Around the World Round Up: 'Hitch' Enriches Overseas

by Conor Bresnan
Will Smith
in Hitch
March 15, 2005

Hitch lead a soft international box office for the second weekend in a row, thanks to a blockbuster run in Germany and an excellent premiere in the United Kingdom. Overall business will continue to be quiet until Kingdom of Heaven debuts in early May as the holiday movies dwindle and the modest spring pictures arrive—although next weekend's massive release of The Ring Two could perk things up.

Well on its way to $100 million despite disappointing results in Latin America, Hitch grossed $28,092,420 from 40 markets, including 15 openings, for a $65,973,392 total.

In Germany, Hitch fell only 29 percent despite its stunning debut last weekend to $6,302,086 from 912 screens for a $17,219,990 tally and is on pace to top $30 million there. Expanding nationwide in the U.K., the Will Smith romantic comedy resonated with $6,361,204 from 709 screens for an $8,275,940 total, topping What Women Want and Two Weeks Notice as well as the Smith vehicles Bad Boys II and Wild Wild West.

Elsewhere in the world, Hitch was solid but not spectacular. South Korea's strong $1,403,753 launch from 175 screens topped Love Actually by 15 percent and Enemy of the State by 55 percent. In Italy, Hitch opened in first place with $2,652,250 from 317 screens, while, in Belgium, it took in $819,626 from 57 screens. Other notable debuts included the Netherlands' $720,396 from 93 screens and the United Arab Emirates' $232,322 from just 16 screens. Hitch opens in France, Turkey and other markets next weekend.

Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz in Constantine
Constantine is poised to become the first movie of 2005 to cross the century mark. After a $9.1 million weekend from 40 territories, the supernatural thriller has grossed $87 million. It scored the biggest opening of the year to date in Brazil with $1.4 million from 309 screens, and it was tops in Turkey with $767,000 from 115 screens. In Poland, it grabbed a first place $396,761 from 72 screens, which was, for comparison, 35 percent bigger than Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Impressive totals from holdovers include France's $9.1 million, Germany's $8.9 million and Italy's $6.1 million.

Robots was let loose day-and-date with its North American premiere in Mexico and Southeast Asia. In Mexico, the computer-animated feature racked up a robust $2.4 million from 753 screens, landing at No. 1. It was also No. 1 in Malaysia with $153,685 from 33 screens. Like its domestic returns, both debuts were on the low end for the genre.

Also opening day-and-date in the U.K., Hostage earned a decent $1.3 million, while second weekend horror, Boogeyman, tumbled 52 percent to $737,429 for a $2,933,646 total.

Ben Stiller in Meet the Fockers
Meet the Fockers entered South Africa, its final market for distributor United International Pictures, with superb results. The comedy sequel grossed $424,300 from 70 screens, No. 1 in the market. It still has Japan and South Korea to go, countries that will be handled through CJ Entertainment. It is now playing in its fourth weekend or more in all markets except South Africa and the Czech Republic, which means business will dwindle over the month ahead. After a $7,408,422 weekend haul from 27 countries, its total improved to $213,047,319.

With good word of mouth and Oscar buzz on its side, Ray rose 10 percent to about $2.8 million in 38 territories, raised its international total to $36,782,811. In France, the Ray Charles biopic has grossed an excellent $7,344,421 in its first three weekends. The only markets it hasn't played in yet are Indonesia and Malaysia.

Blade: Trinity had an impressive first place start in Spain, grossing $3,118,619 from 367 screens. Overall, the Wesley Snipes vampire thriller has $64,802,148 to date and, with Japan still ahead, will likely surpass Blade II's $72,801,778 total to become the highest grossing movie in the franchise.

Enjoying a leggy run in Japan like it did Stateside, The Notebook has courted a solid $10,337,430 after five weeks, falling 15 to 25 percent each week after a mediocre launch. The romantic drama's overseas total grew to $32,581,175, and it still has Italy ahead in June.

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