‘Prada’ battles horror, toons for top spot

'Season' takes No. 2 in the overseas charts

“The Devil Wears Prada” continues to dominate foreign B.O. — an anomaly for an American comedy that skews toward women — adding $16.7 million at 4,400 playdates overseas.

Fox’s “Prada” has been buoying Hollywood’s perf at the foreign wickets this season, amid heated competish from a raft of local midlevel budgeted productions that are holding tight on the foreign charts.

“Prada” has hit $130 million overseas to date, passing $255 million worldwide.

Fashionista saga posted its best mark over the latest frame in South Korea, strutting to No. 1 and taking in $2.9 million at 241 engagements. It also opened impressively in Belgium with $807,000 at 60.

Holdovers have also been key for the pic.

In the U.K., the Fox pic slipped just 34% in its fourth frame en route to a total of $22,181,386. Exhibs report the pic is now playing well as a date movie.

But “Prada” was felled by Lionsgate U.K.’s horrorfest “Saw III,” which also dominated the U.S. charts over the frame.

“Saw” hacked off $4.7 million, at 373, in its impressive bow.

Pic posted the best screen average of any current pic, and scared into submission”Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” (down 86% in third frame) and “The Grudge 2” (down 55% in its soph sesh).

“Saw” followed up on its big bow with a boffo Halloween haul of $938,156, way ahead of closest rivals “The Departed” ($259,714) and “Prada” ($252,924).

Also in Blighty, UIP’s “Step Up” took the weekend’s second spot with $2,307,210 at 307, including $396,199 in previews.

Bookers report the pic played well with teen auds on holiday who consider themselves too grown up for animated pics “Barnyard” and “Open Season.”

Bookers also say the pic benefited from a good campaign by UIP.

Martin Scorsese’s starry cop drama “Departed” kept up its strong showing in the U.K., like “Prada,” slipping just 29% in its fourth frame. It has now scored more than $19.3 million.

Not having as much luck, Fox’s Russell Crowe vehicle “A Good Year” flopped, pulling in just $717,170 at 276.

Blighty Bookers are disappointed with the bow, and are questioning Crowe’s B.O. clout after the thesp did some heavy promotion for the pic there.

In Italy, “Prada” also continued its strong run, notching the No. 3 position, with $1.9 million on 388 screens. Pic has been playing particularly well there in urban centers.

But Italo turf still is taken by animated family pics, and UIP’s “Over the Hedge” narrowly beat out Scorsese’s “Departed” for the top spot. Biz fell 5% to $9.8 million, continuing a slumping autumn season that distributors are blaming on the unseasonably warm weather.

As a result, “Hedge,” which was running in 452 engagements in Italy, and Medusa Film’s “The Departed,” on 401, each netted $2.1 million.

Distribs had been expecting the films to pull in up to $2.5 million.

Medusa’s “The Unknown,” in its soph sesh, banked $700,000 for the No. 4 spot, down 28% from the previous week.

“Prada” has found its legs while going head to head with some heavy-hitting local prods.

In Germany, five local films are in the top 10 dominating the box office, which was up 25% thanks to the success of “7 Zwerge — Der wald ist nicht genug” (7 Dwarves: The Wood Is Not Enough).

While it opened at the top spot, the sequel performed well below the original 2004 hit fairytale spoof “7 Dwarfs,” which raked in $11.7 million on its opening weekend.

Pic faced tough competition from “Prada” and hit World Cup docu “Deutschland — Ein sommermaerchen” (Germany — A Summer Fairytale), which slipped to third place.

Continuing the trend, “Ein freund von mir” (A Friend of Mine), starring local stars Daniel Bruehl and Juergen Vogel, opened at No. 6 with $618,106 on 108. Pic, which enjoyed a strong per-screen average of $5,723, performed particularly well in urban arthouse circuits, according to exhibs.

“The film has gotten strong word of mouth, and Daniel Bruehl and Juergen Vogel have big followings here,” one exhib says, pointing to a recent promotional push by Bruehl and Vogel that included attending six preems in one day.

Fifth local pic, the laffer “Wer fruher stirbt ist langer tot,” is at No. 8, and has been in the top 10 for 12 weeks.

In France, where “Prada” and “Perfume” have been sensations, Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers”(UIP) debuted decently in one of its first foreign openings, grossing $1.5 million at 425. Pic also bowed in Japan to $1.7 million.

Japan is still awaiting “Prada,” which should prove a player there as well.

Coming in behind “Prada” at No. 2 in the overseas charts was Sony’s “Open Season,” which finished a distant but decent second with $9.5 million at 3,400 in 40 markets, led by a first-place French soph sesh that edged up 4% to $2.4 million at 629.

Other pics with solid runs included “World Trade Center,” which took in $3.7 million at 2,263 in 50 markets, led by its fourth Japanese frame with $1.1 million at 320.

“Barnyard” took in $3.6 million at 2,029 in 22 markets, led by a strong second Brit frame, rising 20% to $1.5 million at 449 and a first-place Mexican launch of $777,000 at 385. International cume has hit $16 million for a worldwide $88 million total.

Ed Meza in Germany, Bernhard Warner in Italy, Esther de Prado in Spain and Archie Thomas in the U.K. contributed to this report.

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