Around the World Roundup: 'Simpsons' Tops in Second Frame

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from The Simpsons Movie
August 8, 2007

At the foreign box office, The Simpsons Movie easily retained weekend top spot with a sturdy estimated $47.3 million. The cartoon comedy, which has accumulated $190 million, had more huge openings and its holdovers didn't drop as precipitously as it did domestically.

Opening in first place in Mexico, The Simpsons boasted an excellent $6.9 million from 850 screens, which was 41 percent higher than Ratatouille's opening. It also topped Denmark with $1.4 million from 119 screens, which was more than Spider-Man 3's debut.

Among holdovers, The Simpsons had its best hold in Argentina, where its $1.6 million second weekend gross was higher than the first weekends of Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Ratatouille. Down only 33 percent decline, its total is $5.1 million there.

In other countries, Simpsons generally fell more than 50 percent. It was off 54 percent in Australia ($18.8 million total), 58 percent in France ($16 million total), 56 percent in Spain ($17.4 million total) and 54 percent in Norway ($3.2 million). In a few nations, it did see 60 percent falls like Germany's 64 percent tumble ($24.7 million) and the United Kingdom's 70 percent dive, though it still made a hefty $8.2 million over the weekend there for a $49.2 million total. This weekend, The Simpsons enters Hong Kong, Hungary, Taiwan and Thailand.

Transformers remained in second internationally with a $29.7 million weekend. Despite openings Austria, Germany and Japan among other countries, business was down 33 percent overall. The robo-spectacle disappointed in Japan ($5.3 million from 616 screens) and Germany ($5.8 million from 763 screens). In Austria, it nabbed $855,554 from 132 screens and ranked first in Estonia with $38,041 from 5 screens. Notable among holdovers was its 42 percent drop in Hong Kong to $1.1 million for an 11-day tally of $3.7 million.

With no openings, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix fell 49 percent to $25.4 million, accumulating a fantastic $510 million. The fantasy appears to be headed for $600 million and will soon surpass the previous summer Potter release, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Japan was the picture's standout market with $4 million, off just 29 percent for a $44 million total.

A scene from Ratatouille
Opening in France propelled Ratatouille to an estimated $24.5 million weekend for an $83.3 million total. Fueled by its French setting, Pixar's animated comedy grabbed $11.8 million from 721 screens there, more than tripling Cars' debut and exceeding The Incredibles as well. Elsewhere, Ratatouille continued its moderately successful run, including the Netherlands' $408,073 opening, which failed to top Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix's fourth weekend, Belgium's $796,469 from 91 screens and Spain's $3.6 million from 511 screens. It had better starts in Hong Kong ($807,982 from 38 screens), Hungary ($517,308 from 37 screens) and Taiwan (estimated $625,000). In Japan, it took a big hit in its second weekend, down 46 percent, but will likely rebound next weekend and improve on its $10.8 million total.

Fifth place went to the South Korean monster movie D-War. The English-language production yielded a colossal $19.7 million over its first five days from 689 screens. When the traditional three-day take is considered, its start was just under The Host's (Gwoemul) on the same frame a year ago. D-War is rumored to have cost $75 million, making it the most expensive South Korean movie ever and is pegged for a U.S. release in September.

A hodgepodge of pictures opened in a small chunk of markets but didn't light up the box office. Among them was Evan Almighty, which grossed an estimated $6.2 million for a $12.3 million total. In the U.K., the religious comedy tabulated only $2.3 million from 415 screens, placing fourth, and was soft in Sweden ($116,236 from 65 screens) and Argentina ($142,844 from 41). It mustered two decent openings in Brazil ($1 million from 166 screens) and Mexico ($1.3 million from 355 screens).

Surf's Up had an awful weekend. The animated comedy's previous openings had already signaled a poor run, but seven new territories solidified it, including Hong Kong (only $61,799 from 24 screens), Turkey ($132,735 from 35) and Colombia ($156,110 from 70 screens). Overall, its weekend tallied $947,145 from 10 territories for a low $7.5 million total.

Elsewhere, Shrek the Third continued to wow in Poland with a sixth weekend take of $400,678 from 108 screens. Its $16.4 million total is already the country's all time highest gross and is even higher than what the picture made in Japan. Overall, Shrek the Third added $3.1 million over the weekend for a $406.6 million total.

Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
International Box Office Home Page

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