Around the World Roundup: 'Shrek' Takes Crown

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Shrek the Third
June 19, 2007

A four-way fight at the foreign box office saw Shrek the Third emerge victorious for the weekend crown. The fractured fairy tale tabulated $46.6 million from 32 territories for a five-week haul of $108.3 million. The picture was fueled by 14 new markets, breaking records in many of them.

In Mexico, Shrek the Third nabbed $9.2 million from 418 screens, the second highest start ever for an animated picture and double Shrek 2. It did one better in Brazil with the largest animated opening of all time: $6 million from 343 screens, which was nearly 200 percent bigger than Shrek 2. Three other animated opening records fells in Argentina ($1.6 million from 101), Hungary ($983,338 from 30) and Turkey ($1 million from 163). Yet the movie's highest launch, France's $12.5 million from 739 screens, broke no records, though it was still 26 percent higher than Shrek 2.

Among holdover markets, Shrek the Third's drop-off rates were surprisingly steep. As expected, it fell north of 60 percent in the Southeast Asian markets, but tumbled 69 percent in South Korea to $2.7 million for a $15.2 million total. In Australia, it was off 59 percent to $4.4 million for a $17.1 million, though it surpassed the first Shrek's final tally of $16.6 million. Overall, Shrek the Third has played marginally better than its predecessor, suggesting a final tally of around $500 million should the pace continue.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End may have retreated to second place internationally, but it finally leveled off after two weeks of 50 percent plus drops, down 36 percent to an estimated $32.6 million. Its total, which ballooned to $547 million, now places tenth on the all time overseas chart, eclipsing Spider-Man 3 and The Da Vinci Code. Despite all its good fortune, Pirates had a disappointing opening in China, its final major market. The supernatural swashbuckler grossed $5.9 million over its first six days. By comparison, Spider-Man 3 yielded $8.8 million in its first six days there. At World's End, however, was the final American movie to open before communist China's blackout, in which no outside movies are allowed to open for the next month (with some minor exceptions).

George Clooney in Ocean's Thirteen
In third place, Ocean's Thirteen grossed $26.7 million for a $67.4 million total. The caper's holdover markets were down just 35 percent overall as there was a widespread rebound in the European markets from the previous weekend's dilapidated grosses. In most of its 11 new markets, though, Thirteen opened to lower grosses than its predecessor. In Australia, it debuted underneath Shrek the Third with $3.4 million from 356 prints, a smidgen worse than Ocean's Twelve. In the Netherlands, where Twelve finished with third highest gross of its year ($6.8 million), Thirteen opened 29 percent lower than Twelve with just $1.1 million from 95 screens. In South Korea, it marginally led Shrek with $3.3 million from 190 screens but did top Twelve by a resounding 37 percent.

Fourth place, and the final member of the weekend's big four, was Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The superhero sequel generated an estimated $25.5 million from 32 markets in its debut. Results were generally higher than its predecessor as it proportionally played like X2: X-Men United versus the first X-Men. The Silver Surfer caught the attention of the United Kingdom to the tune of $8.2 million from 474 screens, a 32 percent increase over the original. In Italy, it opened in the middle of the Summer season, the traditional low point of the Italian box office, yet still grossed $3.4 million from 646 screens topping both the original and X2.

In Southeast Asia, Rise of the Silver Surfer was fantastic with openings like the Philippines' $2.2 million, the largest start ever for distributor 20th Century Fox, and Malaysia's $1 million, another Fox best. Indonesia's opening day was Fox's largest ever and the movie's weekend amounted to $741,337. India's $428,469 from 125, Thailand's $1.4 million from 177, Hong Kong's $1 million from 62 and Singapore's $1.3 million from 79 were also very impressive.

Fifth place probably went to Indian hit Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which had high grosses in territories outside of India, while actual Indian figures were not yet available. In the U.K., it ranked sixth on the chart with $526,962 from 47 screens and, in Australia, it took tenth place with $76,898 from 12 screens.

Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino's half of domestic's Grindhouse, continued to provide decent counter-programming with an estimated $1.6 million weekend from 12 territories for a $7.6 million total. It's played best in France with $891,347 from 343 screens in its second weekend for a $2.8 million total. It also opened well in Turkey with a fourth-place $98,566 from 40 screens.

Meanwhile, Vacancy opened moderately in the U.K. with $1.1 million from 288 screens. The horror thriller had a better start than similar recent entries The Hitcher and Turistas.

Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
International Box Office Home Page

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