‘Chocolate’ sweetens its o’seas B.O.

'Charlie' cume is $155.7 mil int'l, $357 mil worldwide

A correction was made to this article on September 12, 2005.

Family fare remained dominant at the foreign box office with Warner’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” easily winning a moderate weekend with $11.3 million from 4,100 prints in 49 countries, followed by UIP’s long-running kid fave “Madagascar” with $7.5 million.

UIP’s “Red Eye” scared up $5.5 million in third with a $1.2 million launch in Germany and a $1.15 million soph sesh in the U.K. And BVI’s foreign launch of “Cinderella Man” scored respectably in fourth with $5.1 million at 1,650 playdates but landed no knockout punches in its 11 markets.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” tasted first place for the third time, more than a month after winning back-to-back weekends in late July and early August. The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp comedy opened solidly in first in Japan with $4.3 million at 338 sites to take 33% of the top five and lead local entries “Nana” and “Suspect: Muroi Shinji” — 42% better than “Lilo & Stitch” and 94% ahead of “The Incredibles.”

“Charlie” also launched well in New Zealand with $875,000 at 80 engagements, eating up more than 70% of the top five pics and beating “Finding Nemo” by 21%. Its Australian soph sesh held decently with a 41% drop to $3.1 million at 463, and its seventh U.K. frame declined only 15% to $986,000 at 496.

“Charlie” has cumed $155.7 million overseas — including $62.8 million from the U.K. — and $357 million worldwide.

“Madagascar,” which won the previous frame, performed best in Italy with the second frame declining only 30% to $4.3 million. Sweden’s soph sesh dropped just 25% to $525,000. Toon has cumed $305 million internationally, joining “War of the Worlds” and “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” as the only films this year to cross the $300 million mark outside the U.S. — a feat that had been achieved by seven films at this point last year.

Overall business was typically mild for a September weekend as the top three pics — “Charlie,” “Madagascar” and “Red Eye” — combined for $24.3 million. During the same frame last year, the top three (“The Village,” “The Terminal” and “The Bourne Supremacy”) totaled $32.7 million.

BVI execs said they were generally enthused by foreign returns for “Cinderella Man,” which generated a lukewarm $61 million in its domestic run despite the star power of Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger and pedigree as a potential awards season contender.

Boxer pic generated figures during the frame that were similar to this year’s offshore launch of same-sport “Million Dollar Baby.” “We’re anticipating a slow build that will be helped by strong word of mouth,” said VP David Kornblum.

“Cinderella Man” turned in its best perf in the U.K. with $1.4 million at 400 playdates, on par with “Million Dollar Baby” and slightly behind “Shall We Dance.” In Spain and Italy, it grossed $1 million in each at 265 and 250 sites, respectively, similar to “Million Dollar Baby”; in Mexico, “Cinderella Man” took in $702,000 at 275, three times better than the launch of “Master and Commander.”

But “Cinderella Man” fell flat in Germany with only $290,000, possibly due in part to its negative portrayal of German champ Max Baer. Pic will launch next weekend in France, Japan and 14 other markets.

Sony’s “Bewitched” remained respectable with $4.8 million at 2,375 playdates in 41 markets as the comedy led in Germany, falling only 10% to $1.3 million at 614 in its second weekend. Foreign cume’s $41.1 million and pushed worldwide grosses to $103 million.

Warner’s “The Island” grossed $3.2 million at more than 2,000 screens in its seventh weekend overseas, boosting the surprisingly strong foreign cume to $117.3 million.

Sony saw a first-place finish in the U.K. with “The Longest Yard” with $2.17 million at 381, pushing the offshore cume to $20.8 million in 30 markets. It edged UIP’s soph sesh of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” with $2 million, representing a decline of just 7% and pushing the U.K. cume to $6.7 million.

UIP’s “The Skeleton Key” conjured up $2.5 million at 1,575 playdates to push foreign cume to $32 million. Best perf came from Mexico with $853,000 in its soph sesh; Italian launch materialized a so-so $300,000 at 113.

Miramax’s “Brothers Grimm,” which has taken in $33 million Stateside, opened in Spain in first with $1.35 million at 300 and added $850,000 at 300 Mexican screens. Miramax Intl. exec VP Jere Hausfater said the shingle, which has sold off most foreign markets, expects overseas performance should be stronger than domestic due to pic’s international feel.

BVI’s “Herbie: Fully Loaded” took in another $2 million at 3,359 sites to push its foreign gross past $70 million. UIP’s “Land of the Dead” scared up $1.7 million at 750 to cume $16 million offshore.

Fox’s “Transporter 2” opened in Russia with $705,000 at 164, and its “Fever Pitch,” renamed “Perfect Catch,” launched quietly in Australia with $397,000 at 183. Sony’s “Stealth,” reflecting its title, generated only mild interest in Oz with $675,000 at 215 screens to lift foreign cume to $22 million.

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