DreamWorks’ ogre and Sony’s superhero divided and conquered the world over the weekend, with “Shrek 2” smashing UIP records in Europe and “Spider-Man 2” winning in Asia, Latin America and Australia.
While the Spidey sequel set industry benchmarks in Asia and most Latino markets, it opened below the first installment in Mexico and Oz. However, Sony is confident the second edition will quickly outpace the original in both markets, with the benefit of school vacations.
“Spider-Man 2” conjured $43 million from 4,138 prints in 28 territories, in aggregate 9% bigger than the first Spidey’s entries in those markets.
Nonetheless, a still buoyant “Shrek 2” gave the webslinger a run for its money in some territories, harvesting an estimated $78.7 million from roughly 4,700 screens in 30 markets, repping the eighth biggest weekend internationally.
The toon’s cume rocketed to $176.4 million, tracking a whopping 201% ahead of the original at the comparable stage of their international rollouts. That points to an eventual tally well north of $400 million for the follow-up. How close it gets to $500 million will be determined largely by its perf in Japan, where it bows July 24.
Family pic voiced by Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz set new highs for UIP in the U.K., Spain, Holland, Poland (also an industry record) and Israel. Its German preem ranked as the distrib’s sixth biggest locally, more a commentary on a long-ailing market than on the film’s merits.
Subversive fairy tale rang up $29.6 million on 512 screens in Blighty, including $10.2 million in previews: Excluding sneaks, that was the territory’s highest weekend ever, beating “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” and 194% bigger than “Shrek.”
It fetched $9.6 million on 478 in Spain, $8.8 million on 889 in Germany, $2.4 million in Poland, $2 million in Holland (also a toon record, topping “Finding Nemo”), $1.1 million in Austria, $762,000 in Hungary and $654,00 in Israel.
In its soph sessions, “Shrek 2” drew $8.5 million in France, easing by a trifling 14%, boosting the market total to a socko $23.6 million; and $1.1 million in Belgium, slipping just 9%, for a local cume of $3 million.
With a $43 million weekend, “We couldn’t be in better shape,” Columbia TriStar Intl. senior exec VP Mark Zucker said Monday. The exec said he’s sure the sequel will wind up doing “a whole lot better” than the original, which earned $418 million internationally.
Sam Raimi-helmed adventure drummed up $6.6 million on 873 in Mexico, the industry’s third highest debut, trailing the bows of “Shrek 2” and 10% below “Spider-Man.”
Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst starrer garnered $6 million in five days on 441 in Oz, 33% below the original. It was squeezed somewhat by the ogre, which devoured $3.7 million in its third stanza, bringing “Shrek 2’s” total to a phenom $24.3 million.
“Spider-Man 2” captured $5.6 million in South Korea (double the first Spidey) and $3.3 million in Russia (250% bigger). Sony claimed numerous industry records for the pic, including Taiwan’s $3.6 million, Brazil’s $3.1 million, the Philippines’ $2.4 million, Hong Kong’s $2 million (with sneaks), Thailand’s $1.9 million, Central America’s $1.55 million, Singapore’s $1.5 million, Malaysia’s $1.3 million and Colombia’s $914,000 (including previews).
Among other stellar preems were Turkey’s $720,000, Argentina’s $686,000 (although fractionally below the original), Peru’s $638,000 (No. 1 of all time), United Arab Emirates’ $588,000 (the market’s second best opening behind, of all things, “The Passion of the Christ”), Indonesia’s $576,000 and Chile’s $542,000.
‘Harry Potter’ hanging tough
Still exerting a magical hold on the B.0., “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” minted an estimated $26.2 million from more than 8,460 screens in 50 countries, down just 36% from the prior weekend, propelling cume to $369.4 million.
The Hogwarts saga reigned again in Japan, abating a mere 14% to muster $11.5 million and drive the territory total to $38.2 million.
“The Day After Tomorrow” isn’t done yet, advancing to $321.6 million after snaring $8.8 million at the weekend.
In its eighth frame abroad, “Troy” trapped $4.4 million, pushing its cume to $337.6 million.
In its first offshore engagement, Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” was sneaked Sunday in the U.K., pocketing a promising $234,000 at 94 situations ahead of its nationwide preem this Friday.