Australia and New Zealand were Casino Royale's best new markets with $5.41 million and $836,778 respectively. Latin America, where Bond isn't as potent, wasn't as impressive. In Mexico, Casino Royale managed $1.5 million from 564 screens in Mexico, while it grossed $314,002 in Argentina and $320,589 in Colombia. In addition to the U.K., Casino's solid holds included Germany's 36 percent drop (for a $31.3 million total), Denmark's 29 percent drop (for $7.5 million) and the Netherlands' 21 percent drop (for $4.8 million).
Happy Feet provided Casino Royale its first significant competition. The musical penguins slid into 30 new markets and grabbed $26.9 million over the weekend for a $41.3 million tally. In the U.K, the movie overthrew Casino with a first-place $7.25 million from 713 prints, which was 18 percent better than Flushed Away's recent entry. In Spain, Happy Feet's $4.5 million opening more than doubled what The Polar Express did there, and it was a strong No. 1 in France ($2.7 million), Mexico ($1.7 million) and Belgium ($531,500) as well.
The Holiday landed in third internationally on a $9.6 million weekend. The Nancy Meyers comedy ranked second in the U.K. with $5.5 million from 425 screens, doubling the start of Meyers' last picture, Something's Gotta Give. In Spain, where it opened on Dec. 5, The Holiday drew $2.4 million in six days, which was less than Something but very good nonetheless. It also entered Russia with $1.5 million.
Flushed Away fell to fourth place with a $9.3 million weekend. The animated comedy disappointed in Germany with a $1.3 million opening from 691 screens, but it held well in the U.K. versus Happy Feet, dropping 36 percent to $2.4 million for a $9.2 million total. Thus far, Flushed Away's $36.6 million cumulative gross is on the low-end of its genre.
Although numbers aren't in yet from South Korea for I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, Chan-wook Park's latest movie, it's almost certain to have cracked the international top five. For now, however, The Departed's $8.4 million ranks fifth. The crime drama had an excellent $2.3 million start in Germany from 447 prints, a career best for director Martin Scorsese and on par with Collateral.
Making its worldwide debut in Japan with a 40 percent market share, Letters from Iwo Jima grossed $4.3 million from 401 screens. Clint Eastwood's follow-up to the locally successful Flags of Our Fathers ($13.1 million total) tripled that picture's start, although it was half of what The Last Samurai opened to on the same weekend in 2003.
Charlotte's Web also made its foreign debut prior to its domestic campaign. The family movie disappointed in Australia with a third-place $1 million from 256 screens, which was on par with Open Season and The Polar Express but average on the whole.
Meanwhile, Open Season opened atop Italy and has exceeded its domestic haul with $87.1 million, and Deja Vu had No. 1 debuts in Greece, Israel, Singapore and Thailand and its tally rose to $11.7 million.
• International Box Office Results