'Troy' supreme as 'Shrek' girds for battle
Demonstrating more firepower abroad than at home, “Troy’s” flag flew atop the B.O. in 55 markets last weekend.
Meanwhile, “Shrek 2” ruled in five Asian territories and the Cannes fest proved a good launching pad for “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Bad Education.”
Trojan War epic captured an estimated $71 million on a massive 10,272 screens in 58 markets, marking the industry’s sixth biggest weekend ever and the studio’s third best behind the last two “Matrix” installments. Its international cume soared to $146.9 million, leaving domestic’s $86 million in its wake.
“Troy” is a sure bet to sail to $250 million but whether or not it reaches $300 million will depend on how it stands up to “The Day After Tomorrow,” which launches this weekend day-and-date on 8,234 prints in 100 countries, blanketing the world except Japan and South Korea.
Brad Pitt/Eric Bana starrer “Troy” seized pole position as it marched into 11 markets and it was No. 1 again in its soph sessions in 44 out of 47 territories.
No Pitt stop
Pic, helmed by Wolfgang Petersen, commanded $10.9 million from 506 locations in the U.K. (including $4.3 million in sneaks), the territory’s biggest debut this year and Warners’ fifth highest.
Japan delivered an impressive $6.1 million on 568 screens, with previews, although, sans sneaks, 8% below “The Last Samurai.” Italy registered $6.3 million on 822 (WB’s fourth highest three-day preem) and South Korea stumped up $4.6 million on 305 (the distrib’s third biggest).
“Troy” posted the industry’s fifth biggest bow in Russia ($3.4 million on 230), No. 4 of all time in Taiwan ($2.6 million on 240, with sneaks) and the best for an R-rated release in Denmark ($1.5 million on 78, also including previews).
Adaptation of Homer’s epic held tenaciously in its second voyages, banking $19.7 million so far in Germany, down 9%; $10.6 million in France, slipping 9%; and $12.5 million in Spain, off 31%. Other stellar hauls include Australia’s $9.1 million (declining by 35%), Mexico’s $8.5 million (retreating by 25%), and Brazil’s $4.2 million.
Ogre gobbles Asia
Unleashed on Friday, “Shrek 2” gobbled up $646,000 on 37 in Hong Kong, $552,000 on 26 in Singapore, $353,000 on 81 in the Philippines, $350,000 on 67 in Thailand and $170,000 on 31 in Malaysia.
The sequel more than doubled the original’s first three days in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, and it beat “Finding Nemo’s” three-day bows in Singapore and the Philippines. UIP is holding “Shrek 2” in the rest of the world until late June/early July for the school vacations.
“Van Helsing” dropped by an average of 40% in its third stanza abroad, minting $15.6 million from 4,847 playdates in 41 countries, elevating cume to $119.2 million.
Arguably the action-adventure had less to lose after worrying 55% plunges in its second weekend. It has a shot at hitting $200 million if it clicks in Japan and South Korea.
Hugh Jackman/Kate Beckinsale starrer has mustered $22.2 million in the U.K. (off 35% at the weekend), $15.2 million in Germany (down 29%), $9.6 million in Spain (losing 44%), $7.7 million Down Under (shedding 33%) and $6.9 million in Mexico (abating by 29%).
Cannes pix stick
Director Pedro Almodovar’s “Bad Education” fetched a terrif $350,000 on just 44 screens in the U.K. and fell by a mild 22% in its second turn in France, tallying $3.6 million.
Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries” motored into Italy with a handy $677,000 on 210.
After its Cannes preem, “The Ladykillers” drew a solid $1 million on 208 in Spain, positioned as an upscale alternative to the popcorn fare. But the Tom Hanks starrer took a soft $701,000 on 140 in Japan, where the Coen brothers have never caught on.
“Kill Bill Vol. 2” climbed to $64.3 million in 34 territories, overtaking domestic, driven by France’s $3.8 million in seven days. However Quentin Tarantino’s pic grossed a tame $337,000 on 145 in Mexico, where the first edition didn’t work and auds shy away from overtly violent themes.
It’s pocketed a nifty $15.4 million through its fourth chapter in Blighty, although tracking 25% below the predecessor.
Nearing the end of its pilgrimage, “The Passion of the Christ” levitated to $234.1 million, including Italy’s $27.1 million, the U.K.’s $20.5 million and Japan’s $9.7 million.
In Japan, local click “Crying Out for Love in the Center of the World” showed excellent stamina despite “Troy’s” invasion, wooing $4.7 million in its third sojourn (off 8%), spurring its total to $24.7 million.
In Germany, spoof “Der Wixxer” was a hoot, grabbing $3.4 million on 426.