Fox's medieval epic takes in $88.9 mil in foreign coin in 10 days
“Kingdom of Heaven” remained a dominant ruler internationally with a solid but not spectacular $27.2 million at 6,700 playdates in 98 territories during the Friday-Sunday frame.In a performance that resembled the launch weekend, offshore total for Ridley Scott’s Crusades spectacle again nearly tripled the domestic gross. “Kingdom” saw its soph sesh offshore grosses decline by 49% from its opening weekend. Fox’s medieval epic has taken in $88.9 million in foreign coin in its first 10 days, pushing worldwide gross to $124 million. Rival distribs again held off on launching new entries, shying away from both “Kingdom” and the prospect of going up against what’s expected to be a massive opening this week for Fox’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.” Belgium and France will see the first “Star Wars” showings with their traditional Wednesday openings; other markets will launch Thursday, Friday and Saturday, except for South Korea (May 26) and Japan (July 9). “Kingdom of Heaven” generated decent results from its sole launch in Japan with $2.4 million at 492 playdates. It posted acceptable holds in most key markets, indicating it’s likely to retain respectable traction in coming weeks, even amid the “Star Wars” frenzy. However, it’s unlikely to finish anywhere near $200 million in foreign gross by the end of its run. In its biggest foreign market, “Kingdom” declined 46% in Germany to $3.4 million at 848 engagements, pushing that market’s cume to $11.3 million. U.K. biz declined 40% to $2.9 million at 446 for a $10 million Blighty total. “Kingdom” was in a close race for first place with the Jane Fonda-Jennifer Lopez comedy “Monster-in-Law,” which staged its only overseas launch in the U.K. Spanish moviegoers showed solid support for “Kingdom” with a 33% drop to $3.3 million at 435 screens for a $9.5 million cume, while South Korean biz slid only 3% to $1.5 million at 289 to push that territory’s total to $6.4 million. Mexican takings declined 30% to $1.5 million at 602 for a $5.3 million cume; Australia was off 32% to $1.4 million at 362 to a $4.1 million total. “Kingdom” topped $1 million in Brazil, France, Italy and Russia and led in nearly all markets. The pic has generated noticeable biz in markets with Muslim populations such as Indonesia, with $110,000 at 45 sites for a $373,000 total, and in the United Arab Emirates, which saw a 55% slide to $345,000 at 33 engagements for a two-week cume of $1.2 million. Though the “Kingdom” worldwide takings were solid, exhibitors clearly are counting on “Star Wars” to kickstart business in light of potential for early summer biz. Overall foreign box office badly trailed the same weekend last year, when “Troy” launched with $54.7 million at 6,722 playdates in 47 markets and the second frame of “Van Helsing” took in $23 million at 4,876 screens in 38 countries. Holdover “XXX: State of the Union” faded fast in its third weekend, with $3.5 million at 3,650 engagements in 64 markets for a $36.6 million foreign cume. The sequel slid 51% in the U.K. to $515,000 at 355 for a $4.6 million Blighty take; it plunged 67% in Germany to $340,000 at 574 sites for a $3.1 million cume. By contrast, BVI’s limited launch of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” remained impressive with $3.1 million at 740 playdates. The three-week cume has hit $23 million in five territories; $16.7 million of that has come from U.K. audiences, thanks to the popularity of Douglas Adams’ comic sci-fi novel in that market. BVI’s “The Pacifier” continued to play out with $3.3 million at 2,472 engagements in 31 markets for a foreign total of $53.5 million, with the U.K., France and Japan yet to open. The Vin Diesel comedy launched in Brazil with $260,000 at 135 sites. UIP’s “The Interpreter,” which has been in lockstep with “The Pacifier” in terms of foreign performance, took in $3 million at 1,950 playdates in 30 territories, lifting total foreign takings to $54.5 million. Best performance has come in the U.K. with $600,000 at 300 sites, down 37%, for a $12.4 million cume after 31 days that matches “The Bourne Identity.” Germany, which has cumed $7.3 million, posted a 48% decline to $852,000 to 378 due to holidays in the previous frame. Spanish results for “The Interpreter” declined 23% to $370,000 at 193 for a 31-day cume of $6.3 million, which has surpassed both “Bourne” pics. Australia saw a 26% decline to $300,000 at 178 for a $4.9 million cume. UIP reported “Unleashed” opened in Germany in second with a moderate $1.1 million at 346 playdates.