Around the World Roundup: 'Transformers' Ratchets Up

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Transformers
July 13, 2007

At the foreign box office, Transformers charged the weekend top spot, raking in $47.2 million from 29 markets, an expansion of 19, for a $97.2 million total.

The robo-spectacle entered several European countries and grosses paled in comparison to the movie's Asian markets. For example, in Spain, its $4.9 million start was only around half of War or the Worlds' debut whereas, in Asia, its opening was twice as big as that picture. Openings in the Netherlands ($1.4 million from 108 screens) and Portugal ($542,147 from 64 screens) were similar. In Denmark, it didn't even top Live Free or Die Hard's second weekend with an $831,406 debut from 68 screens. Transformers needed a fast start in these markets because the global release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix looms, which will still most of its thunder.

Transformers' holdovers, which consisted of all but one Asian market were outstanding. In South Korea, it was down just 13 percent to $10.5 million from 687 screens, the largest second weekend ever for a Hollywood picture. Its $29.3 million two-week total almost ensures that it will become the highest grossing non-Korean movie there, a record Mission: Impossible III currently holds with $37.6 million. Other strong holds were found in New Zealand (down 23 percent) and Taiwan (off 27 percent) among other markets. In fact, Transformers retained the top spot in all but one market, Thailand. The movie invades China and Greece this weekend.

Rising 37 percent and climbing to second place, Live Free or Die Hard grossed $42.4 million over the weekend from 49 territories for an $86.2 million total. Known as Die Hard 4.0 internationally, its largest opening was in the United Kingdom, where it was barely behind Shrek the Third with $10.1 million from 458 screens. In Mexico, the action sequel also earned a hefty debut ($2.1 million from 814 screens) though was still in second (behind Ratatouille). In France, it launched with $7 million from 749 screens, which was double Superman Returns last year for perspective.

Falling to third, Shrek the Third lost 50 percent of its business, grossing $35.7 million from 42 markets for a $325.5 million total. In the U.K., it was down 50 percent (or 70 percent including previews) to a still smashing $10.3 million and it's already topped the first Shrek's final tally with its $51.7 million.

Ocean's Thirteen, falling steadily across Europe, rose to fourth place with a $9.5 million weekend from 55 countries. The caper comedy had mediocre starts in Chile ($113,733 from 30), Peru ($126,976 from 35) and Venezuela ($354,725 from 67), but bagged most of its currency in holdovers like France's $1.2 million third weekend for an $11.8 million total. The overall total stands at $140.7 million.

Thanks to a sizeable premiere in Mexico, Ratatouille rounded out the top five with $9.1 million from 13 markets for an early $17.8 million total. Mexico yielded $4.9 million from 688 screens, which was on par with The Incredibles. In Argentina, the computer-animated comedy also grabbed the top spot with $904,804 from 164 screens. On the other hand, it was moderate in Brazil with $1.5 million from 308 screens. Holdover markets, where Ratatouille plans on making the bulk of its money, were solid. In Russia, it fell 47 percent to $1.9 million for a $6.8 million total, which was a good hold considering Evan Almighty dove 86 percent in its third weekend. In both Chile and Ecuador, it was down less than 35 percent while it rose 2 percent in Colombia for a $1.4 million total.

In its first foreign foray, Knocked Up conquered Australia with $3.3 million from just 226 screens, ranking second but doubling The 40-Year-Old-Virgin's opening there.

Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
International Box Office Home Page

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