Around the World Roundup: 'Harry Potter' on Fire in Foreign Bow
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire conjured franchise best openings in 19 nations, adding up to $85.5 million over the weekend—and the figure doesn't include major territories like Japan, Italy, Spain, Australia and France, which open over the next month.

Leading the way was Harry Potter's native land, the United Kingdom. Despite being saturated with family movies over the past month, U.K. audiences welcomed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to the tune of $25.9 million from 1,462 prints, a new three-day record.

Germany generated $21.6 million from 1,243 prints, marking the biggest opening ever in terms of admissions and the industry's top 4-day launch in box office. Goblet of Fire fell short of the benchmarks set by the last two Lord of the Rings features, though it was handicapped by having a one less day of business.

In Mexico, each Harry Potter has topped the previous one by at least 50 percent. Goblet of Fire was no different with $7 million from 654 screens, the second biggest opening ever behind Shrek 2.

In Taiwan, Goblet of Fire also had the second biggest industry opening ever. Its $3.6 million from 184 screens was just shy of Kung Fu Hustle's debut.

Goblet of Fire was third movie ever to be released day-and-date with China, and the result was a new high for distributor Warner Bros.—$4.1 million from 349 screens.

Scandinavia was an especially bright spot. Three nations recorded 3-day industry bests (excluding previews): Denmark, with $2.8 million from 97 screens, Sweden, with $2.6 million from 168 screens, and Norway, with $2.4 million from 109 screens. Goblet of Fire also lit up Finland with $1.1 million from 70 screens, including previews.

In Austria, Goblet of Fire grossed $2.7 million from 173 prints, the biggest opening ever for Warner Bros., excluding previews, and the second best opening of all time. It was the WB's biggest opening ever (excluding previews) in Thailand as well, with $2.1 million from 218 screens. The opening was also the biggest ever for a Western movie there, topping Spider-Man 2.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith remains the highest grossing movie of the year, with $468.2 million in foreign box office. By comparison, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban made $540.3 million. In fact, each previous Harry Potter has been the highest grossing movie of their respective years of release, and Goblet of Fire aims to keep the streak alive as it opens next weekend in Japan, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Brazil.

Since Harry Potter only opened in 19 markets, there was room for other pictures to do sizeable business.

Last weekend's champion, Flightplan, had strong holds in most markets, grossing $10.2 million for a $74.2 million total. Through its second weekend in each country, the Jodie Foster thriller has made $5 million in Spain, $4 million in France and $3.4 million in South Korea, while, in Germany, its total climbed to $14 million after six weekends.

Chicken Little grossed $7.4 million from a modest amount of territories, upping its early total to $25 million. Disney's computer-animated feature was most impressive in Spain, yielding a $2.5 million opening. In the Netherlands, it bowed to $550,000 from 113 screens.

Among holdovers, Chicken Little seemed unaffected by Harry Potter in Mexico, grossing $1.2 million from 600 sites for a $9 million total through its third weekend. Meanwhile in Poland, where it posted the biggest opening ever for an animated feature, it fell barely at all, notching $1.8 million after two weeks.

In Her Shoes continued to be good fit with international audiences. The relationship drama added $6.3 million over the weekend for a $23.2 million total. Chief openings were Spain's $937,000 from 290 screens and France's $887,000 from 315 screens.

Holdovers were the strong points, however. In Germany, In Her Shoes was down only 22 percent to $1.4 million from 416 screens and a $3.8 million total. It even held well opposite Harry Potter in the U.K., down 30 percent to $1.6 million from 328 screens for a $5.2 million total.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose widened by 11 markets and improved its total to $21.9 million after a $6.2 million weekend. The horror drama was mediocre in all of its openings, save for Spain's sturdy $2.4 million start from 325 screens. It ranked in second place and benefited from the nation's love of horror pictures as well as its Catholic heritage.

The Legend of Zorro opened in no markets and grossed $4 million for an $80.5 million total.

{lnk42535}Tim Burton's Corpse Bride{/lnk} grossed $3 million from 18 markets, thanks primarily to Australia's third place opening of $674,000 from 163 screens. Although the opening was 201 percent better than The Nightmare Before Christmas it was unimpressive. Corpse Bride's total jumped to $55.1 million.

Opening well in Australia was the top-ranked Saw II. The horror sequel was dead-even with the original, grossing $1.3 million from 173 screens. For the most part, however, Saw II has been much bigger than Saw and has grossed an estimated $20 million thus far.

Meanwhile, New Zealand audiences have come out in huge numbers to see The World's Fastest Indian. Based on the true story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who set the land-speed world record with his Indian motorcycle, and starring Anthony Hopkins, the picture has led the local box office for six consecutive weeks. The movie's $2.6 million total continues to grow by the day. In the United States, it receives an Academy run on Dec. 9, with a nationwide release scheduled for early next year.