Around the World Roundup: ‘Marley’s Best in Show

by Conor Bresnan
Marley and Me

March 19, 2009

Marley and Me leapt to the top of a soft foreign box office last weekend, grossing $14.1 million from 37 territories. The dog comedy's top market was the United Kingdom, where it led with an impressive $6.2 million opening. Its other debuts were less successful but encouraging nonetheless, including Russia ($2 million) and Belgium ($369,716). In holdover markets, Marley was also decent, falling 34 percent in Germany and 35 percent in the Netherlands. Overall, its total sits at $49.6 million, and it still has nearly half of Europe left to go on its schedule.

After an unremarkable start last weekend, Watchmen saw a remarkably steep drop in its second weekend, down 51 percent despite the addition of six markets. Debuts in Greece ($439,925), Sweden ($311,847), Hong Kong ($352,313) and Bulgaria ($47,485) fared well, but the superhero drama's holdovers crumbled. It fell more than 60 percent in Southeast Asia, 64 percent in Spain, 57 percent in the U.K., more than 50 percent in France and Germany and a whopping 83 percent in the United Arab Emirates. All told, Watchmen grossed $13.4 million from 51 markets for a $49.4 million total. Only Japan and a few smaller markets remain ahead.

Gran Torino defied all market trends and performed excellently nearly everywhere. The action drama stayed on top in France ($14.7 million total) and was off just 14 percent in Germany and 21 percent in Australia. In Italy, it opened second to a local blockbuster with $2.2 million, and it led Portugal with a $202,146 debut. Gran Torino totaled $11 million for the weekend from 27 territories for a $47.3 million total. This weekend, it lands in South Korea and Brazil with the bulk of its territories to follow in April.

Slumdog Millionaire earned $10.7 million over the weekend from 46 territories, continuing to have solid openings and strong second weekend holds. Among openings, Slumdog topped Taiwan with $629,566, Finland with $177,540 and Romania with $53,434. In second weekend sessions, it abated just eight percent in Brazil and 14 percent in Greece. The picture's older markets had much bigger drops, including Hong Kong (off 50 percent), Malaysia (47 percent) and Turkey (51 percent). With $135 million already in the till, Slumdog will receive a boost this weekend from openings in Germany and Austria.

Opening in Asia a few weeks before its domestic release, Dragonball Evolution grabbed only $9.7 million from nearly the entire region. The adaptation of a manga comic book was dreadful in Taiwan ($113,000), poor in Singapore ($384,042), mediocre in Hong Kong ($453,783) and so-so in South Korea ($1.2 million). Meanwhile in Japan, the birthplace of the manga series, it grossed a sizeable but disappointing $3.2 million in its three-day start. China ($3.1 million) and Malaysia ($742,225) were Dragonball's best markets by far.

Outside the Top Five, Race to Witch Mountain wasn't special with $1.1 million from five medium-sized markets. Paul Blart: Mall Cop again showed how American comedies have difficulty translating, garnering a mere $621,670 in Mexico, though it did earn a nifty $222,966 in Venezuela. Meanwhile, The Reader held well, down 27 percent, lifting its total to $33.6 million.

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Foreign Weekend Box Office Results

Last Weekend
'Watchmen' Washes Out

Domestic Weekend Report
'Witch' Blasts Off, 'Watchmen' Burns Out

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1/17 'Glass' Ready to Crack Open a $50+ Million Holiday Debut
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> MORE: News | Features
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 1/21 (33 tracked)
WEEKEND: 4-Day Weekend Actuals, 'Glass' #1
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Glass' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Glass' #1
WEEKLY: 'The Upside' Tops the Week with $28.3m
DAILY: Thursday 1/17, (42 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 1/16 (34 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 1/15 (34 tracked)