Around the World Roundup: 'Island' Sails Past Century Mark

by Conor Bresnan
Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson in
The Island
August 30, 2005

The Island led a soft international market with $9.8 million from 48 territories. Its total climbed to $101.8 million, putting it on track for an over $125 million finish, or more than four times its domestic performance.

Michael Bay's clone thriller added three markets over the weekend, each logging successful starts. Most impressive was Italy's estimated No. 1 launch of $1.5 million from 332 prints. Greek audiences welcomed The Island with a chart-topping $626,550, surpassing such past debuts as Bad Boys II by 36 percent and Batman Begins by 15 percent. The Island also bowed in first place in Sweden with $293,051 from 88 screens.

The Island is finally winding down in South Korea. In its sixth weekend, it fell over 60 percent to $139,675. The total, though, is $20.8 million, which makes the picture the fifth highest-grossing ever for distributor Warner Bros.

While South Korea is The Island's marquee market, the United Kingdom is the bread and butter for WB stable mate, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In its fifth weekend, Tim Burton's adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel grossed $1.96 million from 516 theaters, relinquishing the top spot for the first time to The Dukes of Hazard. The total climbed to $58.1 million, the WB's fifth highest-grossing movie there.

Overall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cranked out $7.5 million from 41 markets for a $126.7 million total. The picture only opened in Russia, narrowly placing first with $371,100 from 162 screens. Among holdovers, France has been another highlight with $22.7 million through the picture's seventh weekend, and Spain is showing signs of longevity, dropping 30 percent or less since its opening three weekends ago for a $5.9 million total.

Herbie: Fully Loaded was third-place over the weekend with $5.5 million. Solid holdover business continued to be the Love Bug's strong point, but Italy's estimated $1.5 million opening gave it a boost. The picture has quietly built a solid international campaign, reaching $59 million thus far.

Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard
The Dukes of Hazzard was one of four new major entries overseas. The action comedy opened in five markets and grossed $4.5 million over the weekend. The good ol' boys had a solid British premiere with $3.1 million, ranking first. However, the picture wasn't special anywhere else; grosses in France ($573,810), Mexico ($450,654) and Spain ($303,593) were sub par at best. Expectations, though, weren't high, and the picture should do decent business in the English-language markets and perform poorly everywhere else.

Must Love Dogs made its foreign debut in Germany with a second place $969,724 from 361 screens, which was on the low end for the romantic comedy genre.

Red Eye achieved moderate altitude in its four Asian openings. The best result came from Taiwan, where the Wes Craven thriller bowed in second place with $242,640 from 53 screens. The other starts were Hong Kong ($240,311 from 30 screens), Malaysia ($106,442 from 21) and Indonesia ($97,306 from 28).

Also making its international debut in Taiwan was The Brothers Grimm. Director Terry Gilliam's adventure showed some promise with a first place $515,000 from 42 screens. The picture wasn't expected to post strong numbers Asia, but it has blockbuster potential in Europe due to its subject matter.

Bewitched whipped up $4.6 million from 28 markets for a $21.9 million total early in its run. Highlighting the weekend was Japan's $1.3 million debut from 318 screens and South Korea's $940,670 from 120 screens (including previews). The supernatural comedy, surprisingly, has had only one miss so faróRussia's $560,961óbut has done well in Australia ($7.4 million), the U.K. ($5.1 million), Mexico ($3.2 million) and Taiwan ($1.1 million).

Last weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Smith's $5 million Spanish debut was the most impressive single territory performance. This weekend's 52 percent tumble to $2.4 million, though, was easily forgettable. The Spain total rose to $10.3 million, and, overall, the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie blockbuster has amassed about $227 million with Italy and Japan ahead in December.

War of the Worlds entered its final market over the weekend. After a one month delay, Steven Spielberg's alien disaster finally struck China with a glowing $3 million debut from 583 screens. That matched Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith's opening in May, and that picture ultimately grossed $9.1 million there. All told, War mustered $4.4 million for the weekend, increasing its international total to $345.2 million.

Revenge of the Sith continued its marathon run in Japan, grabbing $1.3 million in its eighth weekend for a $75 million local total. The overall foreign haul is $457.4 million.

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