Around the World Round Up: 'Fockers' in Charge, 'Ocean' Taps $200M

by Conor Bresnan
February 9, 2005

Meet the Fockers continued to reign over the overseas box office with $16.3 million from 15 countries, moving its total to $82.9 million, while Ocean's Twelve swung past the $200 million mark.

Meet the Fockers won the battle of sequels in the United Kingdom last weekend, remaining in first place ahead of opener Ocean's Twelve. Fockers fell 36 percent from its massive launch last weekend to $8,666,694 from 458 screens for a stunning 10-day total of $29,114,665. Twelve was strong too, grossing an estimated $6.6 million from 450 screens, or 81 percent of Ocean's Eleven's debut. Twelve and Fockers will see significant competition next week from Hide and Seek, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Son of the Mask. Fockers will remain the only straight comedy in the market, which should help it ultimately reach about $50 million, while Twelve should see 40 to 50 percent drops for the remainder of its run.

In Spain, Meet the Fockers opened with $4,685,542 from 356 screens, topping such comedies as Bruce Almighty by 31 percent, American Pie 2 by 62 percent and Something's Gotta Give by 161 percent. Straight American comedies usually don't fare too well in Spain, which makes the opening that much sweeter—only Scary Movie 3's $5,627,072 from 433 screens was larger. Smaller, but still impressive, debuts for Fockers came from Denmark ($376,757 from 35 screens), Israel ($274,869 from 30) and Sweden ($415,241 from 50).

Ocean's Twelve bagged an estimated $11.2 million over the weekend for a $201.1 million total. In Japan, the all star caper was off 38% to $2.4 million from 294 screens for a $21.3 million total. It had a superb launch in Turkey, ranking No. 1 with $916,000 from 148 prints. In terms of admissions, that was 9 percent better than Ocean's Eleven.

Racing Stripes improved its international total to $9.4 million thanks to a strong $2.1 million start in the U.K. The talking animal picture opened in third place there behind the two blockbusters.

In France, local comedy Espace détente dominated with $4.1 million from 568 screens. Luc Besson-produced action-thriller Unleashed, starring Jet Li and Morgan Freeman, landed with $2.1 million from 480 screens.

The Aviator continued to be the highest grossing Oscar nominee with a $9.4 million weekend gross for a $48.9 million total despite no major launches. In its second weekend in France, director Martin Scorsese's epic was off 44 percent to $2.2 million for a $6.6 million total. In Italy, it also fell 44 percent to $1.5 million for a $5.1 million total. In Germany, it was off just 20 percent to $1,356,659 from 322 screens, rising from No. 2 to No. 1, for a $6,285,448 total. In week seven in the U.K., it fell 39 percent for a $12.6 million total. Spain's tally improved to $6.9 million, while Mexico's jumped to $2.657 million. Overall, it seems to be riding high based on its awards and possibly Mr. Scorcese's prestige. Its advertising is not luring in audiences for its opening weekends and word-of-mouth isn't as good as it is in the United States. Despite that, it can still top $100 million and possibly match the $116 million of Scorsese's Gangs of New York.

Closer recorded another potent weekend, earning $6,076,333 from 31 territories for a $55,268,274 total. By the end of next weekend it should have doubled its domestic take. The relationship drama had an excellent start in South Korea, grossing $519,275 from 99 screens. Russia followed suit with a $223,569 debut from 55 screens. The movie also opened well in Finland ($60,562 on 12), Latvia ($12,677 on 1) and Slovenia ($22,319 on 5).

Ray added another 8 territories to the international run last weekend and grossed $2,741,837 from limited and platform releases in 27 territories for an international tally of $13,442,317. While Brazil was decent, openings in Mexico, Poland and Thailand were soft, and the Ray Charles biopic had steep drops in Japan, Italy, Spain and the U.K. However, in Germany, it has earned $3,622,782, topping such biopics as Ali, The Hurricane, Malcolm X and What's Love Got to Do With It.

Finding Neverland had a surprising start in Italy, which bodes well for its European run. The Best Picture nominee grossed $2.1 million from 269 screens, ranking first ahead of Miramax stable mate The Aviator and beating the openings of Ladder 49 and Elektra. Still in its early stages of release, Neverland has a strong $26.1 million from 15 territories. It launches in Germany, Spain, Mexico and Austria next weekend.

Million Dollar Baby enjoyed more solid results from moderate screen counts. In Australia it just missed pole position, held by Closer, with a $720,741 debut from 105 screens ($898,228 including previews). In Spain, the Clint Eastwood drama grossed $1.3 million from 201 screens, and, in Greece, it made $229,000 from 19 screens.

Sideways minted $468,306 from 75 screens in its opening weekend in Germany last weekend. That healthy debut follows impressive runs in the U.K. ($1.9 million in 10 days) and Australia ($1.4 million in 11 days). Overall the road trip comedy has grossed $4.4 million from 18 markets.

Alexander bowed in Japan, one of its final markets, to a disappointing $1.9 million from 261 screens, below The Phantom of the Opera's second weekend. Overall, Oliver Stone's epic grossed $4.2 million over the weekend from 52 territories for a $120 million total.

The Phantom of the Opera drummed up $2.5 million in Japan, slipping a mild 22 percent and boosting its territory total to $9.6 million. That helped push its international gross to $70 million.

White Noise had a solid debut in France, grossing $798,132 at 127 dates and ranking at No. 4 in Paris. It was bigger than recent titles like Open Water and Jeepers Creepers 2.

Spanglish kicked off its foreign tour in Mexico, grossing a solid $727,009 from 300 screens. The James L. Brooks comedy has Australia and Spain two weeks from now and will roll out internationally over the next two months.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason climbed to $202.8 million internationally and still has six territories to go, including Japan on March 19.

The Incredibles' $700,000 first place opening in its final market, Hong Kong, lifted its total passed E.T.'s $357.8 million to become the 20th biggest international release of all time. The Pixar picture grossed $3.2 million over the weekend for a $359 million total.

The Stepford Wives ended its foreign campaign with a solid launch in Japan. The production grossed $154,790 from a limited 32 screens. The comic remake's overseas run has reached a solid $41,812,506. It was never going to match its $59.5 million domestic gross because of its subject matter, which doesn't attract too many Asian or Latin American audiences. Excellent returns in Europe and Australia made the difference. Stand-out territories include the U.K.'s $7,774,553, Australia's $4,540,888 and Spain's $3,745,442.

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