News

Around the World Roundup: 'Ratatouille' Squashes Competitors

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Ratatouille
October 17, 2007

Ratatouille led the international box office again over the weekend, amassing $21.1 million from 39 territories for a $271.8 million total. The animated comedy dominated the United Kingdom with a $9 million opening from 503 screens. Compared to the debuts of similar previous movies, it beat Cars by more than 50 percent but was less than half of The Incredibles and about a quarter of Shrek the Third. Elsewhere, it deflated 45 percent in Germany to $6.5 million for a $20.5 million total, though in neighboring Austria it was down only ten percent for a $2.8 million total.

Resident Evil: Extinction stayed in second place with $9.3 million from 26 countries for a $41.1 million total. The horror sequel has generally kept pace with Resident Evil: Apocalypse, except in Italy, where it opened to 25 percent less business with $1.2 million from 246 screens. Extinction was in form, however, in the U.K. with a solid $1.9 million start from 311 screens.

Placing third despite playing in only one market, The Orphanage (El Orfanato) ruled Spain with an $8.3 million four-day launch from 350 screens. The horror picture was the second highest-grossing debut ever for a local movie, the biggest opening of the year and 168 percent larger than the worldwide success Pan's Labyrinth. Orphanage opened on the same weekend that Pan did last year and, like Pan did, it will debut in the United States at the end of the year.

The Heartbreak Kid was fourth with $5.8 million, accumulating $14 million early in its run. The comedy held well in Russia (down 28 percent) and the U.K. (down 32 percent), and it opened in Spain to a solid $1.9 million from 301 screens.

Only by the size of its release did The Kingdom crack the Top Five. The action thriller had weak debuts nearly everywhere and grossed just $5.5 million from 21 markets. It stumbled in Germany ($781,829 from 302 screens) and Japan ($754,311 from 216) and managed moderate starts in Norway ($195,273) and Sweden ($155,363). Its sole strong debut came from the United Arab Emirates where it bagged a top-ranked $466,162 from 31 screens.

Earth, the feature-length documentary that branched off from a Discovery Channel mini-series event, had fantastic debuts in its first three territories. In France, where documentaries routinely have powerful performances, Earth dug up $2 million from 449 screens, just barely missing first place. From French-speaking Switzerland, it added $139,336 from 13 screens as well as $84,827 from Greece. Earth is unlikely to achieve such numbers in other markets but should have a sizeable run for a documentary.

Mexico was The Game Plan's first international stop. Disney's family comedy topped the market with $1.9 million from 400 screens, which was 58 percent bigger than the higher profile comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and was better than the opening of Disney's other Mexican hit Underdog. The Game Plan is set to sprawl out over the globe through April 2008.

Nearing the end of its run, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has amassed a phenomenal $645.2 million, though it looks like it will far short of becoming the series' or the year's highest grosser. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone remains the series champ at $658.9 million, while Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is 2007's top movie at $651.6 million.

RELATED LINKS
Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
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