Around-the-World Roundup: Oscar Bump Catapults 'Speech' Into Lead
by Ray Subers
The King's Speech
March 9, 2011
Despite winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, The King's Speech didn't experience any notable increase at the domestic box office this past weekend. It did, however, see a bit of an Oscar bump overseas, jumping 30 percent without any major new openings. That was good enough for first place ahead of new releases Rango and The Adjustment Bureau and foreign hit Black Swan. Overall business, though, wasn't as exciting as the same period last year, when Alice in Wonderland opened to $94 million. The King's Speech earned $19.4 million to bring its foreign total to $186.7 million. It had major gains in Germany, where it was up 23 percent to $2.7 million, Japan, where it improved 31 percent to $1.6 million, and Spain, where it jumped 65 percent to $1.1 million. It also held steady in France ($2.4 million) and the United Kingdom ($1.8 million). The Colin Firth-Geoffrey Rush period drama passed $300 million worldwide (domestic plus foreign) this weekend, and its current pace puts it in line to close north of $400 million.
In its first weekend, Rango grossed $16.8 million from 33 territories. Its top opening was the U.K., where it finished in first place with a middling $2.7 million. It had comparatively stronger first place showings in Mexico ($2.6 million) and Spain ($2 million), though it finished further down the chart in Germany (fourth place, $1.7 million) and South Korea (third place, $1.1 million). Across the board, Rango's debuts were on the low end for animated fare, and it likely took a hit for being part of the typically unpopular Western genre. The Johnny Depp movie will attempt to save some face next weekend when it debuts in Australia, Brazil and Italy. Black Swan added another $15.8 million to bring its foreign total to a mighty $147.7 million. It moved in to first place in South Korea with $2.1 million and continued to play well in France ($2.4 million) and Spain ($1.7 million), among other territories. The movie's worldwide total passed $250 million on Sunday, and it has yet to reach a handful of territories including Japan.
After leading last weekend, I Am Number Four dipped 33 percent to an estimated $12 million. According to distributor Walt Disney Pictures, the movie was off an average of 42 percent in holdover territories. Number Four added $3.7 million in China and $1.3 million in Australia, bringing its foreign total to $42.1 million. The Adjustment Bureau debuted to $10.4 million from 21 markets. It opened behind Rango in all shared major territories except for South Korea, where Adjustment Bureau scored a second place start with $1.3 million. It also had decent openings in the U.K. ($2.3 million), Australia ($1.8 million) and Spain ($1.3 million). The Matt Damon-Emily Blunt romantic thriller expands to ten more territories next weekend, including Germany. Unknown had its best weekend so far, notching $9.8 million for a total of $25.6 million. The movie had a strong second place debut in France ($2.9 million) and a respectable $2.2 million start in the U.K. Less impressive was its opening in Germany, where it only managed a $1.7 million fifth place tally despite starring popular Germans Diane Kruger and Sebastian Koch.