‘Zorro’ makes mark

Pic wins o'seas B.O., doubles domestic cume

“The Legend of Zorro,” showing far more traction overseas than domestically, dominated the foreign box office for the second straight weekend with $17.5 million at 6,150 playdates in 60 markets.

The “Zorro” sequel, handled by Sony and Spyglass overseas, has cumed $60 million in foreign theaters — double the 10-day domestic performance. The offshore perf looks likely to be the main engine for revenues in coming weeks but the pic is unlikely to approach the $240 million worldwide taken in by “The Mask of Zorro” seven years ago.

“The Legend of Zorro” turned in its top performance in France with $2.5 million at 678 screens, sliding 57% from its launch frame, followed by $1.9 million at 542 in Spain for a 43% soph sesh decline. French cume is by far the largest foreign total with $10.8 million followed by Spain with $7.4 million.

Germany fell just 20% in its second frame to $1.4 million at 679 engagements while the U.K. declined 48% to $1.1 million at 480. “Zorro” opened in second in the UAE with $365,000 at 24 sites and in Kuwait with $215,000 at eight, trailing local title “Safara Film Amara” in both markets.

As usual, family fare took in the lion’s share of the overall biz, led by holdovers “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” and “Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit” both topping $8 million. And BVI’s limited day-and-date launch of “Chicken Little” came up relatively big with $5.54 million at 900 playdates in nine markets.

Warner’s “Corpse Bride” showed notable life with $8.9 million at 2,700 prints in 37 markets to push its foreign cume to $44.8 million and its worldwide total to $98 million.

Best “Corpse” perfs came its Italian soph sesh with $1.4 million at 220, up 12%, its third French frame with $1.2 million at 439 and its South Korean launch with $1.2 million at 105. Toon’s opening came in second in Thailand with $146,000 at 60 behind the “Lord of War” launch.

“Wallace & Gromit” remained a solid player with $8 million at 4,200 locations in 42 markets, lifting the foreign take to $107 million and worldwide total to $160 million. The claymation comedy stayed impressive in its U.K. home turf with $2.5 million at 512 in its fourth frame to push the Blighty cume past $50 million.

“Wallace” also launched in second in South Korea with $1 million at 200, 10% ahead of “Chicken Run,” and in Denmark with $190,000.

“Chicken Little” bagged well over half its foreign take in Mexico with a first-place $3.1 million at 600, representing the sixth largest opening ever for an animated film in that market. Its Russian opening of $1.1 million at 185 was the largest ever for a BVI animated entry in that market, topping “The Incredibles” by 15%.

“Chicken Little” played big in Malaysia with $477,000 at 60 playdates, grabbing 60% of the market, and in Taiwan with $450,000 at 18. The toon opens next weekend in half a dozen markets including Belgium, Brazil and Poland. 

BVI’s “Flightplan” was the biggest non-family pic offshore with $6.5 million at 1,884 sites, led by a German third frame of $2.2 million at 659, down only 19%, and an Italian launch in first with $2 million at 320, equaling the opening of “Ransom.” “Flightplan,” which has cumed $41 million overseas and $125 million worldwide, will expand to Australia, France, Spain and 10 other markets next weekend.

UIP’s comedy-drama “Elizabethtown,” which disappointed domestically, launched moderately overseas with $6 million at 1,700 playdates in 16 markets. Top figures came from the U.K. with $1.2 million at 317, Italy with $1 million at 165, Germany with $950,000 at 240 and Australia with $810,000 at 200.

With half a dozen films topping $5 million, overall biz easily outdistanced the same weekend of 2004 when German spoof “Seven Dwarfs” led with $10.6 million, followed by “Shark Tale” with $10.4 million and “Shall We Dance” with $9.8 million.

UIP’s “Doom” scared up $4 million at 1,150 sites in 28 markets, led by $756,000 at 290 in its second German frame. Distrib’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” scored $3.3 million at 1,354, led by a mild Spanish launch in seventh with $918,000 at 222, and pushed its offshore total to $47 million.

UIP’s third weekend of “Nanny McPhee” finished first in the U.K. just ahead of “Wallace & Gromit” with $2.6 million at 414 engagements for an 18-day cume of $22.1 million. And UIP’s “Pride and Prejudice,” which will open Stateside next weekend, took in $1.9 million at 841 in eight territories for a foreign cume of $37.3 million including $25.6 million in the U.K. after two months.

Fox reported a modest Spanish launch for “Into the Blue” with $907,000 at 275 sites and in Belgium with $232,000 at 32. Its foreign openings of “Stay” generated little interest with $164,000 at 61 in South Korea and $143,000 at 119 in Australia.

Warner’s sturdy “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” crossed $261 million in foreign box office. UIP’s “The Interpreter” cleared $88 million to date, thanks to $4 million in 10 days in Italy, its final market.

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