Int'l bows for 'A.I,' 'Diaries' below expectations
A post-summer letdown and lack of compelling films, as well as the trauma of the U.S. tragedy, all likely contributed to the general overseas B.O. malaise, several international distribs told Daily Variety on Sunday.
The commercial-free, wall-to-wall TV coverage from the U.S. last week undoubtedly disrupted the marketing campaigns for some of the weekend’s releases.
In Australia, for example, most ads for “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” were bumped last Wednesday night and only a few went to air on Thursday, the pic’s opening day. Fellow frosh “The Princess Diaries” was similarly affected.
“A.I.” fetched an estimated $828,000 Thursday-Sunday at 246 locations and “Princess Diaries” made $668,000 on 214. Pics ranked first and second respectively but both were well below industry expectations.
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fier materialized in Germany at No. 2 with a subdued $1.3 million in three days on 565 prints, unable to match the fourth outing of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” ($1.4 million on 492).
‘Rouge’ sitting pretty
“Moulin Rouge” bucked the trend remarkably well in the U.K., retaining pole position and ringing up an estimated $2.7 million in its soph session, off just 10% excluding previews from the opening weekend. That propelled its 10-day cume to roughly $8.1 million. Fox’s tuner whistled up $262,000 on 20 in Hong Kong, which was ahead of the bows of “Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet” and “Shakespeare in Love,” the distrib said.
“The Fast and the Furious” entered Blighty, its second major territory, clocking $1.5 million Friday-Saturday on 408 — a solid number for a film that lacks marquee names and whose U.S.-specific, car-culture milieu won’t necessarily resonate strongly abroad.
“Planet of the Apes” swung into Italy with a very good $1.9 million in three days on 366 and clung to second spot in its third lap in Spain, devouring $1.1 million, hoisting the total there to $10 million.
Nicole Kidman starrer “The Others” reigned in its second round in Spain, snaring a terrif $1.7 million Friday-Saturday on 278.
Theaters empty in Mexico
But biz collapsed in Mexico, typified by “A Knight’s Tale,” which came in at No. 1 with a paltry $379,000 in two days on 260, followed by the second outings of “Original Sin” ($189,000 on 233) and “Fast and the Furious” ($188,000 on 235).
In its second tournaments, “A Knight’s Tale” picked up a sturdy $1 million Thursday-Saturday in Germany, easing by 22%, and a so-so $405,000 Friday-Saturday in Spain, down 27%.
Israelis — along with the rest of the world — could do with a laugh, and “American Pie 2” caused plenty of merriment in that country, yukking up $225,000 in three days on 30 screens in an encouraging foreign debut.