Around-the-World Roundup: French Comedy Nips at 'Tangled's Heels
by Ray Subers
February 9, 2011
With one of its best weekends so far, Tangled placed first at the foreign box office for the fourth time in the past month. The big story, though, occurred in France, where local comedy Rien a Declarer (Nothing to Declare) dominated with one of the top openings ever there. The Green Hornet, The King's Speech and Black Swan expanded to new locations and held their ground. For the first weekend in a long time, it appears that the box office was nearly on par with last year, when Avatar led with $79.4 million.
Playing at around 85 percent of the international marketplace, Tangled added $23.7 million to bring its impressive foreign total to $285.1 million. The fairy tale had great first place debuts in Spain ($5.7 million), Sweden ($1.8 million) and Norway ($936,000). It also held well in the United Kingdom, dipping just nine percent to $7.4 million. Tangled has earned over $477 million worldwide (domestic plus foreign), and, with an opening in South Korea this weekend, it should soar past $500 million by Sunday.
Rien a Declarer scored $22.6 million, $20.2 million of which came from native France. This was the seventh highest-grossing opening ever in France and the fourth-highest for a French language movie. Rien a Declarer is writer-director-star Dany Boon's follow-up to Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, which opened higher in 2008 on its way to becoming France's all-time top-grossing movie with $193.8 million. Including previews and strong numbers in Belgium, Rien a Declarer has thus far made $27.7 million.
The Green Hornet opened in 12 new territories and tallied $16.1 million. That included a decent $3.1 million start in Russia and a potent $1.1 million first place launch in Indonesia. The superhero comedy has grossed $83.2 million overseas for a worldwide total exceeding $170 million.
The King's Speech expanded to 24 territories and earned $13.5 million. It had a solid $3.5 million opening in France and also held well in the U.K. (down 23 percent to $4.4 million) and Australia (off nine percent to $1.5 million). The Oscar hopeful has so far accumulated $86.8 million overseas and is set to open in Portugal, Norway and South Africa this weekend.
Black Swan had its best weekend so far, adding $12.4 million to bring its foreign total to $47.3 million from 27 territories. It opened to $1.3 million in Brazil and continued to rake in the dough in the U.K. ($2.8 million), Germany ($2.6 million) and Australia ($1.9 million). The movie is due for its biggest showing yet when it debuts in France, Russia and Mexico this weekend.
Gulliver's Travels further compensated for its domestic folly with $10.1 million for a total of $139.6 million. Out of its $181.3 million worldwide figure, an extremely high 77 percent of that has come from foreign grosses, and that figure should move north of 80 percent before it's completed its run.
German comedy Kokowaah opened to an impressive $9.7 million for a total of $10.5 million. Most of this came from its $8.6 million debut in native Germany. Til Schweiger, known stateside for his role in Inglourious Basterds, served as writer, director and star of the movie, which also featured his daughter Emma in a leading role. The opening was ahead of Schweiger's 2007 comedy Keinohrhasen but about even with its 2009 sequel Zweiohrkuken.
Thanks in part to a strong $2.9 million first place debut in Mexico, Yogi Bear added $9.7 million for an foreign total of $47 million. The family comedy should get another boost when it expands in to the U.K. and France this weekend.
Sanctum wasn't much of a draw overseas, grossing $7.8 million from a handful of major territories. The James Cameron production had its best start in Russia, where it scored first place with $3.3 million. The movie only mustered second place in native Australia ($1.6 million), though, and fifth place in the U.K. ($1.4 million).