), while, in Russia, it more than doubled Panic Room's start with $705,000 from 160 screens. It also bowed to a strong $330,000 in the Philippines.

In Italy, Flightplan maintained altitude with a first place $1.4 million from 321 screens, lifting its territory total to $4.4 million. Holdover business was also strong in Germany, where the picture posted $1.2 million in its fourth session for a $12.7 million total.

The Legend of Zorro is quickly losing its zip. The swashbuckler tumbled 40 percent over the weekend, grossing $10 million for a $74 million total. The sequel had little to brag about except for France's $2.3 million from 637 screens for a $13.5 million total. The nation's riots and curfews seem to have no affect on the box office anymore. Zorro also stayed on point in Spain with $1.1 million from 448 screens for an $8.7 million tally, but openings in Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa showed no promise.

Cameron Diaz and Shirley McClaine in In Her Shoes
Counter-programming the upcoming onslaught of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, In Her Shoes bowed in eight markets with surprisingly strong results. The relationship drama featuring Cameron Diaz garnered $6.5 million over the weekend for a $12.9 million total. In the United Kingdom, it just barely missed No.1 status to Nanny McPhee (which has $25.5 million to date) with $2.3 million from 324 screens. The debut was light years ahead of Diaz's The Sweetest Thing. In Her Shoes also opened in Germany to $1.8 million from 407 screens, and other sold starts included Japan's $631,000 from 227 screens and Italy's $450,000 from 195 screens.

Chicken Little caught $6.4 million from 12 markets for a $15 million total. The computer-animated feature opened on top in both Brazil ($715,000) and Belgium ($540,000), and it held well in Mexico, dropping 25 percent to $2.4 million for a $6.6 million total.

Other family comedies did solid holdover business as well. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit grossed $5.5 million for a $115 million total, while Tim Burton's Corpse Bride grabbed $5.5 million for a $53.4 million total.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose conjured $4.3 million mainly from 16 new territories for a $12.7 million total. The horror picture was impressive in Mexico with a second place $2 million debut from 345 screens, which was almost identical to Italy's $2 million start from 324 screens. Aside from Catholic markets, Emily Rose has been mostly mediocre. Poor openings included Chile's $107,000 from 27 screens, Israel's $34,609 from 12 and Norway's $67,407 from 20 screens, while it's made only $1.8 million in Australia after three weeks.



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