News

Around the World Roundup: 'Lion' King Again, 'Underworld' Anemic Down Under

by Conor Bresnan
Skandar Keynes (right) in Narnia
January 23, 2006

Extending its foreign reign to five consecutive weekends, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe snared $13.3 million over the weekend, lifting its overall total to $342.6 million.

With no new markets, Narnia relied on small declines in holdover markets. Drops like Holland's 21 percent and the United Kingdom's 29 percent exemplified the overall strength of the picture and the lack of adverse conditions. Respective market totals improved to $5.5 million and $73.1 million.

Memoirs of a Geisha is proving to be more bankable overseas than it is domestically. In Spain, the period drama had a superb first place launch of $2.6 million from 206 screens. Geisha found continued success in Asia as well, taking $247,966 from 33 screens in its Malaysian debut as well as $534,177 from 36 screens in its Singapore start.

In Australia, Geisha was No. 1 with $2.1 million from 200 screens, seemingly impervious to the Australian Open sports event that affected other movies. In the United Kingdom, it fell just five percent in its second weekend to $1.9 million for a $5.4 million tally. Overall, Geisha garnered $10.3 million for a $35.5 million total.

Fun with Dick and Jane will try to chase down its $100 million domestic run internationally, and its $3.4 million first-place launch in the United Kingdom certainly helped matters. The Jim Carrey comedy also exceeded expectations in Greece with $501,615 from 64 screens. Debuts in Brazil ($907,332 from 184) and New Zealand ($249,505 from 51) were also impressive.

Holdovers aided in the Fun as well. The picture was off 30 percent in Mexico to $1.3 million for a $4.3 million total. In its fourth weekend in Germany, it was down 32 percent for a $5.6 million tally, and, in Australia, the total climbed to $8.1 million. Fun made $8.7 million overall, bringing its cumulative gross to $28.8 million.

Kate Beckinsale in Underworld: Evolution
Underworld: Evolution opened modestly in Australia. The action horror sequel grabbed $1.5 million from 157 screens, second to Geisha. The first Underworld opened on the same weekend back in 2004 to a much stronger $2.1 million from 146 screens.

Brokeback Mountain surprised in Taiwan with a first place $638,000 bow from 95 screens. On the flip side, the cowboy love story disappointed in Italy with $1.1 million from 202 screens, in fourth place below the second weekend of Match Point. Meanwhile, Brokeback continued to find an audience in the United Kingdom, roping nearly $9 million there thus far.

After last weekend's surprisingly potent German debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin' posted better-than-expected numbers in three markets. The 50 Cent crime drama bagged $1.5 million from 298 screens in the U.K. Openings in Australia ($701,035 from 117 screens) and New Zealand ($106,757 from 38) were in the same ballpark. In Germany, the picture fell 47 percent to $667,792 for a $2.4 million total.

Two cooling family hits advanced their respective totals. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire pocketed $4 million over the weekend, bringing its total to a massive $589.4 million, while Chicken Little harvested $2 million for a $117.7 million total.



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