Around the World Roundup: 'Horton' Tops Another Soft Weekend

by Conor Bresnan
A scene from Horton Hears a Who!
April 19, 2008

Ho-hum new releases plagued the international box office last weekend, keeping Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! on top for the third consecutive time. It was the first instance this year that the No. 1 picture didn't gross $10 million or more. Not helping matters have been a crop of horror movies, including Shutter, The Eye, One Missed Call, Prom Night and The Ruins, that saw meager business last weekend and none have earned more than $17 million in total. On the same weekend last year, Mr. Bean's Holiday and 300 continued their impressive runs while Perfect Stranger had a solid start and Disturbia kicked off its strong run.

Horton plucked $8.8 million from 57 territories, pushing its total past the $100 million mark. In Poland, the animated comedy had a slightly above average opening for its genre, grossing $634,948 from 105 screens. It was not impressive in Greece, though, placing below 21 with a $257,109 debut from 82 screens. Horton is winding down its run in most territories but still has several left to enter, including Italy and Turkey this weekend.

The one bright spot on the weekend was 21's fantastic debut in eight markets. Playing well across the board, the blackjack drama scored $8.1 million last weekend and led all of its markets, including Germany where it coined $2.1 million, Greece where it thumped Horton with $330,683 and Spain where it earned $1.9 million from 251 screens. It was remarkable in Sweden with $425,652 from 32 screens, topping both 10,000 B.C. and Horton's openings. Its highest grossing market was the United Kingdom with $3.3 million from 358 screens, which was marginally shy of 27 Dresses' opening. 21 will slowly roll out in April, May and June and its final scheduled market is South Korea on Aug. 28.

French all time record holder Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis turned in another huge weekend, grossing $6.4 million in its seventh frame in its native land and regaining the lead from Disco. However, it did not hold well in the U.K., falling 79 percent in its second weekend. Overall, it took in $7.4 million for a $181.6 million total.

Disco secured fourth place on the overseas chart with $4.9 million from three territories for a $16.1 million total. It fell 44 percent in France and, like Bienvenue, isn't likely to have much of an international run.

Rounding out the Top Five with $4.8 million was Step Up 2 the Streets, which received a big boost from France, amassing $1.5 million from 150 screens in its debut there. The dance sequel's $68.5 million total is now bigger than both its domestic run and the original's international campaign.

Nim's Island had a decent weekend, grossing $4.4 million from seven territories for a $5.5 million total. In Australia, the family adventure expanded its screen count, boosting its box office by 38 percent, but it still placed fourth on the weekend chart. In France, it ranked fifth but earned a respectable $1.6 million from 399 screens. Italy was the movie's best market as it led the nation with $1.7 million from 304 screens.

Opening poorly was Street Kings with only $1.2 million from 10 markets. The crime drama was average in Singapore ($225,093) and Malaysia ($176,454) and awful in Finland ($43,044) and Turkey ($125,225). It will open in most markets this weekend but concludes its foreign run in 2009 in Japan.

Leatherheads also looked bad last weekend. The period sports comedy grossed a mere $934,606 from 335 screens in the U.K., ranking sixth on the weekend chart. It was better in Italy with $1.2 million, but it tumbled 57 percent in its second weekend in the Ukraine. Football movies are generally an incredibly tough sell overseas and the highest grossing football-themed picture ever is The Game Plan with only $47.1 million. Leatherheads has a staggered release schedule that extends through October.

Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
International Box Office Home Page

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