Latin conquest to follow Asian success
It’s looking more and more like “Spider-Man” will spin a sticky worldwide web, with Sony’s burgeoning blockbuster set to cha-cha south of the border this weekend.Distrib continues to do what it can to manage through-the-roof expectations as comicbook adaptation hits Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American markets over the upcoming frame. But after mimicking boffo domestic bow recently in Asian territories such as Hong Kong, Korea and Malaysia, that’s happily becoming tougher for execs to do. “A branded property can actually do better internationally than domestically, and we’ve been very encouraged by the early returns out of Asia,” Sony marketing and distrib topper Jeff Blake allowed Monday. “So, the prospects for international look as good or better than domestic.” Domestically, “Spider-Man” has grossed $223 million in just its first 10 days, including $17.4 million this weekend. Foreign cume leaped to $34 million on $16.7 million in receipts from the latest frame. It’s generally accepted that actioners can gross about 60% of their worldwide gross from foreign B.O. The action-packed “Spidey” is also aided by overseas marketing of its globally known title character. Topliner Tobey Maguire doesn’t have the established international marquee value of, say, an Arnold Schwarzenegger. But then again, the same could be said of him Stateside a scant two weeks ago. Foreign rollouts different Still, there are differences between domestic and foreign rollouts, Blake cautioned. “The dynamic is different because it’s not about big openings for pics internationally, where pictures do maintain longer runs,” he said. “So, you never now how big is big until you’re further in the run. But certainly the start has been tremendous, and the next test will be this weekend.” “Spidey” added Japan and South Africa to its B.O. web this past weekend. Pic holds No. 1 spot in all 20 territories where it’s unfurled. In Japan, pic’s two-day total was $6.01 million from 496 screens. Added to last weekend’s sneak receipts of $3.35 million, that delivered an opening weekend total of $9.36 million — Sony’s biggest ever, though just shy of the magic $10 million mark. Sony’s shadow in Japan Still, Sony can expect to dominate its home territory for several weeks with “Panic Room” opening this week and “Men in Black II” pegged for July 6 — a week ahead of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” on July 13 — and “Stuart Little II” on July 20. In South Africa, “Spidey” reaped $467,000 from 100 screens in a record three-day bow. Meanwhile, the pic held well throughout Asia, despite the territory’s propensity to fast burn. Korea dropped 12%, and weekend receipts of $1.9 million from 146 screens boosted cume to $7 million. The Philippines dropped 23%; weekend’s $803,000 from 109 screens make cume $2.3 million. Hong Kong dropped $29%, taking $810,000 from 63; cume is $2.4 million. Taiwan’s 34% drop repped weekend B.O. of $569,000 from 18 screens and a total cume of $2.2 million. Pic also remained dominant in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore in a bit less splashy fashion. Colombia is the only Latin territory to sit out this week’s rollout tango for “Spidey” — which will mark region’s widest-ever release. And though pic unspools Thursday in Argentina, it will do so in more modest screen numbers due to local civil unrest and currency woes. That territory’s top pic this weekend was Fox opener “High Crimes,” which bumped “A Beautiful Mind” from top spot in its 12th week though returning just $50,000 from 30 screens over the sesh. Oz ‘Crime’ spree “Crimes” also lobbed into top spot in Oz — frame was barren ahead of “Clones” May 16 — where it recouped $444,000 from 148 screens in four days. Only other opener in Oz was Par’s “Mean Machine,” which returned an unspectacular $198,000 from 106. In Greece, “Machine” preemed on 14 screens to return $17,000 after three days. In Korea — where “Spidey” is holding court, the facts are a little more grim — 27 print release returned just $8,000 in three days. “Mean Machine’s” international cume is $7 million from six countries. New Line had some success over the weekend with “Blade II,” which opened at No. 1 in Sweden, grossing $148,000 from 23 screens in five days. In neighboring Finland pic dropped 58% in frame two but held top spot; cume there is $107,000 after eight days. Pic’s international cume is now $61 million.