News

Around the World Roundup: 'Superman' Opens on Top

by Conor Bresnan
Brandon Routh in Superman Returns
July 3, 2006

In its foreign debut, Superman Returns was in the range of X-Men: The Last Stand and ahead of Batman Begins, but well below Spider-Man. Grossing $20 million over the weekend from 11 markets, the Man of Steel ranked first across the board and boasted one record.

In Indonesia, Superman Returns scored the highest-grossing opening of all time with $692,000 from 55 prints. In neighboring Philippines, it grabbed $2.5 million from 81 prints, the second best start ever and 83 percent higher than Spider-Man 2.

Elsewhere, results were excellent for a superhero movie, a genre that doesn't play as well overseas as it does domestically. South Korea yielded Superman Returns $5.2 million from 303 prints, exceeding Batman Begins by 112 percent and on par with Spider-Man 2. In Australia, the picture made $3.82 million from 409 screens, while Taiwan's $1.58 million from 151 prints was above recent superhero fare, including Batman Begins.

In Thailand, Superman Returns had the fifth best five-day premiere ever with $1.47 million from 204 prints. India was also stellar, with $1.49 million from 274 screens, which was the second highest opening for an American movie of all time. Other strong starts included Malaysia ($830,000 from 75 screens), Singapore ($1.2 million from 73), Puerto Rico ($657,000 from 73) and New Zealand ($377,000 from 81).

International IMAX returns for Superman Returns were stunning. The picture grossed $560,000 from just 11 screens in seven markets. The Philippines' single IMAX screen alone yielded $109,000. Next week, Superman Returns lays low, opening only in South Africa, but then debuts in Brazil, France, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom the following week.

A scene from Cars
Cars' addition of three major markets buoyed its weekend gross to $15 million for a 17-territory total of $42.5 million. After somewhat disappointing runs in Australia ($10.2 million total), France ($7.6 million) and Russia ($3.8 million), Pixar's new feature redeemed itself in Mexico with a company-best opening of $4.6 million from 800 screens. It cruised through Venezuela as well with another Pixar high of $280,000.

In other countries, though, Cars lagged behind past Pixar fare. In Japan it opened in first place with $3.5 million, which was 66 percent below Finding Nemo. Debuts were also solid but unspectacular in Brazil ($800,000), Argentina ($660,000) and Portugal ($250,000).

Over the Hedge continued to keep pace with Cars. Despite playing during England's World Cup match on Saturday, the DreamWorks comedy grossed $6.6 million from 503 screens in the U.K., which was on par with Shrek and above Chicken Run. Perhaps more impressive was Australia's eight percent drop. Hedge benefited Down Under from school holidays, making $1.7 million from 251 screens for a $6 million total. Overall, its weekend came to $9.6 million for a $37.5 million total.

Poseidon neared the century mark after a $5.8 million haul from 50 territories. The disaster remake had moderate openings across Scandinavia, the best of which was Norway's top-ranked $276,000 from 60 screens. Sweden ($276,000 from 89 prints), Finland ($132,000 from 30), and Denmark ($108,000 from 47) were hurt by a poor release date. All told, Poseidon has generated $96 million, including Russia's $3.6 million, France's $4.1 million and Brazil's $1.9 million.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift continued its surprisingly strong under-the-radar run. Fueled by two openings, the action sequel grossed $6 million over the weekend for a $24 million total. In Russia, it topped its predecessors by over 70 percent, with $1.8 million from 350 screens. Tokyo Drift was also solid in Mexico with a second-place $1.4 million from 295 screens, which was 44 percent above the original.

Keanue Reeves and Sandra Bullock in The Lake House
The Lake House followed up its moderate premiere in the U.K. with a relatively similar reception in Spanish-speaking territories. The romantic drama opened in Mexico with $507,000 from 150 prints and in Peru with $72,000 from 14 prints. Low print counts held The Lake House back, except for Spain where it opened in first place with a strong $919,000 from 224 prints, surpassing Kate & Leopold by 58 percent and Sweet November by 27 percent. Lake House grossed $2.6 million over the weekend for a $6.3 million total.

Meanwhile, X-Men: The Last Stand topped $200 million after a $2.4 million weekend from 16 territories.



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