‘Code’ not cracking overseas

Sony's thriller rakes in $52 mil abroad in third frame

International moviegoers remained faithful to “The Da Vinci Code,” as the third weekend of Sony’s thriller easily led a healthy foreign box office with $52 million at 11,625 playdates in 84 markets.

Fox’s second frame of “X-Men: The Last Stand” showed moderate traction overseas, declining 56% to $33.5 million at 8,108 engagements.

And Warner’s expansion of its pricey “Poseidon” landed with a decent but hardly blockbuster $22.9 million from more than 3,360 prints in 15 markets, ranking behind either “The Da Vinci Code” or “X-Men 3” in several key territories. Still, “Poseidon” posted the fifth best launch in 2006 after “Code,” “X-Men 3,” “Mission: Impossible III” and “Ice Age: The Meltdown.”

With the top three pics combining for $109 million, overall international biz handily outperformed the same weekend of 2005, when the third weekend of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” led with $38.5 million. But with soccer’s World Cup beginning Friday, foreign moviegoing’s expected to see major declines during the next four frames.

“The Da Vinci Code,” which declined 42% from its second frame, has shown far more power overseas than domestically on its way to racking up a worldwide cume of $582.7 million. International coin accounts for more than 70%, with overseas grosses totaling $410 million.

“Code” is certain to surpass Sony’s top foreign performers — “Spider-Man,” at $417.9 million, and “Spider-Man 2,” at $410.5 million — in the next two days. It’s already become the 21st pic to gross more than $400 million internationally.

“Code” performed best in Japan, with a 23% decline to $7 million at 857 screens, and in Italy, where it’s holding impressively with a 5% decline to $5.7 million at 894. Other major European markets saw more significant declines, with Germany down 54% to $5 million at 1,171, France off 53% to $3.6 million at 945, the U.K. down 60% to $3.6 million at 1,070 and Spain declining 41% to $3.5 million at 748.

“Code” also topped seven figures in Australia with $2 million at 493, Brazil with $2 million at 534, South Korea with $1.6 million at 221, Mexico with $1.6 million at 768 and Switzerland with $1.2 million at 127. Its only launch came in the United Arab Emirates with $690,000 at 34, the industry’s third-biggest opening ever.

“X-Men: The Last Stand” stayed solid on the foreign front, with a mostly better hold than its 67% decline Stateside. Foreign grosses for the comicbook sequel have totaled $135.5 million, or 44% of the $310 million worldwide cume.

“X-Men 3” performed best in the U.K., with a 67% decline to $4.4 million at 450; in France, which also declined 67% to $3.5 million at 756; in Mexico, with a 49% slide to $3 million at 1,000; in Germany, with a 59% fall to $2.3 million at 881; and in Australia, with a 58% decline to $2.1 million at 395.

The third “X-Men” should surpass the $139 million foreign cume of the original “X-Men” in a few days and looks likely to finish its international run in the same range as “X2: X-Men United,” which grossed $193 million overseas in 2003. Fox has held off launching “X-Men 3” in Japan, where it opens Sept. 9; China, opening July 20; South Korea, launching June 15; and Taiwan, opening June 17.

The weekend saw Warners achieve moderate results for “Poseidon” as it attempted to salvage a disappointing domestic performance. Top figures by far came from a first-place finish in action-friendly South Korea with $6.2 million at 255, followed by a more modest bow in Japan with $2.7 million at 415, ranking behind “The Da Vinci Code” and the fifth frame of local entry “Umizara 2.”

In the Seoul market, “Poseidon” outperformed “Day After Tomorrow” by 17% and “Constantine” by 28%.

“Poseidon” came in second in Mexico behind “X-Men 3” with $2.6 million at 504; third in the U.K. behind “Code” and “X-Men 3” with $2.4 million at 441; third in Italy with $2 million at 350; and third in Oz with $1.4 million at 302. It finished in first in its Hong Kong opening with $767,000 at 24 and in its soph sesh in Taiwan with $620,000 at 180.

Foreign gross for “Poseidon” has hit $34.1 million, while the worldwide cume is $85.2 million. It will launch later this month in France, Spain and Brazil and open in July in Germany after the World Cup.

“Over the Hedge” scored solidly in its foreign expansion with $6.7 million at 730 locations in nine markets — mostly from launches in Russia with $4 million at 321 and in South Korea with $2.1 million at 220. UIP plans staggered openings in coming weeks for “Hedge,” which has cumed $8.6 million outside the U.S.

UIP’s “Mission: Impossible III” declined 49% in its fifth frame to $6.6 million at 3,500 locations, led by South Korea with $1.5 million and the U.K. with $581,000. Foreign cume for “MI3” has hit $193.9 million, pushing its worldwide take to $316 million.

BVI’s “The Wild” put the bite on $3.5 million at 1,700, led by a British soph sesh of $1.3 million at 400 and a German launch of $1.2 million at 400, mostly from matinees. The kidtoon has grossed $43.2 million overseas, $8 million ahead of domestic.

UIP saw moderate returns in its first foreign markets for “United 93” with $2 million at 528 playdates, led by a fifth-place $1 million at 276 in the U.K. The 9/11 drama finished fourth in Germany with $710,000 at 195.

BVI’s “Scary Movie 4” added $1.1 million to push its foreign cume to $65.5 million. Sony’s first foreign launches of “RV” were mild, with a fifth-place bow in Australia with $745,000 at 182 and $225,000 at 100 in Italy.

Foreign biz will see a unique launch Tuesday when Fox opens its remake of “The Omen” in about 5,000 engagements, day-and-date with the domestic opening, to take full advantage of the 6-6-06 gimmick. BVI then opens “Cars” day-and-date next weekend in half a dozen foreign markets, including Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety