Oscar noms help pic pull in $13.3 mil

Boosted by a quintet of Oscar nominations, Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” easily led the foreign box office for the second straight weekend, collecting $13.3 million from 3,400 playdates in 40 markets.

In a sign that UIP’s “Munich” has some traction, the thriller managed to post decent holdover numbers in key European markets. After two weekends, international cume has totaled $34.3 million and should pass the U.S. total in another week.

“Munich” generated its top figure in the U.K. with $1.6 million, down 25%, and in France with $1.57 million, down 40% amid a large launch for local comedy “Les Bronzes 3.” German biz declined only 17% to $1.4 million while Spanish takings slid 24% to $1.26 million and Italian gross was down 31% to $1.15 million.

“Munich” opened moderately in Japan with $1.41 million at 248 engagements, 17% below “A Beautiful Mind.” The Norwegian launch generated $400,000 at 35 while Greece pulled in $250,000 at 50.

Foreign takings for “Munich” are certain to far surpass the pic’s relatively modest domestic biz, currently at $43 million, and duplicate the usual trend of Spielberg-directed films. His “War of the Worlds” took in $357 million internationally and $234 million in the U.S.; “The Terminal” topped $140 million offshore, compared with $77 million Stateside.

“Memoirs of a Geisha” followed the same pattern as “Munich,” taking advantage of half a dozen Oscar noms to finish in the second slot overseas with $9 million at about 2,500 playdates in 29 territories. “Geisha,” owned by Spyglass internationally, has now hit nearly $62 million overseas to eclipse domestic cume by $6 million.

“Geisha” posted its top figures with a solid South Korean launch of $2.5 million at 152 screens, finishing third behind a pair of local entries, and its third frame in Spain with $1.8 million.

Fox Intl. also took advantage of five Oscar noms to launch “Walk the Line” in 23 foreign markets with about $8 million, scoring first-place finishes in Australia with $2.03 million at 249 and in the U.K. with $1.96 million at 200. “Walk” opened in third in Germany with $1.4 million at 181 but found tricky footing in Spain with $454,000 at 205 and in Mexico with $247,00 at 150.

Overall foreign biz for the first February frame was typically moderate and similar to the same frame of 2005, when “Meet the Fockers” led with $15.9 million followed by “Ocean’s Twelve” with $11.2 million.

BVI’s sturdy pair of family favorites — “Chicken Little” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — remained decent draws with “Little” taking $7.6 million at 2,804 playdates in 34 markets and “Narnia” conjuring up $6 million at 5,045 sites in 50 territories.

“Little” was biggest in its German soph sesh with $2.7 million at 809, down 15%, and in Sweden with a $1.1 million launch at 139, pushing its foreign cume to $139 million. “Narnia” remained in first in Argentina and Chile after five weeks and has hit $366 million internationally and $648 million worldwide.

Sony continued to score with Jim Carrey’s “Fun With Dick and Jane” with $6.2 million at 2,500 sites in 40 markets, led by its third U.K. frame with $1.6 million at 377 and its Italian soph sesh with $1.4 million at 330. The laffer’s offshore total has hit $52.8 million and the “Fun” worldwide cume is more than $161 million.

Fox’s “Big Momma’s House 2″ also tickled foreign funnybones with $4.6 million at 1,259 playdates in eight markets, mostly from soph seshes of $1.7 million at 300 in Spain and $1.1 million at 438 in Mexico.

BVI generated notable launch numbers overseas for “Bambi II”, which released on homevid domestically, with $3.8 million, including $2.2 million at 600 in France — comparable to “Toy Story” — $600,000 at 200 in Spain and $400,000 at 150 in Italy. Sony also aimed at family audiences with “Zathura,” which grossed $3.5 million at 1,580 with its best results in the U.K. launch with $1.8 million at 407.

BVI saw “Flightplan” continue its solid Japanese perf, dipping 24% to $3.2 million for an $11.9 million market cume and $119 million offshore total.

UIP’s “Nanny McPhee” grossed $3 million at 950 in seven markets, including a $1.6 million German launch, to boost the foreign cume to $39.3 million. Distrib’s “King Kong” has nearly run out of gas with $1.5 million at 1,100 in 48 territories for a 54-day foreign total of $321.5 million. 

UIP’s “Pride & Prejudice” opened in third in Italy with $1.2 million at 176 and took in another $1.2 million from two dozen other markets for a $57 million foreign cume. And Oscar front-runner “Brokeback Mountain” remained a solid player in fifth place in Spain with $950,000 at 166 for a three-week cume of $4.7 million. 

BVI’s “Derailed” stayed on track in its U.K. launch in fourth with $1.7 million at 318 sites. UIP’s “Jarhead” remained mostly under the radar with $1 million at 1,000 in 23 markets to raise the foreign cume to $25.8 million.

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