Around the World Roundup: 'Forbidden Kingdom' Leaps to the Top

by Conor Bresnan
Jet Li and Jackie Chan in The Forbidden Kingdom
May 4, 2008

Last weekend at the foreign box office, The Forbidden Kingdom dominated China and led the overall chart with $19.7 million from nine markets, pushing its early total to $24.1 million. In China, the Oriental fantasy's $2.3 million opening day was the largest in the market's history and that grew to a monstrous $11.4 million weekend, which was bigger than 2008's highest grossing movie there, CJ7, and just below Transformers. Additionally, Forbidden Kingdom led both Russia and South Korea with $1.3 million and $3.6 million, respectively. In Hong Kong, it made a massive $754,595 from 48 screens but saw a moderate $828,965 in Taiwan. In its initial four markets, it had average drops by genre standards.

Adding seven territories, Forgetting Sarah Marshall's box office ballooned last weekend to $7.1 million from nine territories. The comedy had a superb $4.3 million debut in the United Kingdom, which was producer Judd Apatow's largest yet. The movie didn't play well in Russia ($945,505 from 291) but held up in Australia (down 18 percent for a $4.3 million total).

Falling two spots but still showing strength, 21 grossed $6.1 million from 27 territories for a $30.7 million total. The blackjack drama had satisfactory openings across the Middle East, including Kuwait ($141,745) and the United Arab Emirates ($241,762) but was so-so in Venezuela with $137,318 from 30 screens. Its holdovers were more impressive, including Italy (down 22 percent) and Brazil (off 29 percent). Its top markets thus far include the U.K. ($8.9 million total), Germany ($5 million) and Spain ($4.7 million).

Among new movies Deception fared better than its domestic opening but still collected a decidedly poor $2 million from the U.K., Australia and Russia. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay showed some promise in Singapore with an $187,278 opening from 10 screens, ranking second. And Smart People attracted a modest amount of attention in Australia with $352,525 from 132 screens.

What's More Around the World

Death at a Funeral remained in second place in its eighth week in Argentina, growing by 12 percent and pushing its total to $1.1 million. Its opening was 46 percent worse than last weekend.

• Foreign Language Academy Award winner, The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher), continued its impressive run in its native land (Austria) despite playing poorly before the Oscars. The movie earned just $50,000 in its opening and ended its run in June in Austria with $250,590. Now, after a re-release in February its total has grown to $1.8 million.

Ca$h's No. 1 debut in France represented the 14th weekend a comedy has led the territory.

Crank opened in its first market since 2007 last weekend. The action movie made a paltry $26,103 in Venezuela, ranking 13th.

Foreign Weekend Box Office Results
International Box Office Home Page

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WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'The Predator' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'The Predator' #1
DAILY: Thursday 9/13 (55 tracked)
WEEKLY: 'The Nun' Tops the Week with $66.87m
DAILY: Wednesday, 9/12 (43 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 9/11 (47 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 9/10 (43 tracked)