Around the World Roundup: 'Wallace and Gromit,' 'Corpse Bride' Form Stop-Motion Tandem

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Wallce and Gromit
October 26, 2005

Stop-motion animation led the foreign box office over the weekend. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was tops with $16.9 million, while Tim Burton's Corpse Bride landed in second place with $9.7 million from 19 countries.

In the United Kingdom, Wallace and Gromit dug up $8.2 million in its second outing, down 29 percent. With a $29.2 million tally, it's the territory's seventh-highest grossing movie of the year so far. Other standout holdovers were France, where the comedy fell 22 percent to $2.3 million for a $5.5 million total, and Germany, where it was off just 10 percent to $1.8 million and a $4.6 million total.

Wallace and Gromit's seven debuting territories were generally small and unimpressive, and the one bright spot was Belgium, where the picture bagged a chart-topping $432,118 from 88 screens. The overall international haul stands at $64.7 million, and, with plenty of markets to go, Wallace and Gromit looks like a lock to cross the century mark.

Pushing its overall total to $11.7 million, Corpse Bride notched 13 strong openings that were on par with Wallace and Gromit, except in the U.K., and that were quite a bit larger than Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Corpse Bride debuted at No. 1 in France with a healthy $2.9 million from 427 prints, but it settled for third place in a very competitive British market with $2 million from 385 screens. The animated fantasy was tops in Mexico with $1.7 million from 310 screens, and it nabbed second place in Japan, behind local opener, A Moment to Remember, with $1.6 million from 357 screens.

Nanny McPhee made its worldwide premiere in the U.K. The family comedy, starring Emma Thompson (who also wrote the adapted screenplay) and Colin Firth, launched in second place with an impressive $4.5 million from 423 screens. The movie, which is similar to Mary Poppins in plot, will be handled by Universal in the United States with a tentatively scheduled Jan. 27th release date.

Wallace and Gromit, Corpse Bride and Nanny McPhee should all hold well in the U.K. as there is no new competition until Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Nov. 18th (with previews the week before).

Up until now, Flightplan has flown under the radar, despite solid runs in Mexico ($7.3 million), Taiwan ($2 million) and Argentina ($670,000). Over the weekend, though, its debuts in Germany, Austria, Brazil and Scandinavia propelled the Jodie Foster thriller to $8.5 million for a $21.5 million total. In Germany, the picture was a dominant No. 1 with $3.6 million from 658 screens, and it also had chart-topping starts in Brazil ($550,000), Austria ($450,000), Sweden ($380,535) and Norway ($297,622), performing better than Panic Room did in each outing.

Attempting to stop piracy, Doom launched day-and-date with the U.S. in nine markets. The video-game-based action horror picture was even more disappointing internationally than it was domestically. The traditionally action-oriented Asian markets didn't welcome the aptly named picture. In Thailand, Doom narrowly managed to top a $1,000 screen average with an $81,701 opening from 75 screens. It was also unspectacular in Indonesia and the Philippines with $72,466 from 38 screens and $97,850 from 48 respectively. It was a modest hit in Malaysia, however, with $217,931 from 36 screens. Overall, the picture grossed $907,472.

Led by strong starts in Australia and Germany, Pride and Prejudice had a $3.4 million weekend from eight nations. In Australia, the period drama captured first place with $1.5 million from 223 screens. Germany yielded a third place $1.3 million from 285 screens.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory bumped its foreign haul up to $252.1 million after a $4.4 million weekend. The family fantasy slipped 28 percent in Greece to $506,000 from 71 screens for a $1.4 million total.

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