Around the World Round Up: 'Fockers' Overshadow 'Constantine'

by Conor Bresnan
February 23, 2005

Meet the Fockers has invaded around 90 percent of the world after a massive rollout in seven more countries over the weekend. Overall, the comedy sequel grossed $28,100,626 from 29 territories for a $153,704,354 total. With mammoth debuts in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland and longevity in Italy, the United Kingdom and more, it will eclipse predecessor Meet the Parents' $164.2 million overseas total next weekend and, with Japan and South Korea on the horizon, could ultimately near $300 million.

Breaking the weekend down, Meet the Fockers scored highest in Germany with a superb $5,836,871 debut from 629 screens, topping such comedy hits as American Wedding by 12 percent, Bruce Almighty by 14 percent and Scary Movie 2 by 33 percent as well as Something's Gotta Give, which went on to gross $22.4 million.

In France, Meet the Fockers grabbed a strong $4,312,790 from 591 screens, topping Scary Movie 2 by 8 percent, American Wedding by 14 percent and Starsky and Hutch by 22 percent. In all openings, it toppled Meet the Parents' debuts by 75 percent or more. In Belgium, it made a smashing $1,339,010 from just 51 screens. German-speaking Austria contributed $1,087,022 opening from 110 screens, while Switzerland supplied $1,488,230 from 97 screens. It also opened in Finland ($162,811 from 33 screens) and Hungary ($363,893 from 31).

In holdovers, Meet the Fockers was just as impressive. In Italy, it eased 25 percent to $4,409,358 from 300 screens for an impressive $12,404,010 in 10 days, retaining the top spot against the openings of Million Dollar Baby, The Forgotten and Sideways. In the U.K., it was off 36% in its fourth week to $3,551,134 from 454 screens for a $46,479,925 total.

Constantine could be the first release of 2005 to top the $100 million mark internationally. Despite opening in the shadow of the Fockers in Europe, the supernatural thriller scared up $15.5 million worth of business for a $30.7 million total so far. Germany was its best market with a stout $3,807,854 from 511 screens, although it was No. 2 to Meet the Fockers. It beat the past opening of The Ring's by 98 percent.

In France, Constantine nabbed a solid $3.6 million from 491 prints in third place. The opening was 150 percent better than The Ring, 19 percent bigger than Gothika and 107 percent better than The Grudge. In Spain, it reaped $2.7 million from 308 prints, second to Meet the Fockers but topping The Ring by 21 percent.

Constantine conquered the Philippines, one of its final Asian markets, with a $670,000 start from 107 screens, demolishing The Ring, The Village and Gothika by more than 200 percent each. The Keanu Reeves vehicle also drew strongly from its Asian holdovers. In Taiwan, it grossed $544,000 from 135 screens, off j21 percent for a $4.96 million total, which exceeds the entire run of The Matrix Revolutions there. In South Korea, it made $1.4 million from 149 screens in its second weekend for an $8.2 million total, and, in Hong Kong, it took $377,000 from 35 screens for a $2.4 million total.

Though solid, Hitch did not hit its first international markets, Mexico and Brazil, as strongly as it did the United States. In Mexico, the Will Smith romantic comedy grossed $1,433,485 from 350 screens, ranking No. 1. In Brazil, it earned $816,437 from 211 screens, also in first. The competition, though, was very light in both markets, and the movie will have to perform strongly in the 98 percent of the world it has ahead in order to top the $100 million mark like it will domestically.

Are We There Yet? followed its promising German premiere with a steep drop and mediocre start in the U.K. In Germany, the Ice Cube comedy tumbled 56 percent to $440,108 from 200 screens, dropping to eighth place, for a $1,643,966 total. In the U.K., it bowed in seventh place with $1,672,198, including previews, from 230 screens.

Spanglish could be as disappointing overseas as it was domestically. With modest openings like Australia's $780,694 from 206 screens, Russia's $232,593 from 60 and Spain's $517,513 from 200, the Adam Sandler comedy-drama has a soft $3,814,485 total from six territories.

Closer mustered $2,637,934 from 39 countries over the weekend for a potent $67,580,079 international total. The relationship drama was well received in Greece with $286,252 opening from 35 screens. It still has several territories to go and should cross $80 million when all is said and done.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie took advantage of the school holidays in Europe over the weekend. Nickelodeon's animated feature showed strength in France and the U.K. In France, it increased 6 percent to $1,081,186 from 380 screens for a $2,471,865 total, despite being in the most crowded market in the world right now (11 movies grossing more than $1 million over the weekend). In the U.K., it fell just 10 percent to $2,112,552 from 439 screens, pushing its total to $7,676,851. Overall, SpongeBob grossed $4,134,007 from 11 countries for a $41,044,141 total.

The Aviator took off in South Korea and Turkey and remained No. 1 in Australia. In South Korea, the Howard Hughes biopic mustered a $1,270,702 opening from 170 screens ($1,488,301 including previews) for a fourth place finish. In Turkey, it landed in second place, behind local hit Egreti Gelin, grossing $356,859 from 73 screens. In Australia, it made $1,078,805 from 248 screens, down 24% in its second weekend for a $3,080,720 total. Overall, it grossed $6,583,713 from 33 screens for an estimated $70 million total.

In Good Company proved unprofitable in its U.K. debut, taking in $1,119,394 from 305 screens. The corporate-themed romantic comedy suffered opposite No. 1 Meet the Fockers and the opening of Shall We Dance.

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