Around the World Roundup: 'Harry Potter' Conjures Massive Debut
by Conor Bresnan
July 19, 2007
|Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix|
Despite playing in less than half the territories of both Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in their openings, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix generated $193 million from 44 territories over five days, the third highest-grossing foreign debut ever. It topped the overall debuts of all previous Harry Potter movies, a feat never before seen by a fifth picture in a franchise, and easily ranked first everywhere it opened.
Not surprisingly, Order of the Phoenix's highest grossing territory was the story's native United Kingdom. It scored the largest four-day opening on record with $33.2 million from 1,390 prints, though its three-day take was second to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Spain saw Potter's biggest launch yet with $10.65 million 603 prints, while Italy's $11.55 million from 837 was also a franchise best, dispelling the notion that movies can't open big in the Summer season there, a period when the beaches are more popular than theaters. Good weather across Europe seemed to have no affect on Order's opening, though in Germany its $19.2 million start was lower than Goblet of Fire, but still tops for 2007, and in France its $16.5 million from 950 prints was second best for the year.
In Australia, Order of the Phoenix conjured the fourth largest opening ever and a series best with $14.6 million from 500 screens. In South Korea, it shattered the old franchise record with an $11.4 million opening from 390 prints, the fifth biggest debut in history. In Latin America, it surpassed all previous Potters, including the second best openings ever in Mexico ($10.1 million from 1,030 prints) and Brazil ($6.5 million from 725). In Venezuela, it made $1.2 million, which was the year's biggest, beating Shrek the Third's debut from three weeks ago.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has many markets ahead including Russia and what should ultimately be its highest-grossing one, Japan, this weekend.
Transformers secured second place internationally with $36.1 million from 31 territories for a $146.7 million total, but saw massive falls in Europe. In Spain and Sweden, for instance, the action picture dove 60 percent, though in Potter-free Russia it was down 52 percent to $2.7 million for a $12.3 million total. In Asia, Transformers had another strong weekend. It broke an industry record in China, with an estimated $12.6 million from 300 screens, while in South Korea its $5.7 million weekend lifted its total to $38.7 million, surpassing Mission: Impossible III as the highest-grossing non-Korean picture there. Other debuts included Greece's moderate $497,626 from 71 and Israel's $257,964 from 28.
In third place, Live Free or Die Hard took a big hit from the arrival of Harry Potter, falling 63 percent in France and 55 percent in Germany. Overall, the action sequel made $18 million for the weekend for a $121.2 million total. It remained in first place in Estonia with $18,129 for a $175,392 total and Bulgaria with $30,463 for a $301,672 total but fell several spots in most markets. Die Hard 4.0 goes out in South Korea and Taiwan this weekend.
|Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard|
A smidgen behind in fourth place, Shrek the Third bagged $18 million from 41 territories for a $361.2 million total. The fractured fairy tale had no new opening but grossed $5.7 million in its third weekend in the U.K. for a $61.8 million total there. Its third weekend in Japan saw a small 16 percent decline to $1.1 million for an $8.7 million total.
Rounding out the top five, Ratatouille earned $5.8 million from 13 territories for a $30 million total. The animated comedy fell just 38 percent in Brazil for a $3.4 million total but was down 55 percent in Mexico to $2.1 million for an $8.9 million total. In Israel, it rose 24 percent to $322,134 from 43 screens for an 11-day tally of $781,179.
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