Around the World Roundup: 'Harry Potter' Commands Second Frame

by Conor Bresnan
Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix took a sizeable hit over the weekend while still adding remarkable openings from new territories. The fifth entry in the boy wizard franchise had steeper drops than its predecessors in some markets, while others saw better holds than the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. All told, Order of the Phoenix conjured $102.5 million from 58 territories for a $353.2 million total.

Leading the pack was a series best start in Japan: $18.6 million from 951 screens. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix also set new franchise highs in Russia ($7.3 million from 532 prints) and Israel ($663,500 from 33 prints). Other openings included Bulgaria ($85,683 from 14 screens, just beneath Goblet of Fire), Romania ($94,296 from 7) and the United Arab Emirates ($767,539 from 35).

Among holdovers, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland fell less than 40 percent after franchise best debuts. Larger markets, though, saw steeper falls like Germany's 47 percent fall to $10.3 million for a $35.2 million total and the United Kingdom's 60 percent tumble to $13.6 million for a $61.6 million total. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had little new competition in Europe, but Transformers was unleashed Latin America and a variety of movies led their respective markets in Asia. Order of the Phoenix was second to Transformers in Mexico, down 59 percent for an $18.3 million total. In South Korea, Potter took a back seat to Live Free or Die Hard with a $3.4 million weekend and a $20.8 million total. Order of the Phoenix's next stop is Poland, where Shrek the Third recently posted the highest gross ever.

Thanks to fresh starts in Latin America, Transformers placed second overseas with $33.8 million from 41 screens for a $192.4 million total. Action is the strongest-selling genre in Latin America and Transformers was no exception. In Mexico, the robo-spectacle opened to $5.5 million from 410 screens and, in Argentina, its $1 million from 88 screens tripled the debut of Casino Royale. Brazil was less impressive with $2.6 million from 326 screens, but Chile ($788,905 from 38 screens) and Colombia ($834,526 from 84) were fantastic.

A scene from Transformers
Transformers continued to have the best run of any American picture in South Korea. Having already broken the all time record, Transformers earned $3.1 million in its fourth weekend for a $45.8 million total. South Korea is by far the picture's highest-grossing territory, but Japan's Aug. 4 debut looms. Meanwhile, in China, where final figures weren't yet available, the picture is almost certain to top $20 million by week's end.

In third place, Live Free or Die Hard added an estimated $23 million over the weekend, propelled by South Korea's enormous $11.3 million six-day opening from 531 screens. The action sequel also dazzled in Taiwan as well with a second-ranked $1.3 million from 192 screens. It also continued to do well in its highest-grossing market, Japan, with a fourth-weekend tally of $1.6 million for a $24.7 million tally.

Shrek the Third snatched fourth place with an $11.9 million weekend from 40 territories for a $382.9 million total. The animated comedy hasn't had a major opening in four weeks yet continued to see good grosses like the U.K.'s $3.3 million and France's $1.7 million. In late August, it will open across Scandinavia and Italy, and the verdict is still out on whether or not it can top Shrek 2's $479.4 million.

Ratatouille seized fifth place with a $3.4 million weekend and an estimated $37.2 million total. The rat chef comedy has held decently in Latin America. In its third weekend in Mexico, for instance, it bagged $1.4 million from 667 screens for a $10.5 million total.

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