Around the World Round Up: 'Constantine' Possesses Asia

by Conor Bresnan
February 15, 2005

Meet the Fockers captured the international weekend crown again, amassing $20,175,768 from 25 countries and pushing its total past the century mark to $114 million, while Constantine haunted Asia 11 days before its domestic release.

Most impressive for Meet the Fockers was Italy's enormous $5,875,424 debut from 301 screens. It was distributor United International Pictures' second biggest opening ever there behind Jurassic Park's $5.9 million. It even topped Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's $5.5 million and came close to Spider-Man's $5.9 million. Fockers blew past Meet the Parents' $2.2 million, in line with Fockers' trend of more than doubling Parents in each market.

Meet the Fockers also had stunning starts in several smaller markets, namely Greece ($645,259 from 59 screens), Norway ($326,013 from 45), Poland ($380,027 from 62), Slovenia ($97,461 on 13) and Turkey ($438,299 from 120). It wasn't as hot in the Netherlands where it grossed $790,578 from 94 screens, but that was still twice what Meet the Parents did there.

Not only is Meet the Fockers enjoying strong openings, it's holding well too. In Spain, despite its huge $4.7 million debut last weekend, it fell just 27 percent to $3,420,041 from 322 screens. In the United Kingdom, the comedy sequel was off 36 percent to $5,554,586 from 456 screens for $37,770,081, and, with school holidays to look forward to, will now assuredly pass $50 million there. Brazil was off 9 percent for $3,356,343 in 17 days, and Taiwan was down 11 percent for $1,965,294 in 10 days.

Although Meet the Fockers has been released in nearly 75 percent of the world, but it still has some big guns to go among remaining markets. Next weekend, it opens in France and Germany (which together could give Fockers another $75 million), and Japan and South Korea are on the horizon.

Constantine became a Chinese New Year phenomenon in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. Capitalizing on the holiday week—the peak period of the year in Asia—the Keanu Reeves supernatural thriller was strong and fast out of the gate.

In Hong Kong, Constantine opened to an outstanding five-day gross of $1.52 million (HK$11.8 million), the 10th highest of all time for a foreign movie there and the fourth highest ever for distributor Warner Bros. Adding to the record book was its opening day, which was the best ever for Warner Bros. and the sixth best for a foreign picture.

In Taiwan, Constantine bowed on Wednesday to a nationwide gross of $685,100 (NT$21.6 million) breaking the single day record for any movie released during the Chinese New Year. The five-day debut was $3.4 million (NT$107.3 million).

Despite strong competition from five local movies in South Korea, Constantine snared $5.5 million (Won 5.7 billion) in six days. In Seoul alone, it grossed $2.166 million, making it the third highest opening ever for Warner Bros.

In Singapore and Malaysia, Constantine was potent, but as powerful as in the other territories. In Singapore, it grossed $982,000 over the weekend, ranking No. 1. It was tops in Malaysia as well with $560,000.

All told, Constantine grabbed $11.96 million over the Chinese New Year. Does that mean a huge domestic premiere? No. The Asian markets do, however, suggest a $15 million plus opening weekend—that's the minimum movies with that kind of reception in Asia have gone on to do in the United States.

Son of the Mask joined Constantine in a pre-U.S. international release. It didn't fare as well, opening with a modest $1,359,452 from 329 screens in the U.K.—ranking sixth in a crowded market. With school holidays starting on Monday, however, The Mask follow-up is looking for a long run over the weekly period. It's safe to say, though, that it won't come close to the first Mask's $55 million total there.

Also trying to get a head start on the school holidays in Great Britain and Ireland was The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which grossed a surprising $2,349,549 from 440 screens—a new high there for Nickelodeon. It ranked fourth just below the opening of the animated Sprung! The Magic Roundabout. SpongeBob also opened well in France, with $1,059,270 from 374 screens. Overall, it took in $4,999,928 from 15 countries for a $32,837,441 total.

Ocean's Twelve nabbed $7.4 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $215.1 million. In the U.K., the caper sequel fell 37 percent to $4 million from 450 screens to remain in second place. With holidays beginning on Monday, a very strong week is expected that will build on its $13 million total. In its fourth weekend in Japan, it took $2.158 million from 303 screens for a $26.5 million total—falling just 11 percent and remaining in second place, ahead of the opening of The Bourne Supremacy.

The Bourne Supremacy debuted in Japan—its final market. The Matt Damon action sequel bowed on Friday and grossed $3,095,033 at 280 dates in three days. The Bourne Identity, like most movies in Japan, opened on a Saturday, making a comparison not exactly apples to apples. However, both movies grossed about the same for the first Saturday and Sunday. Supremacy's international total climbed to $103,773,670.

Finding Neverland looks like it will out-gross its domestic total in the next week or so. With a $5.2 million weekend, its total shot up to $33.95 million. Most of that came from three strong showings in Europe. In its opening weekend in Spain, the Oscar nominee scored $1,508,443 from 242 screens, beating the debuts of both Ray and Million Dollar Baby. In Germany, it earned $896,140 from just 188 screens, topping both Ray and Sideways. Neverland could become the second highest grossing Oscar nominee in the international arena despite being the lowest grossing domestically. It has fared better than Ray, Million Dollar Baby and Sideways overseas so far because it isn't an American-themed or set picture and concerns Peter Pan, a story that has transcended nearly all cultures.

Are We There Yet? had a surprisingly solid launch in its first international stop. In Germany, the Ice Cube family comedy chalked up $995,472 from 199 screens over the weekend for a $1,018,518 total. Its $5,002 per screen average is very promising. The German-speaking markets have been much kinder than most non-English markets to movies headlined by African-American actors.

Hide and Seek continued its staggered rollout with a first place debut in Mexico, grossing $1.8 million from 432 screens. The Robert DeNiro thriller debuted in second place in both Australia, with $1.3 million from 205 screens, and Sweden, with $249,254 from 37. So far, it's on par with The Butterfly Effect, which went on to gross a moderate $37.8 million.

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