Around the World Roundup: ‘Madagascar 2’ Roars
by Conor Bresnan
December 10, 2008
A thirteen territory expansion for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa rejuvenated the foreign box office after a month of slowing business. The animated sequel raked in $51.4 million from 33 markets and had openings that were light years ahead of its predecessor, with few exceptions. Highlights included Germany ($11.3 million), the United Kingdom ($9.3 million) and France ($9.5 million), doubling the first Madagascar's debut. Outside of Europe, Madagascar 2 was impressive as well, such as in Mexico ($4.5 million) and Peru ($631,118), and has amassed a colossal $40.6 million in Russia. Its $126.8 million total is already one third of the first Madagascar's final tally.
Falling to second place after a five-week reign, Quantum of Solace grossed $10.5 million from 64 markets, including one opening in Venezuela (a chart-topping $416,109). With just Japan and Uruguay on the horizon and $358 million in the till, Quantum might not pass Casino Royale's $426.8 million total, due to steep drop-off rates. However, it set a James Bond record in China with $20.2 million, a good sign for the franchise's future as the market continues to grow.
Twilight rose to third, though it has not ignited overseas with the same enthusiasm as it has domestically. Still, the vampire romance has been a big hit in nearly all its markets especially in Spain ($5.1 million opening). The country, famous for its love of horror, could be one of Twilight's biggest. The picture has also been impressive in Italy ($12.3 million total), where it led for a third consecutive week despite stiff competition, as well as Mexico ($6.9 million). In Russia ($2.7 million) and Sweden ($1 million), though, it's been moderate at best.
Bolt dashed into fourth place with a $9.6 million weekend from nine markets. The animated comedy left room for improvement in Spain with $2.2 million, though it opened against stiff competition from Madagascar 2 and Twilight. Elsewhere, in Russia, it claimed the lead from Transporter 3 and has bagged $8.8 million in 11 days and, in Poland, it has earned $2.5 million in 10 days. Its early tally of $19.6 million is promising.
Rounding out the Top Five was Transporter 3, which added four markets, but lost 37 percent of its business. The action sequel tumbled 54 percent in France and 57 percent in Russia, while adding a paltry $1.4 million opening in the U.K., ranking third. Overall, it grossed $6.2 million from seven territories for a $17.9 million total.
Other notables over the weekend included Mei Lanfang (Forever Enthralled), which dominated China with a $6.1 million start. Opening against the local hit was Next, over a year after its American premiere, with a solid $1.3 million. In Japan, WALL-E opened bigger than both Ratatouille and Kung Fu Panda with $5.5 million in three days. However, the debut was significantly lower than The Incredibles and half of Finding Nemo.
In Thailand, Ong bak 2 suffered greatly from the nation's political unrest and earned $1.6 million, which was worse than The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Naresuan. In Turkey, on the other hand, business was booming. Turkey's top four movies alone grossed more than any other weekend there this year, led by the debuts of local titles A.R.O.G (an enormous $4.5 million) and Muro: Nalet olsun içimdeki insan sevgisine ($2 million).
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