Around the World Roundup: 'Pirates' Treasured in Debut

by Conor Bresnan
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
July 11, 2006

In its maiden voyage to seven territories, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest hijacked the foreign box office over the weekend with a lusty $46.6 million, nearly quadrupling what its predecessor opened to in those same markets. Not even the final matches of the box-office-draining World Cup could stop it.

In the United Kingdom, Pirates nabbed the eighth-highest opening ever and the biggest of the year, raking in $25.3 million from 514 locations. Down Under, it tallied $8.4 million, also the eighth best if all time and eclipsing the first movie by 111 percent.

Pirates pilfered the record for top American debut in South Korea, grossing $8.4 million from 350 screens. Elsewhere, it logged the seventh-biggest opening ever in New Zealand with $1.2 million from 72 screens, claimed $1.9 million in Taiwan, grabbed $1.4 million from 110 screens in Thailand and made about $100,000 in Uruguay.

Pirates' launch struck 24 percent of the international market, and, next weekend, the picture expands to 34 percent coverage, adding such territories as Russia and Scandinavia. Many large markets still lie ahead, including Japan (July 22), Germany (July 27) and France (Aug. 2).

While Pirates was running amok, Superman Returns was falling. Pirates deflated Superman's gross in Australia as the superhero's resurrection tumbled 62 percent to $1.5 million for a $6.7 million total. Superman was off 47 percent in South Korea to $2 million for an $8.7 million total. Meanwhile, Singapore fell 58 percent for a $2 million total, Thailand dove 59 percent for a $2.2 million total and Puerto Rico plunged 59 percent for a $1.25 million total.

Brandon Routh in Superman Returns
Some markets had decent holds. After the all time second-largest opening, Superman Returns eased 22 percent in Indonesia to $464,000 for a $1.7 million total and is now 42 percent ahead of Spider-Man's tally through the same point. In Malaysia, it fell 46 percent to $450,000, which was distributor Warner Bros.' highest second weekend ever topping Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Superman has $1.5 million there to date. Despite dropping 54 percent in the Philippines, it still managed to set the new benchmark for second weekends with $1.2 million from 81 prints. Its $4.2 million tally is now the highest total by far for any movie there through two weeks.

Overall, Superman Returns grossed $9.4 million, including one opening in South Africa (a solid, top-ranked $528,000 from 95 prints), and pushed its foreign total to $35.8 million. Next weekend, it opens in Brazil, France, Mexico, Spain and the U.K.

Results were sunny again for Over the Hedge, which added 14 territories and $20 million to the till. Despite a German World-Cup soccer match on Saturday, Over the Hedge helped boost the market total 159 percent with a superb $4.3 million opening from 816 screens. France's $2.7 million take from 713 screens was softened due to the country's title match with Italy on Sunday. Mexico was good too, with $3 million from 403 screens. With half of the world still ahead, Over the Hedge has $63 million overall.

Cars lagged behind recent Pixar fare in Spain, but still posted a laudable $3.7 million from 350 screens. It also grabbed $531,000 from 105 screens in its Belgian opening and generated $14.6 million overall for the weekend for a $64.9 million total.

After opening on all but two countries on May 3rd, Mission: Impossible III finally debuted in Japan. The result was a scorching $12.4 million from 336 screens, which was one of the 15 best openings on record but shy of Missions: Impossible II's $13.1 million. Japan will be M:I-3's highest-grossing market and escalated the picture's international total to $219.4 million.

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New MPAA Ratings Added
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WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
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