Around the World Roundup: 'Bronzés' Captures Gold Amidst the Olympics

by Conor Bresnan
February 17, 2006

Around the World Roundup France catapulted Les Bronzés 3 to the top of the foreign box office as the Torino Olympics took their toll last weekend, including so-so business for Munich… Domestically, business has been on par with 2005, but, internationally, 2006 has lagged behind last year, with only one blockbuster in play, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, which is more popular overseas than in the United States, deterred new openings for the most part this past weekend, leaving the field to holdovers.

French comedy, Les Bronzés 3 - amis pour la vie, topped the foreign box office, despite playing in its second weekend and in just three markets. In France, it fell 40 percent to $14.5 million from 950 prints, 33 percent ahead of all Star Wars and Harry Potter movies through the same time frame. The Warner Bros.-distributed picture has yielded $43.7 million thus far in France and around $47 million overall.

Eric Bana and Ayelet Zurer in Munich
Munich led the Hollywood crowd with a so-so $11 million from 49 markets for a $48.6 million international haul. Steven Spielberg's Oscar nominee debuted in third place in South Korea with a strong $2.1 million from 172 screens, which was 15 percent better than Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. Munich also snared second place in Hong Kong, grossing $210,000 from 21 locations.

Three countries ignored Munich. In Sweden, it opened below the third weekend of Casanova, with an anemic $142,877 from 45 screens. Finland followed suit with $64,945 from 16 screens, while the Philippines yielded only $58,687 from 21 screens.

Drop-off rates were in the forty percent range with totals improving to $3.3 million in Australia, $5.9 million in France, $5.2 million in Germany, $4.6 million in Italy and $6.7 million in the United Kingdom.

Chicken Little
Chicken Little plucked $10 million over the weekend for a $149.8 million total. The computer-animated comedy took advantage of school holidays in the U.K., grossing a superb $5.3 million from 485 screens. The debut was in line with Toy Story and easily topped the day-and-date release of Final Destination 3, which grossed $3.9 million from 390 screens. Chicken Little has a few smaller markets left to open in, which means it should end up with around $190 million.

Walk the Line continued to perform as if it were a Best Picture Oscar nominee, grossing $7 million from 18 territories. Its two-week total improved to $18.3 million, which was similar to Ray through the same point. The Johnny Cash biographical drama, though, had little to cheer about in its opening territories. Brazil led the pack with a respectable $239,057 from 103 screens, but Taiwan ($111,397 from 58) and Singapore ($53,809 from 18) were poor. Holdovers were solid, and the movie remained No. 1 in Australia, easing 17 percent there to $1.3 million for a $3.9 million total.

The true Best Picture nominees weren't as impressive. Brokeback Mountain fared well with $5 million take from 19 markets over the weekend for a $39 million total. The romantic drama is generating business from the major European markets, but the big foreign push comes over the next three weekends, when the movie opens in more than 25 markets.

Crash has opened in all major markets and has a few smaller territories still to go. The American drama never took off anywhere and succeeded mainly on critical acclaim. Its $30 million total shouldn't grow larger than $35 million.

Good Night, and Good Luck. is very early in its international campaign. George Clooney's journalism drama has already recorded solid runs in Australia ($2 million), France ($2.6 million) and Italy ($2.9 million), and its total now sits at $9 million.

Capote begins its foreign run in Australia and Italy next weekend.

Opening in Mexico day-and-date with its U.S. premiere, The Pink Panther uncovered $1.3 million from 436 sites, good enough for first place. The always kid-friendly territory has been without a family movie for three weeks.

In Taiwan, Firewall bowed in first with a promising $670,000 from 87 screens. The Harrison Ford thriller generated $1.07 million overall through one weekend.

Fun with Dick and Jane had three first place starts this past weekend. In Spain, the Jim Carrey comedy was strong with $1.6 million from 316 screens. The reception was comparable in Argentina ($135,615 from 48) and the Netherlands ($526,518 from 75). Overall, Fun bagged $5.9 million for a $63.3 million total.

KEira Knightley in Pride & Predjuice
Pride & Prejudice debuted in nine territories over the weekend, helping it gross $3.5 million for a $62.7 million total. Spain's fourth place start was solid, grossing $822,813 from 181 screens. The other openings were decent, led by Mexico with its $139,526 from 73 screens. Pride recorded the best hold in the Olympics-deflated Italian market, dropping 27 percent in its second week for a $2.4 million total.

Nanny McPhee was in the same league as Pride & Prejudice, earning $3 million over the weekend for a $43.3 million total. McPhee had a moderate start in France, with $750,000 from 160 screens. The best news came from Germany, where the family movie fell 30 percent in its second weekend to $1 million for a $3 million total.

The third Universal picture in international release, Jarhead, had a relatively soft weekend, grossing $2.4 million for a $28.4 million total. Highlighting the weekend was Australia's potent second place premiere of $1.1 million from 174 screens. Italy's up next for the war picture on Feb. 17.

The Chronicles of Narnia amassed another $3 million from 45 territories. With Japan still ahead, Narnia just passed The Incredibles to become Buena Vista International's third highest grossing picture ever with $371.9 million.

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