Around the World Roundup: ‘Day’ Remake Opens Quietly

by Conor Bresnan

December 17, 2008

A sluggish start from The Day the Earth Stood Still kept the status quo at the foreign box office at a time when business normally picks up. While the science fiction remake has yet to open in Australia, Brazil, Japan and South Korea, its $38.6 million start from 57 markets was modest by event picture standards. In many territories, it was either second to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa or to local movies. Day joins several high profile movies this year that remained on par with their domestic runs. Over the past decade, it had become common for heavily marketed releases to double or even triple their domestic grosses. Domestic duds like Kingdom of Heaven, Poseidon and The Golden Compass flourished overseas. This year, pictures such as Max Payne, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Eagle Eye and now The Day the Earth Stood Still have been average at best.

The Day the Earth Stood Still was strongest in Russia, where the exponential growth of theaters has offset the current economic condition, with $5.9 million, beating the past debuts of I Am Legend and 300. The only other impressive results came out of Mexico ($2.8 million), the Ukraine ($531,296), Greece ($509,685) and Southeast Asia, where Day led all five nations. Elsewhere, Day barely edged out Madagascar 2 in the United Kingdom with $4.1 million, but trailed it in 16 of the 34 markets where it had been playing in its first-to-sixth weeks. Next weekend, Day lands in Japan.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa fell to second place, but earned $34.3 million from 43 markets for a $173.8 million tally. The animated sequel had two big debuts in Brazil ($3.8 million) and Venezuela ($1 million) as well as other first place openings in smaller markets. The picture suffered several 50 percent plus drop-off rates, but only in low-earning markets where good weather and competition played a big factor. In the major markets, Madagascar 2 held fantastically, falling just 27 percent in France, 37 percent in Germany and 38 percent in the U.K. The movie expands into seven more markets next weekend, including Greece and Italy.

Now playing in twenty markets, Twilight has proven it will be a worldwide success. Although its openings again were not in the range of its massive domestic launch, the vampire romance has still been sensational. It led Australia with a $3.7 million start and was second in South Korea with $2.8 million. In its second weekend in Spain, it tumbled 58 percent, which was characteristic of that marketplace. All told, Twilight bagged $11.8 million for a $51.9 million tally.

Landing in third with an enormous $8.4 million from 19 territories was Bollywood hit Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. The musical romance was outstanding everywhere including India ($6.9 million) and in the U.K., where it placed fifth with $600,687.

Falling to fifth place, Quantum of Solace continued its rapid slide, down 53 percent. Opening only in the Dominican Republic with $70,262, it earned $5 million over the weekend from 68 territories for a $367.2 million total.

Outside the Top Five, Inkheart was meager in its debut. The delayed fantasy yielded just $1 million from its opening in the U.K., ranking fourth, and only $1.8 million from Germany, coming in third. It opens domestically on Jan. 23 and will roll out around the world in 2009.

Meanwhile, Australia opened in its first major market outside of its home nation and garnered $4 million overall for the weekend from five territories for a $15.1 million tally. In South Korea, director Baz Luhrmann's romantic epic earned a decent $2.1 million from 509 screens, placing third above Tropic Thunder. In Australia, though, it has already earned $12.8 million, out-grossing Romeo + Juliet and closing in Moulin Rouge! among Luhrmann's past titles. Australia will reach nearly every other market on Christmas weekend.

Related Chart
Foreign Weekend Box Office Results

Domestic Weekend Reports
'The Day the Earth' Stalls
'Four Christmases,' 'Twilight' Stay Solid Against 'Day'

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New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 7/16 (32 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/11 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/10 (38 tracked)