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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