Around the World Roundup: 'Mission' Tops Again

by Conor Bresnan
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III
May 15, 2006

Lacking major competition, Mission: Impossible III topped the world again, raking in $40.5 million over the weekend. The action sequel was down a relatively modest 42 percent from its near-worldwide debut last weekend, but the looming worldwide launch of The Da Vinci Code will likely cause a steep drop. As expected the Asian markets took big dives, but Europe and Latin America remained strong, pushing Mission's total to $128.5 million.

South Korea was Asia's anomaly. After a record opening for distributor United International Pictures, Mission: Impossible III eased 22 percent to $6.5 million from 402 screens for an astounding $20.4 million tally. It looks like it will become the first non-Korean picture to top $30 million there.

Market situations flip-flopped in Europe for Mission: Impossible III—the high openings of last weekend fell hard while the poor ones dropped softly. For example, in France—Mission's third biggest opening—tumbled 54 percent to $2.7 million for a $10.3 million total, while the disappointing Germany descended just 18 percent to $2.2 million for a $5.8 million total. Spain had a rough 49 percent drop to $1.9 million for a $6.3 million total, whereas the Netherlands was off 33 percent to $401,104 for a $1.2 million total.

In the United Kingdom, Mission: Impossible III is having a terrific run, grabbing $17.9 million in 11 days after a 42 percent fall. Other than the U.K. and Asia, though, the picture hasn't impressed in any other markets with mediocre runs (compared to expectations) in Australia ($5.6 million), Italy ($5.6 million) and Mexico ($5.9 million).

Mike Vogel and Emmy Rossum in Poseidon
To curb piracy, Poseidon launched in a few Asian markets before the movie's big push in June, and the results were generally in the range of Troy and The Day After Tomorrow. The disaster picture was a strong No. 1 in Thailand with $1.2 million from 220 screens, while Singapore and India were also outstanding with $867,000 from 60 screens and $775,000 from 175 screens, respectively. Malaysia ($514,000 from 70) and Indonesia ($331,000 from 70) were solid as well, but the picture was a little disappointing in the Philippines with $609,000 from 145 screens.

The Benchwarmers were finally called up, snatching a second place in Australia with an okay $581,034 from 184 screens. The comedy's expectations, though, are low outside of English-language markets.

Ice Age: The Meltdown added $8.1 million over the weekend for a $421 million total. Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox ended The Pink Panther's foreign campaign with a moderate opening in Japan, where it grossed $421,000 from 132 screens and pushed its international total to $75 million. Fox also released The Sentinel in China, where it matched Firewall's $1.2 million.

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