Around-the-World Roundup: 'Robin Hood' Gets Rich in Debut
by Ray Subers
Russell Crowe in Robin Hood
May 18, 2010
Robin Hood charged in to battle this weekend in 56 international territories and led in 52, collecting $75 million overall and unseating two-week champ Iron Man 2. Alice in Wonderland inched closer to $1 billion worldwide, while A Nightmare on Elm Street and How to Train Your Dragon added territories and improved on last weekend's numbers. All of this occurred while the Euro continued to rapidly lose value.
Period action movies typically perform much better overseas than they do domestically, and this was the case again with Robin Hood. The picture's foreign opening more than doubled its $36.1 million domestic debut. Compared to previous Ridley Scott-Russell Crowe titles, Robin Hood's $75 million opening was 74 percent higher than Gladiator ($43.1 million), according to distributor Universal Pictures, and 36 percent higher than Kingdom of Heaven ($55 million). Kingdom is more of an apples-to-apples to comparison than Gladiator, because it had a day-and-date global launch like Robin Hood.
Over 60 percent of Robin Hood's earnings came from first place openings in the United Kingdom ($8.1 million), France ($6.8 million), Germany ($6.4 million), Italy ($6.1 million), Russia ($5.8 million), Australia ($5.2 million), Spain ($4.4 million) and Mexico ($2.9 million). Robin Hood also had a sizeable, albeit second place, launch in South Korea ($3.4 million). The movie still has China to look forward to in June and Japan in November.
Iron Man 2 settled for second place over the weekend, falling 48 percent to $30.6 million. After nearly three weeks in international theaters, the comic book sequel has grossed $246 million, and is on pace to pass Iron Man's $266.7 million total by the end of next weekend. Add in its domestic haul, and Iron Man 2 has made $460.9 million worldwide, ranking third among 2010 releases and 91st on the all-time list.
In its 11th weekend, Alice in Wonderland continues to draw audiences in 54 territories, down just 14 percent to $10.7 million. Alice's international total of $649M is the seventh-highest ever, and it will pass Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End early this week to become Disney's highest-grossing movie ever overseas. With $980 million worldwide, Alice is in hot pursuit of the $1 billion mark, and by the end of the month should become the sixth movie to ever reach that milestone.
A Nightmare on Elm Street was up 23 percent to $8 million thanks to the addition of 15 new foreign markets. Through its second weekend, Nightmare has scared up $17.2 million, and opens in Germany, South Korea and Australia on Thursday.
Buoyed by a $2.9 million debut in China, How to Train Your Dragon improved 56 percent to $7.7 million. Through its eighth weekend, Dragon has made $221.8 million overseas, which accounts for more than half of its $429.6 million worldwide total.
International box office has been acutely affected by the declining value of Europe's currency over the past few weeks. From Sunday, May 9 to Sunday, May 16, the Euro fell three percent compared to the U.S. Dollar. Even more noteworthy, though, is its astounding seven percent drop since the beginning of the month. As a result, actual attendance is substantially higher in European Union countries than the above-referenced box office numbers indicate.