Around the World Roundup: 'Cars' Dethrones Billion-Dollar 'Pirates'

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Cars
September 11, 2006

The weekend that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest relinquished the foreign throne after a nine-week reign, the supernatural swashbuckler crossed the $1 billion worldwide milestone (which includes domestic), a feat that only two other pictures have accomplished before, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Pirates struck billion dollar booty in record time, tooŚ63 days.

Pirates' Disney stable mate Cars claimed international pole position over the weekend with $8 million from 3,704 screens in 33 territories, lifting its total to $182.6 million. Pirates fell to second with $6.8 million from 4,180 screens in 46 territories, but it could rebound next weekend with its debut in Italy, where it will have that country's widest release ever. Its foreign tally stands at $592.4 million.

Propelling Cars' weekend victory was Germany, where it opened at No. 1 with $3.3 million from 950 screens. However, that gross paled in comparison to Finding Nemo's $13.3 million debut three years ago. Cars also started in Austria ($915,000 from 125 screens) and German-speaking Switzerland ($365,000 from 80).

In third overall, Miami Vice scored No. 1 openings in Spain and Argentina, driving its $6.1 million weekend take for a $73.6 million total. With Italy ahead, a $100 million final gross is a possibility despite the cop drama's disappointing domestic run. In Spain, it grabbed $1.5 million from 274 screens, while, in Argentina, it bagged $128,773 from 46 screens. Each debut was mediocre for its genre, but solid nonetheless.

Famke Janssen in X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men: The Last Stand was unleashed in its final two markets over the weekend, Japan and China. In Japan, Marvel's mutants nabbed $2.5 million from 569 screens, which devolved from the first X-Men's $3.6 million and X2: X-Men United's $3 million. The Last Stand ranked first in China, however, with $1 million from 600 screens, and, overall, its foreign haul is $210.9 million.

Meanwhile, the surprise No. 1 in Australia was John Tucker Must Die with $795,831 from 177 screens, which was nearly 50 percent better than the second place picture, Lady in the Water. John Tucker Must Die also opened in Mexico with a less impressive $201,000 from 152 screens. All told, the teen comedy has snared $8.9 million.

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