Potter pic plants itself in record books
The Hogwarts kids hogged box offices in the U.K., German-speaking territories and four Asian markets over the weekend, smashing numerous records.Playing on 3,284 screens in eight countries, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” sold an estimated 6.3 million tickets for a take of $54 million, according to Warner Bros.’ Sunday estimates. “These results are particularly outstanding, given the non-holiday playtime,” said Veronica Kwan-Rubinek, WB prexy of international distribution. In Blighty, the boy wizard conjured £9.8 million ($15.5 million) on 1,275 prints, setting an industry opening record sans sneaks, fractionally ahead of the original Hogwarts saga. With previews, “Chamber of Secrets” racked up $29.2 million, 13% bigger than its predecessor. The three-day weekend total was 66% bigger than “Spider-Man,” 35% ahead of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and 8% up on “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.” Saturday’s $6.7 million bounty repped the biggest single day ever. Natch, the Daniel Radcliffe starrer nabbed the all-time sneaks record, beating his previous pic. In Germany, the Chris Columbus-helmed adventure raked in an estimated $15.6 million on 1,382 screens, just 7% shy of the industry record held by the first “Potter,” and the third-highest opening weekend behind it and “Lord of the Rings.” Austria’s $1.5 million on 144 was an industry high (beating the original by 5%), and with sneaks it pocketed $1.8 million. Switzerland’s unprecedented $1.7 million trounced the first edition by 42%. In Taiwan, the family pic unearthed approximately $3.1 million, with previews, setting industry records nationwide and in the capital Taipei, outrunning “The Mummy Returns” by 16% and 8%, respectively. The Philippines’ estimated $1.15 million on 188 ranks as an industry high, excluding sneaks, 5% bigger than “Godzilla” and 36% better than the original, while Singapore’s $1.03 million on 54 was the market’s second-highest bow ever, trailing “Jurassic Park: The Lost World,” and 18% ahead of the first “Harry.” Malaysia’s $474,000 on 70 gave WB its best opening ever locally, outgunning “Eraser,” and the biggest for a family film, eclipsing “Sorcerer’s Stone” by 86%. Elsewhere, UIP estimated “Red Dragon” devoured $7 million overseas, hoisting cume to $75 million, highlighted by Germany’s $9.6 million through its third lap (falling just 35% despite the “Potter” invasion) and Spain’s $6.7 million through its fourth. Landing in Italy, “The Bourne Identity” was reckoned to have picked up $1.2 million on 238, good enough for the top spot. Thriller’s cume hit $65 million, with Japan ahead. “XXX” peaked at $117.2 million after earning an estimated $4.4 million for the sesh.