News

Around the World Roundup: 'Chronicles' Conquers 'Kong' Overseas

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Narnia
January 10, 2006

After ruling Christmas and New Year's, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was again No. 1 with more than $30 million over the weekend. Its foreign total rose to $283 million, surpassing King Kong for the first time—Kong has a hefty $272 million. Narnia now ranks as distributor Buena Vista's ninth-highest grossing picture of all time.

Narnia has rarely fallen more than 30 percent on any weekend in any market, and it maintained pole position in most countries as well. France led the way with $5.9 million for a three-week total of $28.1 million, surpassing the totals of Brother Bear, Madagascar and Shark Tale there.

In the United Kingdom, the family fantasy remained No. 1 for the fifth consecutive weekend with $3.8 million. With $66.5 million total, Narnia is already Buena Vista's second-highest grossing movie ever in the U.K., behind Toy Story 2.

Second weekends in Australia and South Korea were also strong. Falling 42 percent in Australia, Narnia grossed $2.9 million from 422 screens, and the bulk of its $17.9 million total was generated during the Boxing Day holiday week that started the day after Christmas. In South Korea, the movie made $2.3 million for a $9.4 million total, holding at second place behind local production The King and the Clown.

Catholic markets further embraced Narnia with the beginning of the Three Epiphanies holiday. The picture rose 72 percent in Spain, grossing $2.5 million for a five-week total of $20.7 million, while in Mexico, it improved by two percent, adding $1.2 million for a five-week haul of $20.5 million.

Narnia also had two record-breaking openings. In Poland, it claimed $1.5 million, the largest debut ever for a Buena Vista-distributed picture there. Narnia also dominated Argentina, with $1 million. In local currency, it was the market's biggest opening ever.

Buena Vista had a one-two punch in Narnia and Chicken Little. Chicken Little became the 19th movie from 2005 to cross the $100 million mark. The animated comedy grossed $5.9 million over the weekend, lifting its total to $106.1 million. Little grew by a lot in Australia—it was up 169 percent in its second weekend to $1.8 million from 333 screens for a $4.7 million total.

King Kong
Universal Pictures also had a milestone to report. King Kong scaled past Gladiator to become the studio's third-highest grossing movie to date, behind the first two Jurassic Park pictures. Kong added $23.5 million over the weekend.

Kong fell just 20 percent in the U.K. to $3.7 million from 475 screens for a $45.3 million tally. Other impressive totals include France's $22.8 million, South Korea's $20.4 million, Germany's $18.8 million, Mexico's $14.8 million and Spain's $13.4 million. After a shaky start, King Kong has had a potent run, that should end at around $340 million—despite failing to hit record levels in any single market.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire grossed $12.7 million over the weekend. With $570.3 million in the till, the movie is on track to topping $600 million, a feat only four other pictures have done, including the first two Potter movies. Goblet of Fire has a chance to out-gross Harry Potter and he Chamber of Secrets' $614.7 million.

Fun with Dick and Jane bowed in 10 markets over the weekend and snared a solid $5.2 million weekend for a promising $11 million total. Germany, one of Fun star Jim Carrey's best markets, supplied a first place $2.5 million on 473 screens—although, the opening was a far cry from the $5.1 million start of Carrey's last comedy, Bruce Almighty.

Jarhead was mixed at the beginning of its foreign campaign. Aside from a strong German debut, the warless war movie wasn't impressive. Openings like Spain's $891,669 from 220 screens, Mexico's $345,586 from 180 screens and Poland's $101,282 from 43 screens were mediocre at best. German-speaking markets showed greater interest. In Germany, Jarhead grossed $1.7 million from 320 screens, which ranked fourth in a crowded market. Austria ($303,625 from 46) and German-speaking Switzerland ($136,481 from 20) were just as good. Overall, Jarhead's nine-nation launch garnered $3.8 million.

Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice's run was rekindled with several new markets after more than a month of holdovers. The Jane Austen adaptation had potent limited openings in Greece ($350,697 from 32 screens), Denmark ($113,247 from 20 screens) and Sweden ($172,122 from 10), but it wasn't as promising in Malaysia, with $42,170 from 15 screens. Pride's overall total stands at $44.6 million.

After racking up $29.1 million in the U.K., Nanny McPhee ventured outside the U.K. for the first time. In New Zealand, the British family comedy bombed, placing ninth with $67,579 from 48 screens.

After beating expectations domestically, Hostel wowed Iceland. The horror picture, which Sony is handling overseas, grossed a smashing $56,546 from just four screens. Its first major territory, though, will be Australia on Feb. 23.



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