Around the World Roundup: ‘Seven Pounds’ Stays on Top
by Conor Bresnan
Will Smith in Seven Pounds
January 29, 2009
Excluding results from the Chinese-speaking territories, which are delayed due to the Chinese New Year, Seven Pounds remained No. 1 at the foreign box office with $12.7 million from 23 markets, bringing its total to $60.2 million. Solid holdovers in France (down 34 percent), Spain (down 36 percent), Germany (down 36 percent) and the United Kingdom (down 30 percent) carried the weekend for the Will Smith drama, which had no openings.
Rising to second place, Valkyrie earned a passable $11.2 million from 14 countries for a $12.3 million tally early in its run. The World War II thriller opened in second in Germany, where it's set, with $3.4 million from 665 screens (Twilight remained No. 1). In the U.K., its debut was less-than-average with $2.6 million, ranking second, and, in South Korea, it grabbed $1.9 million, behind Red Cliff: Part II.
Yes Man had several more successful openings, including Venezuela ($497,903), Taiwan ($317,620) and the United Arab Emirates ($311,673), and its holdovers were again solid. Ranking third for the weekend, the comedy yielded $10.7 million from 55 territories for an $83.6 million tally.
Russian comedy The Very Best Movie 2 launched in fourth place with $10.1 million from four markets. In Russia, its $9.3 million debut was way below its predecessor yet still ranked as the 12th highest ever. The first Very Best Movie earned $30.5 million in its entire run last year.
Twilight fell to fifth place with a $9.8 million weekend from 39 markets. It stayed ahead of Valkyrie in Germany and remained on top in France, squeaking past Revolutionary Road by a mere $10. The movie continued to hold surprisingly well, surpassing $150 million in total.
The Academy Awards nominations last Thursday had little to no effect at the foreign box office. The highest-grossing Best Picture Oscar nominee, Slumdog Millionaire, had been holding strongly across the board and that didn't change over the weekend, making $9.4 million from 12 markets for a $28.5 million total. In the U.K., it made $3.9 million, same as the previous weekend after its theater count increased 15 percent, for a $14.1 million tally in three weeks. While Slumdog was aided by the U.K.'s large Indian population, the picture has yet to take off in France ($2.9 million in two weeks), Italy ($3.5 million in eight) and Australia ($4.5 million in six). In India, the India-set drama opened solidly with $2.2 million, but was far behind the Hindi movie Raaz: The Mystery Continues.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button entered ten new markets but only attracted $6.6 million for a $22.8 million total. The0 movie was outstanding in its Greek debut with $1.3 million, but its Latin American starts were meager at best. It has had a strong run in Australia ($10.1 million) since Boxing Day and has been fair in Brazil and Mexico. It will reach most of the world in February.
Milk has shown little appeal thus far, including its openings in the U.K. ($463,805), Holland ($72,666) and Poland ($75,395). Spain is the drama's top market with $1.2 million out of its $2.9 million overall tally.
Frost/Nixon has been even more dismal with anemic starts in Finland ($13,387) and Portugal ($27,697) and a lackluster one in the U.K. ($851,998). Overall, the picture has earned $2.4 million from eight markets.
The Reader has fared well in the U.K. with $4.6 million in three weeks and very well in Greece ($860,264). The Wrestler has made $3 million so far, mostly from the U.K, while Doubt has struggled with only $1.5 million from eight markets.
Revolutionary Road, which missed out on major Oscar nominations, earned a solid $8.6 million from 19 markets. The drama had strong starts in France ($2.7 million) and Spain ($1.8 million) and held well in the German-speaking territories. Meanwhile, Gran Torino, which received zero nominations, performed fantastically in its Australian debut ($1.4 million from 150 screens).
Elsewhere, Italians conquered Italy. The local comedy grossed a superb $7.1 million. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans opened lower than its predecessor in 21 markets with a still solid $4.8 million, faring well in Greece ($423,508), Malaysia ($531,784) and Australia ($1.1 million).
Finishing its campaign, Quantum of Solace had a $6.5 million start in Japan, the biggest ever or James Bond (in US dollars) and nearly doubling Casino Royale. Quantum will now assuredly cross $400 million, though will likely fall short of Casino's $426.8 million final.