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Around the World Roundup: 'I Am Legend' Leads for Third Weekend

by Conor Bresnan
Will Smith in I Am Legend
January 10, 2008

While the holidays brought commercial cheer domestically, the foreign box office was busy but relatively less potent. The big American movies generally don't rollout fully until January and February, which are two of international's biggest months. I Am Legend, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem, for instance, have opened in less than 40 markets or a third of the world, while movies like Charlie Wilson's War, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Juno, There Will Be Blood, The Kite Runner and No Country for Old Men are just getting started.

The first weekend of January is a mixed bag as holdovers dominate some markets, much like America, while other countries have major openings. Leading the way over the weekend was I Am Legend, which snared $33 million from 36 territories for a $169.3 million total. Most impressive for the horror remake was its $8.5 million start from 338 screens in Australia, thumping past similar pictures like 300 (by 81 percent), I, Robot and Minority Report. I Am Legend's openings in Greece ($1.9 million five-day from 80 prints) and New Zealand ($1 million from 65) also showed strength. Among holdovers, the picture continued to impress with another top-ranked finish in the United Kingdom ($7.4 million from 458 screens in its second weekend for a $36.5 million total) and it also has massive tallies in Japan ($30.2 million), South Korea ($17 million) and Spain ($15.5 million).

National Treasure: Book of Secrets improved to second place with a $20.3 million take from 33 markets, lifting its total to $102.1 million. The adventure sequel became the first non-local title since November to lead Turkey with $834,940 from 185 screens, and it grossed a robust $1.1 million from 75 screens in Belgium. In Mexico, it fell a reasonable 37 percent in its second weekend in Mexico to $1.5 million for a $6.5 million total, and its notable third weekend tallies are found in South Korea ($10.8 million), Italy ($11.2 million) and Japan ($16.1 million).

Saving some face after its domestic disaster, The Golden Compass pushed its foreign total to $233.9 million after a $20.2 million weekend from 49 territories. Its foreign gross now represents a stunning 78 percent of its worldwide gross and it has yet to open in Japan. The fantasy had no openings and has had minimal falls throughout its campaign. Most notable over the weekend was a 39 percent rise in Brazil in its second weekend to $1 million for a $4.1 million total. The movie's standout territories have been the U.K. ($46.5 million), France ($23.1 million) and South Korea ($18.1 million).

A scene from Alvin and the Chipmunks
Although abnormally successful in America, Alvin and the Chipmunks is playing a little better overall than the hit Garfield movies overseas, taking in $15.8 million in fourth place for the weekend. In Australia, Alvin debuted to a remarkable $3.5 million, which was more than five times Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties's first weekend of wide release. Other markets weren't as impressive, including Brazil (a third-ranked $818,354 start from 277 screens). Meanwhile, Alvin fell a mere 27 percent in France for a $6.3 million total and it made $2.2 million in its third weekend in the U.K. The overall total stands at $63.4 million.

In a tight race for fifth place, Enchanted edged out Bee Movie with $14.44 million, bringing its total to $138 million. The fantasy comedy had only one opening over the weekend: Argentina with $510,447 from 84 screens. Its holdovers were still solid, including Mexico ($11.1 million total) and France ($21.6 million total).

Bee Movie made $14.41 million over the weekend and now has only one major market to go: Japan. The computer-animated comedy opened impressively in South Korea, grossing a first place $2.2 million from 334 screens. Overall, its $132 million total is disappointing for its genre, but it will probably grow to $175 million when all is said and done.

Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem fell to seventh place on $12.5 million from 33 territories for a $35.4 million total. The horror sequel has thus far performed on par with its $91 million-grossing predecessor. In Mexico, its $1.6 million opening was in line with the original along with France's $2.9 million. Still early in its release schedule, its biggest market is Germany with $6.5 million.

Meanwhile, P.S. I Love You has been the biggest surprise of the year-end releases. Playing in only nine countries, the romance mustered $7.4 million over the weekend for a $12.1 million total. After opening moderately well on 81 screens in the U.K. three weeks ago, it expanded by 284 theaters to bag an excellent $3.5 million for a $5.5 million total. That was 57 percent bigger than In Her Shoes' opening and more than double the debut of No Reservations. In addition, P.S. wooed $1.5 million from 249 screens in South Korea and fell a mere 14 percent in its second weekend in Australia for a $2.9 million total.

RELATED LINKS
Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
International Box Office Home Page



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