Around the World Round Up: 'Alexander' Conquers World

by Conor Bresnan
January 19, 2005

Alexander marched to the top of the international box office last weekend, raking in in $14.5 million from 3,600 screens in 51 territories and lifting its total to $88 million—or over two and half times its $34.2 million domestic haul.

Opening in Italy, the Oliver Stone-directed epic ranked first with a $3.874 million debut from 490 prints. The debut was 38% better than Gladiator and 62% better than King Arthur. In Brazil, it was No. 1 with $906,900 from 193 screens, on par with Gladiator and 43% better than King Arthur. It also opened on top in Bolivia, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong ($275,244 on 30 screens), Romania ($74,995 on 8), Uruguay and Venezuela. In Spain, Alexander slipped 45% in its sophomore session to $2,565,918 from 421 screens for a $10,742,007 total.

Ocean's Twelve rounded up $9.6 million over the weekend from approximately 4,600 prints in 55 countries for a $152.2 million total. The all-star caper had one debut—Poland, where it came in at No. 1 with $487,400 from 65 prints. The opening was the 10th biggest there ever for a Warner Bros. picture and outperformed Ocean's Eleven by 30% in local currency.

Buena Vista's blockbusters, The Incredibles and National Treasure, each grossed more than $9 million over the weekend, raising their respective totals to $335.5 million and $119.6 million. National Treasure scored a pair of No. 1 openings in the Netherlands ($1.4 million) and Greece ($655,000), while The Incredibles bowed at first place in Turkey, grossing $800,000, almost doubling Finding Nemo's debut.

A slew of Oscar hopefuls opened across the globe last weekend including Closer, Million Dollar Baby, Finding Neverland, The Aviator, Ray and Sideways.

After an impressive $7 million and counting in Italy, Closer expanded successfully into seven other markets. In the U.K., it narrowly topped Team America: World Police with a $2,990,956 premiere from 276 screens. In addition to its awards contention, the strong debut was to be expected as the picture was set and filmed in London. It was No. 1 in Germany as well with $2,308,138 from 469 screens. Both markets had theater counts that were between a limited release and a saturated release—their success indicated by healthy per screen averages. Closer was also potent in the two other German-speaking markets—Austria ( $246,161 from 44 screens) and Switzerland ($457,123 from 29).

The star-studded drama wasn't as successful in Mexico where it grossed $403,110 from a limited 120 screens. In co-star Natalie Portman's birth place Israel, Closer was also in limited release, but made $133,454 from 18 screens, and, in South Africa, it had a healthy $139,442 start from 30 screens. Overall, it grossed $6,523,700 over the weekend from 1,094 screens in 8 markets for an early $13,694,971 total.

Million Dollar Baby had its foreign premiere in the U.K. where it scored a fifth place $1.5 million birth from 285 screens—about half of what Closer did. It appears to be comparable to last year's Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit, which grossed just $1,285,163 from 341 screens in its expansion weekend.

Finding Neverland bowed in Japan last weekend, grossing $1.4 million from 190 screens. Being the unpredictable market that Japan is, this was quite a nice start for the Oscar hopeful. It should easily finish with over $10 million there. In its third weekend in Australia, it managed $674,000, off just 21%, for a $3.53 million total. Its international total from 10 territories now stands at $13.21 million.

The Aviator had an excellent launch in Spain last weekend. A heavy marketing push from Fox, which included a visit by director Martin Scorcese, produced an impressive second-place opening of $2,213,800 from 390 screens. The Howard Hughes biopic was just behind the second weekend of Alexander. In its second weekend of nationwide release in the U.K., The Aviator earned $1.89 million for a $6.2 million total. It opens in Germany and Austria next weekend.

Ray looks like it will enjoy a long run in Germany after falling 15% in its second weekend to $617,011 from 130 screens. Its 11-day tally stands at $1,687,673. The Ray Charles biopic opened in neighboring Austria and grossed a sturdy $84,432 at 32 screens. In two weeks of international release, it has made $1,772,105.

Sideways made its international debut in Greece last weekend, where it grossed a somewhat disappointing $137,000 from 15 screens. The Greeks are big patrons of Oscar-contending pictures, which is why the opening wasn't as large as hoped.

Elektra mimicked its soft U.S. opening in Australia over the weekend, grossing $1,300,530 from 226 screens to rank third. It couldn't catch up to the fourth weekends of Meet the Fockers and The Incredibles.

With internet radio ads that stated, "Listen to the clips they tried to ban," distributor UIP conjured up some controversy and business for Team America: World Police. In its U.K. premiere, Trey Parker and Matt Stone's irreverent puppet comedy grossed a surprising $2,838,339 from 327 screens. The number was in line with Parker and Stone's South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut in pounds sterling, but much higher in US$. However, this was the first time Team America performed on par with South Park in any market, including the U.S.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events arrived in Mexico to moderate success. The dark family comedy managed $949,560 from 345 screens, but couldn't match The Princess Diaries, Cheaper by the Dozen and Cats and Dogs. Thanks to healthy runs in Europe, however, it has made $45,817,581 overall.

Kung Fu Hustle continued to succeed in all Asian markets, adding South Korea last weekend. It grossed an astounding $2,235,049 from 180 screens there, outperforming recent blockbusters like The Last Samurai by 16%, The Bourne Supremacy by 50%, and The Mummy by 40%. South Korea remains one of the healthiest markets in the world. Kung Fu Hustle also improved it totals in Chine (up to $18,574,097), Japan ($12,159,863), Hong Kong ($7,468,397) and Taiwan ($6,252,973). Overall, the martial arts comedy scored $4,792,914 from 994 screens in 9 markets over the weekend for a $52,656,151 total.

Howl's Moving Castle had it first non-Asian opening in France. The Hayao Miyazaki animated hit earned a suspiring $2 million from 530 screens, marking a personal best for Miyazaki and almost doubling his Spirited Away.



Weekend Gross

Theater Count

Territory Count

Total Gross








Ocean's Twelve






National Treasure






The Incredibles












Kung Fu Hustle






Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason






The Aviator






Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events






Team America: World Police






Meet the Fockers






The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie






The Polar Express






Without a Paddle






The Terminal






Shrek 2





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