Int'l auds caught in his web
This article was updated at 9:59 p.m.
It’s Spider-Man’s world, but there’s still plenty of room for Shrek and Michael Moore.
Sony’s superhero sequel “Spider-Man 2” spun $53 million overseas from 5,754 prints in 50 territories, lifting international cume to $115.7 million after a dozen days. That was $9 million ahead of “Shrek 2” and well ahead of the original “Spider-Man” at the same point of its run, with an array of key territories — the U.K., France, Spain, Belgium, Holland — all due to open next weekend.
As for “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the Bush-bashing doc bowed impressively in its first foreign rollouts, with an estimated $2.85 million in its first five days in France on 220 prints and $925,000 in its first two days (Friday and Saturday) at 131 U.K. sites.
“There has never been anything like this performance for a subtitled documentary,” said Stephane Celerier, managing director of StudioCanal subsid Mars Distribution.
“Fahrenheit” sold half a million French tickets in its first five days, including 39,000 on Saturday at 38 Paris venues. In the U.K., Moore’s docu looked likely to finish third for the weekend behind “Shrek 2” and “Around the World in 80 Days.”
“Spider-Man 2” posted the 11th largest opening ever in Japan with $12.6 million at 700 sites — up 15% from the original. Sony execs hope the looming period of school vacations from July 20 to late August will help fuel the Spidey fire.
“We’re very encouraged at this point, both from running ahead of the original and from the anticipation in the new markets next weekend,” said Mark Zucker, senior veep of Columbia TriStar Film Distributors Intl.
In Germany, pic webbed a strong $9.4 million opening at 1,164 venues, marking the second-biggest debut this year after “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Scandinavia saw solid openings with $1.64 million at 133 sites in Sweden, the ninth biggest opener ever; Denmark with $1.44 million at 96 locations, 80% higher than “Spider-Man”; Norway with $1.36 million at 84 screens, No. 6 on the all-time list; and Finland with $610,000 at 60 sites, the biggest opening of 2004.
Switzerland saw the ninth biggest opening ever in that market, with $1.64 million at 133 screens, while Austria’s opening of $1.26 million at 140 was the second highest of this year. South Africa’s debut for “Spider-Man 2” totaled $845,000 at 102 venues, marking the second-biggest opener of all time.
Holdover business for the web-slinger stayed solid, with Korean receipts down 32% in the soph sesh to $2.7 million for a cume of $10.2 million; Brazil biz down 18% to $2.5 million for a $7.7 million total; and Australia sliding 36% to $3.2 million for a cume of $11.5 million.
“Spider-Man 2” has already eclipsed the total cume of “Spider-Man” in three territories — the Philippines, where it reached the milestone in a week and has cumed $3.5 million; Russia, where it needed six days to top the original; and Thailand, where the sequel crossed the mark in 11 days.
“Shrek 2,” DreamWorks’ ogre sequel, also showed impressive legs with $44 million in more than 30 markets to lift international cume to $250 million. In its second weekend in Blighty, it took in $12 million, while its soph seshes in Germany and Spain totaled $6 million and $5 million, respectively, and its third weekend in France grossed $5.5 million.
The U.K. cume for “Shrek 2” has hit $51 million, while France is at $32 million, Germany $18 million and Spain $19 million.
Aussie cume for “Shrek 2” has hit $30 million, surpassing “Finding Nemo” and making the sequel the highest-grossing animated film in that marketplace.
Still showing impressive international legs, Warner’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” passed the $400 million milestone with a $20.3 million weekend at more than 6,700 sites in 51 countries. Weekend-to-weekend decline was just 22.5%.
The third edition in the Hogwarts saga opened with $1.4 million from 76 screens in Hong Kong, surpassing its predecessors by 7% for the first and 20% for the second. In Japan, “Azkaban” posted a solid third weekend with $8.9 million at 757 screens for a cume of $53.6 million.
BVI reported strong openings for toon “Home on the Range” in Brazil with $250,000 and Argentina with $120,000; execs noted the numbers are impressive due to the battering of local currencies. Brazil’s debut was on par with other Mouse House toons such as “Pocahontas,” “Hercules” and “Atlantis”; Argentina debut compared favorably with those of “Lilo & Stitch” and “Mulan.”
(Alison James contributed to this report.)