Around the World Roundup: ‘Seven Pounds’ Hits Top Spot

by Conor Bresnan
Will Smith in Seven Pounds

January 21, 2009

At the foreign box office this past weekend, Seven Pounds rose to the top spot with $20.6 million from 25 markets for a $41.6 million tally early in its run. The Will Smith drama was propelled by strong openings in France ($3.2 million) and Spain ($4.4 million) and sturdy holdovers in Germany ($6.5 million total) and Italy ($11.2 million total). However, it was disappointing in the United Kingdom ($2.3 million start), Russia (a miniscule $604,179) and Australia ($2.8 million in two weeks). With many more markets ahead, including Japan and South Korea, Seven Pounds will finish much higher than its $70 million domestic gross.

Growing 24 percent and climbing to second place, Twilight finally saw an opening in the same league as its U.S. debut. In Germany, the vampire romance led with a remarkable $7.2 million, which was bigger than past action hits 300 and War of the Worlds, better than comedy hits American Wedding and Meet the Fockers and more than five times the size of all the Underworld pictures. Elsewhere, Twilight remained No. 1 in France, earning $9.8 million in two weeks, and opened in first place in Austria with $573,617. Overall, it made $15.6 million over the weekend from 40 markets for a $139.7 million tally.

Adding fourteen markets and rising to third place, Yes Man grossed $13.1 million from 49 markets for a $68.1 million total. The comedy appears to be continuing Jim Carrey's streak as the highest-grossing American comedian overseas. He's had five comedies gross more than $100 million, whereas Adam Sandler has had one and Will Ferrell has had none. Yes Man has done well across the board, especially in Australia ($7.5 million), South Korea ($6.6 million) and the U.K. ($14.2 million), and it still has France, Germany, Mexico and numerous other markets to go.

Australia slid to fourth place with a $10.3 million weekend from 56 markets. That included a solid $2.5 million start in Italy. With $118.5 million in its coffers overall, the movie has yet to open in China, Japan and Brazil.

John Woo's action-adventure Red Cliff: Part II placed fifth with $10 million from four markets for a $30.5 million total. Based on the legendary Battle of the Red Cliffs from Ancient Chinese history, Part II is performing at lower levels than Part I, which came out in July. Still, with $26.4 million from China in two weeks, it's already one of the fifteen highest grossing movies ever there. The movie is also playing well in Southeast Asia and aims to do so in Japan, where its predecessor has grossed a sizable $54.1 million. The Red Cliff movies have no domestic release date, but will begin opening outside of Asia this weekend in the U.K. and will roll out across Europe in the coming months.

Outside of the Top Five, Bollywood action movie Chandni Chowk to China posted a decent $6.8 million opening in India, but generated little support in its other 29 markets. Slumdog Millionaire ranked No. 1 for the first time, topping Iceland and the U.K., where it grew 40 percent to $3.9 million to beat openers Seven Pounds, My Bloody Valentine 3-D and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Early in its run, the drama has made $16.9 million in total.

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