'Borat' makes glorious o'seas bow
What’s the word for “boffo” in the Kazakh language?
Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” dominated international biz over the weekend thanks to a surprisingly strong launch with $17.7 million at 993 playdates in 17 markets.
Brit biz for “Borat” sizzled with $11.5 million at 426, as Fox cashed in on sky-high awareness, partly due to Cohen originating the Borat character on local television.
German moviegoers showed solid support with $2.6 million at 234, coming in a respectable second to local comedy sequel “Seven Dwarfs: The Forest Is Not Enough.”
“Borat” also led in Sweden with $668,000 at 39, in Holland with $649,000 at 54, in German-speaking Switzerland with $393,000 at 24 and in Denmark and Finland. It finished second in Belgium with $574,000 at 45 behind another Fox comedy, “The Devil Wears Prada.”
As in the United States, Fox took a somewhat cautious approach in the number of international bookings for the oddball comedy, which delivered socko per-screen averages.
“Borat” is due to open next weekend in Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, followed by France and Spain the following weekend, and then Australia on Nov. 23 in conjunction with a Cohen junket. It was recently banned in Russia; a Fox exec said Sunday that he wasn’t aware of plans to launch in Kazakhstan, where the government has objected to the pic.
Fox delivered a one-two punch in foreign biz with “The Devil Wears Prada,” which had won four weekends in a row. “Devil” turned in a respectable $11 million at 6,600, thanks again to strong holdovers such as its fourth frame in Germany with $2.3 million at 608, down only 20%, and its fourth Italian weekend with $1.4 million at 434, down 26%.
“Devil” also led in South Korea in its soph sesh, with $1.3 million at 222, and saw biz jump 14% in its second Belgian frame to $731,000 at 60. The fashionista tale has pushed its foreign cume past $151 million and worldwide total to more than $276 million.
Warner Bros. reported Japanese sequel “Death Note: The Last Name” dominated that territory with Shusuke Kaneko’s thriller grossing $10.3 million at 362, 88% above predecessor “Death Note.”
Overall international biz was moderate and in line with the same frame of 2005, when the second frame of “The Legend of Zorro” led with $17.5 million.
Family audiences maintained respectable support for Sony’s “Open Season” with $8.2 million at 3,195 in 41 markets, lifting overall foreign biz past $52 million. French holdover biz was exceptional, with a 1% decline in its third frame to $2.7 million at 623.
Star power continued to help “The Departed” remain a draw in foreign markets with $7.3 million in 30 markets, leading in Italy in its soph sesh with $2.2 million at 425, up 8%. The drama also led in Spain in its second weekend with $1.9 million at 371, topping Fox’s opening of Russell Crowe drama “A Good Year” with $1.3 million at 300.
“The Departed” has now hit $49 million in foreign grosses and $151 million worldwide.
“Saw III” also scared up significant foreign biz at $7 million, led by a decent second frame in the U.K. with $2.6 million and a solid Australian opening with $1.95 million at 208. The Brazilian launch dominated with $1.2 million at 200, taking in as much as the next five pics combined; Argentina also saw similar domination with $300,000 at 40, matching the combined grosses of the next nine.
Germany’s “Seven Dwarfs” sequel stayed solid in German-speaking Europe for UIP with $6.5 million at 975, led by $5.3 million in Germany and pushing the 11-day cume to $19 million.
Warner’s “Flags of Our Fathers” stayed moderate in eight markets with $3.2 million, led by Japan’s second frame of $1.2 million at 385, down 23%, and the French soph sesh with $891,000 at 430, down 44%. It opened in third place in Oz with $574,000 at 214 and posted the best Taiwanese launch for a Clint Eastwood film with $574,000 at 62.
“Flags” posted a moderate launch in Australia with $390,000 at 196 in its first three days through Saturday.
“The Prestige” led in its Mexican opening with $200,000 at 230 in its first day on Friday. Pic conjured up middling numbers with $3.3 million in 11 markets, launching in South Korea with $1.1 million at 120 behind “The Devil Wears Prada.” It opened in first in Mexico with $978,000 at 250.
UIP’s day-and-date launch of “Flushed Away” turned up decent figures with $2.8 million at 493, led by $2.1 million at 334 in Russia, four times better than the opening of “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”
Two other UIP toons contributed, with “Barnyard” grossing $2.6 million at 1,872 and “Over the Hedge” with $2 million at 702, pushing the foreign total to nearly $175 million.
UIP’s “World Trade Center” took in $2.4 million at 1,674, lifting the foreign total to $82 million and worldwide grosses to $152 million. Japan has been by far the best offshore market, with $17.4 million in its first three days through Saturday; its second frame in the U.K. scored $1 million on Friday, off 45%.
“The Guardian,” still in its early stages of foreign release for BVI, took in $2.7 million at 2,134 in two dozen markets, pushing the international cume past $20 million.