Around the World Round Up: 'Shall We Dance' Surprises

by Conor Bresnan
November 10, 2004

Shall We Dance is enjoying a surprising blockbuster run overseas thanks to a huge run in Italy and strong starts everywhere else, especially Australia and Germany.

Italy supplied the romantic comedy with an incredible $2,400,634 second weekend haul from 410 screens. Despite a holiday session the previous weekend, it fell 47% and rose to first place for a $7,913,572 total. In Germany, it grossed $3,029,045 from 610 screens, which was 4% bigger than Erin Brockovich and 17% better than Runaway Bride. In Spain, it grossed $1,750,814 from 300 screens in its three-day debut, which was at the same level as My Best Friend's Wedding and Intolerable Cruelty. Its debut in Austria garnered $477,233 from 74 screens.

In its third week in Australia, Shall We Dance declined just 17% to $1,053,081 on 255 screens and a $5,058,748 total, ranking third behind Hero and The Forgotten's openings. Israel fell only 14% to $193,355 on 25 and a $847,608 total. In New Zealand, it remained No. 1 in its third week with a $124,668 gross from 58 screens, off only 27% for a $472,815 total.

Shall We Dance's fantastic holds and strong openings are quite baffling. Stars Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez don't have strong followings overseas, and the original Japanese version was not very successful outside of Japan. The answer could be its loneliness on the charts. This is the time in most markets when local pictures own the marketplace, and the holiday movies are about two weeks away—leaving a strong opening for a romantic comedy. Good reviews and word-of-mouth haven't hurt either.

The paid previews for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason dominated the United Kingdom box office on Saturday with an excellent $2.3 million (£1.3 million) at 441 locations and a 33% market share. More Bridget Jones' paid previews occurred on Sunday at the same number of locations, but results won't be available until its opening this weekend. For comparison, Bridget Jones's Diary had paid previews on the Wednesday and Thursday before opening and grossed a total $1.8 million (£1.1 million) at 360 locations over the two days. The Edge of Reason opens in the U.K., Australia, Croatia, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland and Thailand this weekend.

Seven Dwarfs (Sieben Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald) nearly matched its record-breaking opening in Germany, rose in Switzerland and held extremely well in Austria. In Germany, it was No. 1 ahead of the openings of Alien vs. Predator and Shall We Dance with a 41% market share. Thanks to a $9,223,858 weekend gross from 786 screens, Seven Dwarfs was off only 19% from its opening, which raised the 11-day total to $24,889,669. For comparison, it started out 21% behind the opening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and, after 11 days, Seven Dwarfs has narrowed the gap to 8%. That trend should continue as no major family movies open until November 25 when The Polar Express, National Treasure and Christmas with the Kranks debut.

In Austria, Seven Dwarfs was No. 1, again ahead of openers Alien vs. Predator and Shall We Dance. It had a 36% market share with a weekend gross of $915,767 on 110 screens, off 30% from last weekend (which was boosted by a holiday on Monday). The 10-day total is $3,003,615. German-Switzerland's tally for the weekend was $504,415 at 38 dates (up 4% from last weekend), which raised the 11-day tally to $1,120,994.

Overall, Seven Dwarfs' international weekend came to $10,644,139 from 934 locations in three markets. It has grossed $29,014,728 in 11 days of release.

A Very Long Engagement grossed a fantastic $6.2 million from 768 screens in three countries over the weekend for a $19.9 million total to date. In France, the Amelie reunion of director Jean-Jacques Jeunet and star Audrey Tautou made $5.6 million from 707 prints, down 41% but the strongest hold of all movies in the Top 10. Remaining No. 1, its tally there grew $18.5 million. In Belgium, it ranked third nationally with a $344,000 haul, a 6% increase over last weekend and 72% ahead of Amelie. Its total there climbed to $896,000. In French Switzerland, it fell only 13% to $203,700 from 20 screens to retain pole position for $483,800 to date.

Shark Tale had three strong starts in smaller markets over the weekend, but kept its overall international take healthy with a $9,221,429 haul from 4,252 screens in 32 markets for a $128.4 million tally. The biggest opening came from Singapore where DreamWorks' computer-animated feature fetched an excellent $446,264 from 26 screens ($692,943 total in four days). It also opened well in Turkey ($308,093 on 111 screens), Malaysia ($194,139 on 33 - $235,974 four-day opening) and Colombia ($280,196 on 17). It's is in its fourth week or higher in all other markets except Hungary.

Alien vs. Predator quietly passed $52.2 million after a solid $8.7 million outing from 2,249 screens. The sci-fi horror match-up opened extremely well in Germany with a $3.1 million gross from 561 screens. Neighboring Austria yielded $447,000 on 65, and Belgium produced $582,000 on 50.

Collateral had yet another healthy weekend abroad, grossing $5,394,886 from 2,118 screens in 23 markets for a $97,265,040 total—on track to pass the century mark by Saturday. The hit man thriller continues to hold well in all markets, especially in Japan where it was off 36% from its opening to $1,838,800 on 356 screens for a 9-day total of $9,310,836. With no more major openings left, it should dissipate over coming weekends and wind up with a little over $110 million overall.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is having a fantastic run overseas. Over the weekend, the horror sequel grossed $4,662,700 from 1,036 screens in 14 Columbia TriStar markets for an all-territory total of $61,956,155. Contributing the most to that take was Spain's superb $2,507,571 opening on 349 screens. That was 9% bigger than The Mummy and 19% better than Hollow Man. It also opened well in Italy with a second-place start of $1,682,517 from 250 screens.

Universal has distribution rights to The Grudge in the U.K., where it had an excellent opening of $3,344,299 on 361 screens excluding previews of $736k (£396k). For comparison, Saw opened in October with $2.2 million (£1.2 million) at 301 dates, Open Water debuted in September with $3.3 million (£1.8 million) at 377 dates, Dawn of the Dead opened in March with $3 million (£1.6 million) at 339 dates, and The Ring bowed in 2003 with $3 million (£1.7 million) at 396 dates.

In Australia, Hero was tops with a $1,706,145 haul from only 165 screens. It unseated Shall We Dance and was better than The Forgotten's $1,107,819 debut on 200 screens. Australia is another market waiting for the slew of holiday movies that kicks off with The Polar Express on Nov. 18.

The Forgotten launched in 10 markets over the weekend (including Australia), which led to a $3,682,203 haul from 1,165 screens in 18 total markets and $11,853,892 cumulative total. The Julianne Moore thriller opened strongly in Brazil, grossing $779,387 on 151 screens, and also debuted in Greece ($112,139 on 31), Hungary ($123,691 on 20) and Turkey ($150,494 on 40). In Mexico, it was off only 23% to $548,865 on 289 for a 24-day total of $3,527,882.

Holding well after its soft debut last week in the U.K., Finding Neverland fell 27%. The Johnny Depp drama grossed $1,049,056 from 324 screens for a $3,389,069 total.

The Manchurian Candidate kicked off in 12 new markets with decent results. The remake had a $2,599,022 weekend haul from 893 screens in 17 total markets for a $6,024,298 so far. The biggest chunk came from France where it grossed $1,090,162 from 309 screens in its five-day debut. Its disappointing domestic run has resulted in low print counts and lower advertising elsewhere.

Exorcist: The Beginning continues to perform solidly overseas with a $2.7 million weekend gross from 1,422 screens in 19 countries for a $15.9 million total. The prequel had a fine opening in Colombia, grossing $124,000 from 40 screens to rank second behind Shark Tale. Results were 16% better than Ghost Ship and 54% better than Gothika. In its second weekend in Mexico, it held onto the top spot with a $575,700 gross from 361 screens for a $2.5 million total. In Spain, it grossed $970,000 in its sophomore session from 292 screens for a $4.3 million total while Brazil's $369,400 from 150 helped increase its total there to $1.5 million. Through two weeks in the U.K., its total is $1.9 million.

The Bourne Supremacy opened in Peru to $53,900 from 24 screens, adding little to its overall $1,650,853 weekend haul from 980 screens in 20 territories. Germany's weekend gross of $974,650 at 549 dates, off 47%, was the biggest factor in the total weekend take. The action sequel was No. 4 in the market and the 18-day total is $6,966,383, the same level as The Bourne Identity. Austria's third weekend gross was $102,081 at 58 dates, off 54% and also No. 4. Its 17-day tally there of $1,181,877 has passed the final gross of Bourne Identity ($1,126,250).

The Bourne Supremacy's $92,914,864 overseas total now exceeds The Bourne Identity's $92,196,151 lifetime gross. Supremacy has 14 territories still to go, including Japan on Feb. 5.

King Arthur became the seventh Jerry Bruckheimer picture released by BVI to pass $200 million at the worldwide box office (domestic plus overseas). A $795,000 weekend gross inched its overseas total to $149.7 million, accounting for 74% of the worldwide total, compared to domestic's weak $51.9 million. Several pundits wonder why King Arthur did so well overseas, but the real question should be why did it perform poorly at home?

The Village added $2 million over the weekend, primarily from Italy's $1.6 million second weekend and South Africa's No. 1 debut of $200,000 that bested M. Night Shyamlan's previous releases Signs and Unbreakable. The overseas total stands at $138 million.

The Terminal inched closer to the century mark with a $1,245,336 weekend haul from 831 screens in 16 territories for a $97,219,608 total.

White Chicks grabbed $1,857,490 from 1,055 over the weekend for a $31,389,701 international total. Aside from three small openings, the gross came mostly from holdovers of four weeks or more.

Catwoman's $609,800 opening in Japan from 243 screens led to a $1.2 million weekend from 525 screens in 16 countries. The overseas total is $38.9 million.



Weekend Gross

Theater Count

Territory Count

Total Gross


Sieben Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald






Shark Tale






Shall We Dance






Alien vs. Predator






A Very Long Engagement












Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Sony Only except total)






The Forgotten






Exorcist: The Beginning (WB Only)






The Manchurian Candidate






The Village






White Chicks






The Bourne Supremacy






The Terminal












Finding Neverland





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