Sequel conjures records in 5 territories
At home and abroad, “Harry” flew further than anyone imagined.As with his domestic numbers, Warner Bros.’ weekend estimates for the foreign launches of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” were on the low side when tix were tallied Monday. The not-so-little sorcerer sold 7.1 million tickets on 4,265 prints in nine countries, including previews in Japan, minting a socko $59.5 million. Weekend prognostications for the major markets are far from an exact science, but WB understandably was “thrilled” that the numbers were higher than its estimates — and that the blockbuster smashed industry records in five territories. It’s hard to hazard a guess as to where this installment will finish overseas, but rival distribs say that, based on the first raft of openings, it could get close to the first edition’s phenomenal $651.2 million international B.O. In Blighty, the fantasy adventure rang up $16.2 million on 1,275 prints, an industry record sans sneaks, 7% ahead of the original Hogwarts saga. With previews, “Chamber of Secrets” racked up almost $30 million, 15% greater than its predecessor. In Germany, the Chris Columbus-helmed epic raked in $16.3 million on 1,382 screens, the industry’s second-biggest opening weekend, just 3% shy of the first “Harry.” Record in Japan Sneaked Saturday in Japan ahead of its launch this weekend, “Chamber of Secrets” unlocked $3.7 million on an unprecedented 777 screens, a record for a single day of previews, outgunning by 25% “Star Wars: Episode II– Attack of the Clones,” which played on 571. The Daniel Radcliffe starrer broke industry records in Taiwan (drawing $3.2 million on more than 100 prints, beating the original by 38%), Switzerland ($1.2 million on 97, 3% up), Austria ($1.5 million on 144, 19% bigger, and $1.9 million with sneaks) and the Philippines ($1.1 million on 55, 36% better). Singapore’s $1.05 million on 54 was the market’s second highest bow ever, behind “Jurassic Park: The Lost World” and 21% ahead of “Harry 1,” and Malaysia’s $475,000 on 45 was WB’s best ever locally and the biggest for a family film, eclipsing “Sorcerer’s Stone” by 86%. Despite the wiz’s invasion, British horror pic “28 Days Later” abated by a reasonable 28% in its third outing in the U.K., devouring a hearty $7.2 million thus far. “Mr. Deeds” eased by just 16% in its third, tallying a handy $4.4 million, elevating cume to a ho-hum $35.5 million, with five major markets ahead. ‘Dragon’ stands Similarly, “Red Dragon” withstood the Hogwarts’ assault pretty well in Germany, sliding by 32% in its third frame, collecting $9.5 million to date. Anthony Hopkins starrer snacked on $7.5 million on 3,400 screens in 31 markets, hoisting cume to $75.3 million, with Japan to come. “The Bourne Identity” was tops in Italy, notching $1.2 million on 220, and No. 1 again in Spain, drumming up $3.1 million in 10 days (off just 19%) and its cume hit $65.4 million, with Japan ahead. Remake “The Ring” phoned home in Oz, taking a good but not exceptional $864,000 on 185, with sneaks, trailing “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” which dropped by a miniscule 9% in its fourth sojourn, bringing its cume to a stellar $8.8 million. The Naomi Watts starrer “Ring” has trapped a sturdy $8.5 million through its third in Japan but found a skimpy $132,000 on 29 in its Hong Kong preem. After earning a respectable $10.1 million in its native U.K. and flopping in Germany, Heather Graham-headlined comedy “The Guru” seduced a so-so $468,000 on 169 Down Under. Entering its last major territory, Hugh Grant vehicle “About a Boy” reigned in a slow sesh in France with $1.1 million on more than 300 screens, and its cume reached a juicy $84.6 million. Continuing its platform at the 2,000-seat Grand Rex Theater in Paris ahead of its Nov. 27 nationwide debut, Disney toon “Treasure Planet” commanded an excellent $298,000 (improving by 12%), propelling its 12-day gross to $578,000. “Sweet Home Alabama” fetched a pleasing $450,000 on 90 in South Korea (doubling “Legally Blonde” and on par with “Miss Congeniality”) and fell by 17% after a mediocre opening in Spain, making $1 million in 10 days.