News

Around the World Roundup: 'Ratatouille' Makes It Five in a Row

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Ratatouille
November 8, 2007

The international box office ballooned over the weekend with the arrival of All Saint's and All Soul's Day. The traditionally Catholic holidays were celebrated around the globe with most businesses closed on Friday. On top of that Russia celebrated Unity Day on Sunday and Japan observed Culture Day on Saturday. In short, people had plenty of free time and many used it to go to the movies. Among the Top 40 pictures overseas, only one fell more than 40 percent and most increased over the previous weekend.

Despite this and the arrival of many new movies, Ratatouille remained champion for the fifth weekend in a row with $15.7 million from 30 markets for a $375.1 million total, surpassing The Incredibles to become Pixar's second-highest grossing behind Finding Nemo. Breaking the weekend down, Ratatouille ruled the United Kingdom for the fourth consecutive weekend with $3.2 million for a $42.1 million total and, in Germany, it eased one percent to $3.8 million for a $40.8 million total. In Belgium, it spent its fourteenth weekend in the Top Five for an outstanding $8.3 million total.

Resident Evil: Extinction rose six spots to second place with a $10.8 million weekend from 39 markets for a $69 million tally, topping the original's final overseas total. Headlining the horror sequel's weekend was Japan's $5.2 million start from 325 screens, which was 12 percent less than Resident Evil: Apocalypse back in 2004. Extinction looked good in Spain with a $3.4 million 5-day haul from 351 screens, topping Apocalypse by 10 percent.

Stardust nabbed third place with an $8.5 million weekend from 48 territories for a $74.9 million total. The fantasy failed to open in first place in Malaysia ($124,625 from 20) and Singapore ($325,233 from 26) and, in Japan, it tumbled 54 percent to $302,064, making its $1.7 million total there easily its most disappointing.

In fourth place with $7.9 million, The Heartbreak Kid flexed some muscle overseas recording a fantastic $3.5 million opening from 497 screens in Germany and a $1.4 million debut in Mexico. It didn't lead either market due to high competition but was among the best comedy starts of the year. Smaller markets were impressive as well like Hungary ($334,414 from 27 screens), Austria ($724,461 from 83) and Switzerland ($345,975 from 41). All second weekend holdovers fell less than 30 percent, and its overall total grew to $30.6 million.

Saw IV rounded out the Top Five with $7.5 million from 23 countries for a $26 million total. As expected its holdovers crumbled, falling 54 percent in Spain and 59 percent in the U.K. Openings were decent like Taiwan's $182,681 from 15 screens, Argentina's $284,225 from 59 and Denmark's $145,209 from 12.

In sixth, Lust, Caution continued its potent run in Asia, nabbing the biggest opening and total gross for a local movie in China. The drama made $5.4 million over the weekend from 600 screens and its total rose to $6.7 million as of Tuesday. Though uncut in the United States, the Chinese government had the picture trimmed by 12 minutes as it only lets movies it deems appropriate to enter the market. Due to Lust's success, the distributor of Live Free or Die Hard pushed its release date back six days to Nov. 15, because screens simply aren't available. Lust also had good limited openings in Austria ($64,311 from 9) and Turkey ($32,636 from 17) and it continued to wow in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where it's still in the Top Three in its sixth weekend.

Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Elizabeth: The Golden Age expanded into four more markets over the weekend including the story's setting of England. The historical drama earned $2.9 million there from 415 screens, ranking fourth but topping The Queen's debut by 81 percent and quadrupling Marie Antoinette's start among past similar movies. The other openings were collectively better than its U.S. premiere, including Portugal ($287,111 from 45 screens), Norway ($113,822 from 31) and Sweden ($166,802 from 39).

Debuting overseas, 30 Days of Night took in $3.9 million from four markets. That included an impressive $3.2 million from 385 screens in the U.K., which was 68 percent larger than Resident Evil: Extinction.

Bee Movie also premiered overseas, grossing $3.5 million from two markets. It led Russia with $3 million, which was just shy of Ratatouille's debut in June. It also had a superb debut in the Ukraine with $532,761 from 62 screens.

The Game Plan opened in three more English-language countries, though it has yet to be tested in most international markets. The family comedy had a terrific start in Australia, notching $1.1 million from 212 screens, as well as in Singapore where it reigned with $374,894 from 34.

Death at a Funeral continued its amazing run in Australia. The dark comedy, which had a moderately successful limited release in the U.S., opened four weeks ago with a solid $1.3 million. In its second weekend it rose to first place, abating five percent while all other movies in the Top Ten fell over 45 percent. Then, it actually rose by eight percent in its third weekend, while losing the top spot. Now, it has regained the lead with $1.2 million from 168 screens, up four percent for a $6.1 million total. On top of that, though, the British production had a weak opening in the U.K., grossing just $746,213 from 309 screens. Overall, Death has grossed $18.8 million.

Woody Allen's latest picture, Cassandra's Dream, opened in his strongest market, France, to a respectable $1.4 million from 190 screens. However, it was less than Allen's last two movies, Scoop and Match Point. Meanwhile, Cassandra fell 31 percent in Spain for a two-week tally of $2 million, and its overall tally is $3.5 million.

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