Around the World Roundup: 'Music' Tops the Chart

by Conor Bresnan
Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant in Music and Lyrics
March 12, 2007

Topping the foreign chart, Music and Lyrics drew $9.8 million over the weekend for a $44.2 million total. In Germany, the romantic comedy surpassed the past debuts of Bridget Jones's Diary and The Holiday as well as fellow opener Norbit with $3.1 million from 613 prints. Music also ranked first in openings in the Netherlands ($635,000) and Austria ($506,000), while it rose six percent in South Korea for a $3.9 million tally.

Norbit, which was expected to be first, settled for second place with $9.3 million for a $19.3 million total. The fat comedy added 14 territories over the weekend but delivered average results like Germany's $2.4 million, Russia's $552,847 and the United Kingdom's $3.8 million. It hasn't shown longevity thus far in holdover markets and, with half the globe behind it, it is unlikely to catch up to its domestic total.

Third place went to Ghost Rider, which grossed $9.3 million for a $75.2 million total. Little can be said for its uneventful session, but the comic book adaptation did grab a respectable first-place $458,297 in Hong Kong. In second weekends, it dropped 45 percent in Brazil, 38 percent in Japan and 53 percent in the U.K.

Placing fourth internationally from just one country, Italian teen comedy Ho voglia di te (I Desire You) fetched $8.8 million from 652 screens. It was the third best opening of all time for a local picture and higher than The Matrix trilogy and the first three Harry Potter movies.

France's La Vie en Rose probably rounded out the top five and had accumulated $29 million as of Tuesday, surpassing Taxi 4's $28.2 million.

Among foreign debuts, 300 was robust with $6.5 million from five territories. The hyper-stylized battle picture conquered Greece with the largest opening on record: $3.1 million from 138 screens, which unseated Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Its start was also 66 percent better than Troy.

300's four other territories weren't as impressive as Greece but were solid nonetheless despite being hampered by age-restricting ratings. In the Philippines, 300 had the second-highest opening for an R-13-rated picture ever behind The Matrix Reloaded) with $750,000 from 49 screens, while, in Singapore, it had the highest M18-rated opening ever with $646,000 from 29. 300 was nearly as strong in Taiwan ($1.5 million) and Malaysia ($480,000), and it will next invade South Korea, followed by France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. a week later.

In Australia, Wild Hogs made its international debut with a potent $2.6 million, leading the market. The comedy also grabbed $202,614 in New Zealand. Also premiering overseas was the Jane Austen biographical drama Becoming Jane, which earned a moderate $1.3 million from 350 screens in the U.K.

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