Around-the-World Roundup: 'Persia' Perks Up Overseas
by Brandon Gray
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
June 1, 2010
Despite a relatively tepid start domestically, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time saved some face at the foreign box office, raking in $61.6 million over the weekend (through Sunday) and growing its total to $90.1 million. The picture added another $7.6 million on Monday, which brings the overall total to $97.7 million in 13 days.
Russia was Prince of Persia's top-grossing market of the weekend with $9.2 million. Though it ranked second to Shrek Forever After's second weekend there, it was a 19 percent bigger start than Iron Man 2's launch from a month ago. China contributed an estimated $8.1 million, which was Disney's second biggest opening there behind Alice in Wonderland.
In India, Prince of Persia shined with an estimated $3.3 million, which was Disney's top-grossing start of all time there and the biggest of the year for a Western production. Decent openings were also posted in France ($6.1 million), South Korea ($4.3 million with 40 percent market share), Mexico ($4.4 million) and Australia ($3.2 million). Among holdovers, business improved by nine percent in the United Kingdom to $2.2 million ($5.6 million total), though other pictures had upticks there as well, and it was down 19 percent in Germany to $2.5 million ($7.4 million total).
With the advent of Prince of Persia, Walt Disney Pictures became the third studio of the year to cross the $1 billion mark at the foreign box office, joining 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. This marks the 16th year in a row that Disney has passed that milestone, which is the industry's longest streak, and it took the least amount of time yet for the studio.
With $672.9 million in the till after a $5.1 million weekend, Alice in Wonderland (2010) is the main reason Disney hit $1 billion so quickly. Worldwide (domestic plus foreign), Alice reached $1 billion on Wednesday, and now it has eclipsed The Dark Knight to become the fifth highest-grossing picture of all time. Alice's worldwide total is now $1.006 billion, compared to Dark Knight's $1.002 billion.
Meanwhile, Sex and the City 2 posted solid business in its debut, slotting in at second place for the weekend. The sequel grossed $28 million on 3,705 screens in 17 countries (and its total grew to $31.8 million on Monday). The United Kingdom was its top draw with $9.4 million at 529 sites, which was 27 percent higher than Sex and the City. Germany was its next biggest market with $6.3 million ($8.3 million including previews), which exceeded the first Sex. Sex 2 held the top spot in 11 of its 17 countries, and, next weekend, it will strike France, Australia, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Japan.
Shrek Forever After drew $18.4 million at 2,039 locations in 15 territories, upping its total to $53.5 million. Russia was the animated sequel's stand-out market again. The movie fended off Prince of Persia with a burly $11.2 million second weekend, which was down 43 percent. With $38 million in 11 days, it will soon surpass Alice in Wonderland to become Russia's second-biggest movie of the year behind Avatar. What's more, it has already dwarfed all previous Shrek movies: Shrek the Third was the previous franchise high there with $23 million.
Robin Hood fell to fourth place with $17.6 million in 58 territories, though it had no new openings to bolster business. With $155 million in the till, the Medieval epic has six more countries to look forward to, including China on June 11.
Iron Man 2 rounded out the Top Five with $6.9 million in 61 territories, improving its total to $281.8 million (compared to the first movie's $266.7 million final gross). How to Train Your Dragon was close behind with $6.5 million in 41 countries, increasing its sum to $244.6 million. Further down, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) packed $4.1 million in 41 markets. With a $34.3 million tally, it has made more than Friday the 13th (2009), and it will haunt Japan on June 25. Clash of the Titans added $3.5 million in 50 markets, lifting its total to a mighty $320 million. Most of its weekend business came from Brazil, where it ranked first for the second weekend a row with $2.7 million.