Around the World Roundup: 'Borat' Skewers Top Spot

by Conor Bresnan
Sasha Baron Cohen in Borat
November 6, 2006

An enormous debut in the United Kingdom propelled Borat to the top of the foreign box office over the weekend. Sacha Baron Cohen's mockumentary opened to $18.6 million from just 993 screens, ranking first in 11 of its 17 markets. The U.K. alone accounted for $11.8 million from 427 screens, more than doubling the start of Cohen's previous vehicle, Ali G Indahouse.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan also posted strong grosses in Sweden ($716,749 from 39 screens), the Netherlands ($731,401 from 64) and Denmark ($365,905 from 36). In Germany, it settled for second place with a still impressive $2.6 million from 234 screens.

Distributor 20th Century Fox packed a foreign one-two punch as The Devil Wears Prada came in second to Borat. From holdovers alone, Prada added $11.1 million over the weekend. The fashion comedy is still going strong in its fourth week in Germany and Italy with $2.3 million and $1.4 million respectively. Overall, its tally stands at $151.1 million.

Opening five months after the original's debut, Death Note 2 (Desu nto 2) captivated Japan to the tune of $10.2 million from 346 prints, enough to rank third internationally. The Warner Bros. release about a man who can discreetly kill people simply by writing their name on "death notes" outperformed its predecessor by 87 percent.

Fourth place fell to Open Season, which has started to struggle overseas. The animated comedy grossed $8.4 million over the weekend for a $52.7 million total. In Russia, it tumbled 47 percent to $1.6 million for a $5.6 million total, while, in the U.K., it dove 57 percent in its fourth weekend for an $11.7 million total. Openings were mediocre in Colombia ($170,981 from 100 screens) and Indonesia ($116,106 from 35).

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed
The Departed snatched $7.3 million overseas in fifth place. The crime drama had two potent No. 1 openings in Israel ($391,000) and Norway ($276,000) and remained on top in both Italy and Spain with grosses of $2 million and $1.9 million respectively. The overall tally climbed to $49.3 million.

In South Korea, The Prestige grabbed a second place $1.2 million debut from 127 prints, and the magician drama also opened in Mexico ($933,000) and Brazil ($448,000). Overall, it has pulled in $6.3 million so far, led by Taiwan's $1.9 million.

Flags of Our Fathers continued to disappoint with an anemic $552,000 debut from 214 screens in Australia. The World War 2 drama, though, held well in Japan (down 25 percent) but fell sharply in France (down 44 percent), and it took first place in Taiwan with a solid $293,000 from 62 prints. All told, the weekend came to $3.3 million for a $9.1 million total.

Meanwhile, Flushed Away struggled in Southeast Asia with poor debuts in Taiwan ($129,543 from 69 screens), Malaysia ($106,686 from 30) and Singapore ($174,564 from 26).

International Box Office Results

7/19 Sequels Continue to Arrive as 'Mamma Mia 2', 'Equalizer 2' and 'Unfriended 2' Hit Theaters
7/15 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Tops Weekend Box Office While 'Skyscraper' Struggles
7/12 'Hotel Transylvania 3' & 'Skyscraper' Aim to Top Weekend Box Office
7/8 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Buzzes to #1 While 'Incredibles 2' Tops $500 Million
7/5 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Ready to Add to Disney's Super-Sized 2018
7/3 Record June Caps off a Record Second Quarter at the 2018 Box Office
> MORE: News | Features
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/18 (30 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/17 (33 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 7/16 (32 tracked)
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
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)