Around the World Roundup: French Comedy Reigns Again

by Conor Bresnan
February 23, 2006

For the third weekend in a row, a French comedy led the foreign box office. Les Bronzés 3 - amis pour la vie grabbed $11.2 million from three markets for a $62.9 million total, mostly from its native France where it's distributed by Warner Bros.

With $57.8 million from France alone, Les Bronzés 3 has grossed more in its first three weeks of release than any other picture in the history of French cinema. Its other two markets, Belgium and French Switzerland, are performing admirably, but nowhere near the record books. Belgium has yielded $2.1 million thus far, and French Switzerland has $3 million.

Among Hollywood-made movies, Munich was on top again with a moderate $7.4 million for a $64 million total. Steven Spielberg's drama opened well in Taiwan, grossing $320,248 from 47 screens, but disappointed in Russia nabbing $301,764 from 130 screens. There was nothing impressive about Munich's holdover markets, and the United Kingdom is its biggest territory with $7.9 million.

Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's House 2
Big Momma's House 2 has been a surprising success. The first movie made $56.4 million, less than half of its domestic total, but the sequel has already made more than half of its domestic take by grossing $34.9 million thus far. The fat-suit comedy isn't slowing down either, making $7.1 million in its fourth weekend. Openings included United Arab Emirates, with a superb $897,000 from 32 screens, and the Netherlands, grossing $484,798 from 74 screens—No. 1 in both markets. Among holdovers, the picture fell just 6 percent in its second weekend in the U.K., compared to Final Destination 3's 37 percent tumble. Both movies have $9.1 million tallies there.

Walk the Line grossed a solid $6.8 million over the weekend for a $29.2 million total. Openings, however, were weak in Italy ($230,000 from 108 screens) and Japan ($169,000 from 131), while France recorded a moderate start of $737,000 from 260. Mexico ($5.7 million), Spain ($5.9 million) and the United Kingdom ($9.7 million) continue to be Walk the Line's strongest markets.

Chicken Little
Chicken Little's strong run in the U.K. was a big slice of the picture's $6.4 million weekend gross. The animated comedy led the British market for the second straight week, grossing $3.8 million (off only 3 percent) for a $14.8 million total. Chicken was tops in Denmark too, taking in $446,874 from 71 screens (up 14 percent from its debut) for a $1.7 million total. Overall Chicken Little has grossed $162.8 million.

Playing well in Europe, Casanova banked $5.2 million over the weekend for an $11.7 million total. In Italy, the period comedy scored director Lasse Hallström's largest opening yet with $1.1 million from 243 screens. Casanova wasn't as impressive in the U.K., where it managed just $1 million from 351 screens for a sixth place finish.

The Pink Panther showed signs of a strong international run to come. The Fox-distributed comedy opened in first place in Brazil, grossing $820,000 from 253 screens, and grabbed $453,000 from 98 screens in Taiwan. In all, the movie made $2.9 million over the weekend for a $5.5 million total.

Date Movie made its foreign debut in Australia, ranking first in a depressed market with $1.4 million from 224 screens.

Transporter 2 bowed in its second-to-last market over the weekend. In China, the action sequel claimed $1.7 million from 480 screens, which was almost 50 percent better than what Fantastic Four did there. With Japan the sole remaining market on May 27, Transporter 2 has made $40 million thus far and could climb past $50 million by the end of its run.

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