Around the World Roundup: 'Hitch,' 'Constantine,' 'Aviator' Join $100M Club

by Conor Bresnan
Will Smith in Hitch
March 30, 2005

Hitch flew past the century mark on an $18.4 million weekend haul from 51 countries for a $127.1 million overall total. Business was helped by the Easter holiday as well as several solid debuts. The movie opened at No. 1 in New Zealand with a $427,496 weekend from 61 screens. It also opened in Greece to $354,791 from 48 screens.

In Italy, the Will Smith romantic comedy rose 5 percent in its third weekend to $1.4 million from 323 screens for a $6.8 million total. In its fourth week in Germany, it was off only 21 percent, retaining pole position and improving its total to $26.8 million. In the United Kingdom, it was down 26 percent for a $21.4 million total, and, in France, it fell 29 percent for a 12-day total of $8.7 million.

Constantine joined Hitch in the $100 million club. They both passed that mark on Monday, making them the first of 2005 to do so. After a $5.1 million weekend from 38 territories, the supernatural thriller improved its total to $108.2 million. It eased 32 percent in its sophomore session in the U.K. to $1.9 million from 355 screens for a $6.5 million total.

Robots continued to be a bit of a letdown, despite openings in 12 markets and holdovers in 29 territories. Blue Sky's computer-animated comedy grossed $16.7 million pushing its total to $45.3 million. With France and almost all of Asia remaining, it's still too early to tell how it will finish. However, it will certainly not top Blue Sky's first movie, Ice Age, which went on to gross $206.7 million.

Robots opened in first place in Australia, above Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and The Ring Two, but only grossed $1.9 million from 385 screens. In Argentina, it bowed in first place with a more respectable $356,000 from 114 screens. In Belgium, it grossed $501,000 from 123, and, in the Netherlands, it made $450,000 from 171 screens. In Italy, it opened in third grossing a paltry $1.4 million from 506 screens.

Among holdovers, Robots fared well with Spain being the best market, down just 20 percent to $2.2 million to retain the top spot for a $5.8 million total. It fell 21 percent in Germany and six percent in the U.K. The respective market totals are $4.8 million and $9.2 million.

Howl's Moving Castle proved that international audiences have room for both CGI and traditionally animated pictures. In Hong Kong, the Hayao Miyazaki picture grossed a strong $1.1 million from 35 screens for a clear No. 1 position on the chart. It was on par with Toy Story 2 and 12 percent below Finding Nemo. Howl's Moving Castle's overseas total increased to $214 million. It opens on June 10 in the U.S. through Buena Vista.

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous had a lukewarm reception overseas. The original's $105.9 million already looks completely out of reach after the sequel's disappointing $10.5 million start from openings in over 15 markets. Most impressive was, sadly, its third place opening in the U.K. where it grossed $2.45 million from 381 screens. It ranked second in both Australia and Germany grossing $1.87 million from 296 screens and $1.76 million respectively. Other openings include Spain's $1.16 million from 244, Taiwan's $620,000 from 105, the Netherlands' $422,000 from 102 and Belgium's $340,000 from 56. Miss Congeniality 2 was hurt by poor advertising that lacked a connection to the original and tepid critical reception. In general, American comedies are tough sells in the international markets even if they're sequels.

The Ring Two followed up its solid premiere with several lackluster starts and horrendous drops. The horror sequel had a disappointing opening in Australia, grossing $1.6 million from 233 screens—in third place behind the soft starts of Robots and Miss Congeniality 2. The Ring Two was better in its other openings, but still lukewarm. In Finland, it grossed $207,617 from 30 screens to rank first. In Brazil, it managed $790,286 from 216 screens, while, in Peru, it grossed $184,976 from 25 screens. Other openings were Israel ($197,726 from 30) and Slovenia ($79,805 from 13).

The Ring Two was just terrible in holdovers. Worst was Thailand's abnormally steep 77 percent tumble to $58,744 from 44 screens for a $414,621 total. It didn't fare much better in Mexico with a 53 percent fall to $1.1 million from 319 screens for a $4.1 million total. It was down 57 percent in Greece, 58 percent in Norway, 50 percent in Sweden and 52 percent in Turkey. Boosted by the Easter holiday, though, it saw single digit drops in the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Million Dollar Baby's late entries in key foreign markets were a mixed blessing. In France, Clint Eastwood's boxing drama scored north of $3 million in its debut for a first place start, but in Germany it grossed $760,000 from 122 screens for sixth place. With the Oscar already under its belt, the openings for Million Dollar Baby become much more important. Its total grew to $60 million with $100 million now most likely out of its reach.

The Aviator finally landed in Japan, but grossed a disappointing $1.6 million. If word of mouth is strong, though, the Martin Scorsese epic could reach a respectable $15 million. Japan's debut also helped push The Aviator past the century mark to $102 million.

It was National Treasure that led Japan, however, grossing $1.9 million for a solid $9.2 million total in nine days. Its 35 percent fall was a bit worrisome, however. The Nicolas Cage adventure has also scored $2.5 million in 10 days in China, and its international gross has reached $160.7 million.

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