Around the World Roundup: 'Ice Age 2' Mammoth in Foreign Debut

by Conor Bresnan
Sid the Sloth from from Ice Age: The Meltdown
April 5, 2006

Ice Age: The Meltdown was no letdown, amassing $47.4 million in foreign box office over the weekend. The computer-animated sequel topped its predecessor in all 29 markets and set industry records in many of them.

Latin America hosted Ice Age: The Meltdown's greatest successes as the region is a traditional stronghold for children's movies. Back in 2002, Ice Age broke the all time opening weekend record in Mexico, and, in 2006, Ice Age 2 did it again, nabbing $8.8 million on 1,083 screens. Other all time benchmarks were set in Argentina ($1.2 million on 134 screens), Venezuela ($531,000 from 80) and Ecuador ($278,000 from 30). Ice Age 2 also scored second highest all time debuts in Colombia ($822,000 from 120 screens) and Peru ($653,000 from 59 screens), third biggest ever in Puerto Rico ($1.8 million from 84), and it grabbed a new best for distributor 20th Century Fox in Brazil ($3.9 million from 507 screens).

The most impressive aspect of Ice Age 2's tally was that it didn't include most European markets nor the major Asian ones. However, it did open in Spain, earning $6.2 million from 450 screens—the second highest opening by an animated movie ever—in Russia, where it grossed a stunning $8.5 million from 490 screens, and in Poland with $1.6 million from 107 screens, Fox's best start ever there. Ice Age 2 also posted animated highs in Sweden ($1.4 million on 159), Finland ($442,000 on 56), the Netherlands ($1.3 million) and Belgium ($1.3 million).

Ice Age 2's only setback was in the Pacific Rim. Animated movies have never had record-breaking success there so expectations weren't as high. Solid openings arrived in all markets including Taiwan ($1.2 million from 178 screens), the Philippines ($783,000 from 114), Singapore ($639,000 from 55) and Malaysia ($377,000 from 65).

Ice Age: The Meltdown's opening weekend sent expectations above Ice Age's $206.3 million final tally and towards Madagascar's $334.4 million total. The United Kingdom's $4.1 million preview gross bodes well for its launch there next weekend.

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2
Not as hot as its predecessor, Basic Instinct 2 stumbled out of the gate with an estimated $10.2 million from 29 markets. It was considerably better than its domestic premiere, however. To cover the cost of the sequel, producer C2 Pictures sold off most rights to foreign territories making gross compilations difficult. Warner Bros. claimed the best mark in Italy where the thriller nabbed $1.5 million. Spain and Russia also saw modest success, recording $1 million openings in each. Germany and the U.K. had disappointing starts, however, grossing $820,000 and $817,000 respectively.

The original Basic Instinct accumulated $235.2 million in its entire run. The sequel won't be attaining anything close to that, but generally decent openings suggest it could near $50 million.

Inside Man came in third place over the weekend, thanks, in part, to Australia's No. 1 launch of $1.7 million from 195 screens. Also propelling it were Germany and the U.K.'s superb first place holds. In Germany, the heist thriller fell 26 percent to $1.5 million for a $4.3 million total, above openers Basic Instinct 2 and Firewall, while in the U.K., it was down 24 percent to $1.9 million for a $6.6 million total. Overall, it grossed $8.8 million for a $22.8 million total.

Failure to Launch opened just beneath Inside Man in the U.K., with $1.9 million from 351 screens. The romantic comedy had another modest weekend, taking in $4.2 million altogether for a $13.6 million total.

V for Vendetta showed no signs of improvement on its disappointing foreign run. The action thriller grossed just $5.1 million over the weekend despite several major openings, bringing its total to $25 million. In Australia, V failed to claim the crown with a $1.2 million opening from 202 prints. Other starts like Holland's $276,000 from 46 screens and New Zealand's $151,000 from 50 prints were unimpressive.

Firewall added $3.1 million over the weekend for an $18.5 million total, including average openings in the U.K. ($813,000), Japan ($696,700) and Germany ($469,000), while its Warner Bros. stable mate, Syriana, bagged $1.4 million for a $41.1 million total, led by South Korea's $368,000 opening from 87 prints.

The international total of Buena Vista International's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe rose to $436 million, including $48 million in Japan. BVI's dog shows The Shaggy Dog ($8.6 million total) and Eight Below ($7.2 million total) yielded $2.4 million and $2 million weekends, respectively.

Finally, Fun with Dick and Jane ended its foreign campaign with a stop in South Korea. The Jim Carrey comedy ranked second with a solid $1.6 million opening from 159 screens. Fun has tallied $89.1 million overall, and its stand-out markets have been the U.K. ($12.3 million), Australia ($8.7 million), Mexico ($7.2 million) and Germany ($7 million).

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