‘Island,’ ‘Charlie’ keep WB atop o’seas

Solid offshore numbers keeps domestic dud afloat

Michael Bay’s “The Island” proved it’s no fluke as an overseas attraction, winning its second consecutive foreign box office title with $12.4 million at over 4,800 screens in 44 markets during the weekend.

Foreign moviegoers have spent $84.8 million to journey to “The Island,” continuing to contradict a dismal domestic performance that’s seen the high-priced sci-fi actioner already depart most U.S. sites with Stateside grosses closing out around $35 million.

“The Island” pattern — solid but not spectacular offshore results making up for disappointing domestic — was played out most recently by another big-budget entry, “Kingdom of Heaven,” which took in $163 million foreign and $47 million in the United States.

Warner, which is handling “The Island” overseas, reported its top performance came in a French launch with $3.4 million at 640 playdates, on par with “Constantine” and double the opening of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Its U.K. soph sesh declined 45% to $1.37 million at 412 while its third German frame also slid 45% to $859,500 at 725, lifting the Teuton cume to $6.79 million. 

“The Island” launched with $694,000 at 64 sites in Belgium, including sneaks, on par with “I, Robot.” And it remained impressive in South Korea, where its cloning theme has resonated, with $519,500 at 111, pushing the five-week cume to $20.47 million — fifth highest in that market for a Warner Bros. film after the first two “Harry Potter” pics, “Troy” and “The Matrix: Reloaded.”

As with the previous frame, Warner dominated foreign biz thanks to its one-two punch of “The Island” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” “Charlie” cooked up $9.5 million at over 3,500 screens in 37 markets, pushing its foreign total to $111.4 million and its worldwide cume to $304 million.

Despite warm weather in the U.K., “Charlie” remained tasty with its fourth consecutive first place finish with $3 million at 524 playdates, easily topping the launch of “Bewitched.” Blighty cume for Tim Burton’s “Willie Wonka” remake has hit $52.6 million, ranking “Charlie” as Warner’s fifth highest grosser in the U.K. after the three “Harry Potter” pics and “The Matrix: Reloaded.”

“Charlie” held well in soph seshes in Spain, dropping 27% to $1.1 million at 309 sites; in Germany, with a 38% decline to $1 million at 485; and in Hong Kong with a 37% slide to $405,000 at 41 to finish behind the launch of local entry “Drink Drank Drunk.”

BVI reported “Herbie: Fully Loaded” continued to find moderate foreign traction with $6.25 million. Pic has cumed $51.5 million offshore and should eclipse the $63 million domestic take by the end of its run.

Overall business generated lukewarm results with the highest three — “The Island,” “Charlie” and “Herbie” — combining for $28.5 million. During the same frame of 2004 — “King Arthur,” “The Village” and “Garfield” — the top trio combined for $6 million more.

Fox’s Spanish launch of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” shot up a healthy $5 million at 465 sites, grabbing 50% of the market. “Smith” has cumed $150 million offshore from Fox territories.

“Madagascar” took in $5 million at 3,358 playdates, led by $1.8 million in its Japanese soph sesh. The toon’s fourth German frame totalled $900,000, down 50%, while the fourth UK sesh grossed $850,000, off 26%, pushing respective cumes to $39 million and $37.5 million. Pic has totalled $266.2 million in foreign markets, lifting worldwide cume to $456 million. 

“Skeleton Key” expanded its foreign run to 1,400 playdates in 18 territories, performing best in  a German launch with $1.7 million at 297. Its Australian opening came in second to the soph sesh of  “Wedding Crashers” with $810,000 at 188 screens; its Austrian launch trailed “Sin City” with $180,000 at 51. “Key” has scared up $18 million offshore to go along with its $30 million Stateside take.

Sony’s “Bewitched” flew to moderate results with $3.7 million at 1,200 playdates, led by a second-place launch in the U.K. with $1.9 million at 408, on par with the opening  of director Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle.” “Bewitched” also debuted in first in Taiwan with $250,000 in 18 engagements in Taipei, representing about half the market in that territory.

BVI’s “Sin City” generated $2.8 million with half of that coming from its German soph sesh with $1.4 million, down 38%. The Robert Rodriguez fantasy actioner led in Austria with $226,000 at 64 in its second frame, also down 38%; “Sin” showed shorter legs in Spain, sliding 52% to $701,000 at 293 in its second frame. “Sin City” has cumed $40.3 million in BVI territories, topping $60 million offshore and $134 million worldwide.

UIP’s sturdy “War of the Worlds” declined 39% to $2.5 million offshore, led by $750,000 in Japan in its eighth weekend to lift that market’s cume to $51.3 million. “War” has totalled $338.2 million overseas and cumed $569 million worldwide.

Fox’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” was battling “Madagascar” in Japan for its seventh straight winning weekend with both pics estimated in the $1.8 million range. “Sith” has cumed over $67 million in Japan — its last market — and topped $446 million overseas and $825 million worldwide.

Sony’s launch of “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” generated only modest coin in a trio of Euro markets with $728,000 at 328 sites. Best results came from Holland with $300,000 at 86, 25% ahead of the original; response was more muted in Germany with $320,000 at 196 and in Austria with $110,000 at 46.

UIP’s “Unleashed” opened sixth in the U.K. with $850,000 at 268 playdates, lifting cume in four markets to $4.1 million; BVI’s “Dark Water” grossed $653,000 to hit $7 million overseas; “Land of the Dead” took in $600,000 at 550 in 24 markets to push its UIP total past $7 million.

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