Around the World Roundup: 'Beowulf' Leads Soft Lot
Although the international chart saw a new champion, box office was down 14 percent and most movies pulled in disappointing numbers. Beowulf led the weekend with a moderate $17.3 million start from 13 territories, $2.96 million of which came from 3-D presentations. The animated adventure curiously opened head-on with American Gangster in several territories, a move that backfired for both, though Beowulf took the bigger hit. In the United Kingdom, Beowulf debuted underneath Gangster with $4.5 million from 454 screens, which was less than half of 300's start earlier this year and less than Kingdom of Heaven's opening in 2005.

In Germany, Beowulf also ranked second behind American Gangster with $2.1 million from 698 screens, and it was third in Italy with $2.2 million from 403 screens. It was also so-so in Asia by genre standards. In Hong Kong, it posted just $479,528 from 40 screens, less than half of 300, while, in Singapore, earned only $538,000 from 50 prints. South Korea was Beowulf's best market with $3.8 million from 148 prints, but even there it ranked second and took in merely 59 percent of 300.

American Gangster was relatively better than Beowulf with $14.3 million from 14 markets for a $14.7 million total. The crime drama led the U.K. with $5.2 million from 410 screens, besting The Departed's debut by 21 percent. It also topped Germany with a modest $2.8 million from 366 screens as well as France with $3.6 million from 366 screens, which was not to the level of The Departed.

The Heartbreak Kid continued to bring in solid numbers in third place. The comedy's $7.5 million weekend from 34 territories lifted its total up to $52 million. It generated a remarkable $558,591 from 48 screens in Greece and fell less than 40 percent in Germany, Italy and Mexico.

After a surprise week on top, India's two big movies from last week plummeted. Last week's top grosser, Om Shanti Om, dove 65 percent to $6.3 million to fourth place for a 17-territory total of $25.6 million, while Saawariya fell a massive 96 percent overall for a $645,044 weekend and $17 million total.

Ratatouille landed in fifth place with another impressive haul from its long-running holdovers. The animated comedy made $5.9 million from 25 markets, pushing its total to $396.7 million. It still led in Sweden with a fifth-weekend take of $333,105 and a $6.6 million total.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age wowed in Russia and the Ukraine taking first place grosses of $1.9 million and $307,500, respectively. The historical drama's holdovers were decent as it abated 39 percent in Spain and 28 percent in Finland, both in their second weekends.

In its second weekend, Lions for Lambs shrank 46 percent in its second weekend despite opening in 11 countries. In the U.K., it was off 63 percent, ranking ninth with $502,810 from 378 screens for a measly $2.6 million total. Other territories fell steeply as well.

Two domestic disappointments made their foreign debuts. Fred Claus floundered in Australia ($828,433 from 214 screens) and New Zealand ($61,996 from 37), while Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium was solid in Brazil ($1.2 million from 189 screens) but weak in Taiwan ($105,000).


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