War action film takes in $32 million overseas
The war actioner won another foreign battle as “300″ edged Brit comedy “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” to win the Easter weekend frame at the international box office. Bloody battle pic took in $32 million at 6,500 playdates in 61 markets, topping “Bean’s” $30.1 million from 4,294 engagements.Frame marked a reversal of the previous weekend, when the Bean sequel topped “300″ by a similarly narrow margin. It’s the second weekend in a row in which both pics hit the $30 million mark, taking advantage of traditionally strong moviegoing during spring vacation periods. For “300,” the combo of solid launches plus decent holds gave Zack Snyder’s epic its third international crown in four weeks. Pic has connected outside its core demo of young male action fans to far exceed expectations for a foreign cume of $173 million and a worldwide total of $367 million — two-thirds of the way to matching the worldwide grosses of “Troy,” which racked up $497 million three years ago. Spartan tale invaded impressively in Germany with $6.3 million including sneaks, 34% ahead of the soph sesh of “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” and equal to the launches of “X-Men 3″ and “I, Robot.” The Australian launch delivered bigtime with $4.6 million at 337, representing the best April opening weekend in that market and surpassing “The Last Samurai” by 23%. Spain led the holdover parade for “300″ with $2.4 million at 543 in its third frame, down 35%. As is typical with action pics, other major markets saw large declines in the third weekend — the U.K. with $2 million at 382, down 56%; Italy with $1.3 million at 470, off 57%; and France with $1.2 million at 464, off 54%. Brazil saw impressive results for “300″ in its soph sesh with $928,000 at 462, off only 10% for the second-best second frame for a Warner pic. Both “300″ and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” should keep up their momentum Monday, with holidays in many markets. And the pair will keep offshore biz brisk during the next two frames prior to the launch of summer tentpole season with “Spider-Man 3.” “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” stayed sturdy in 44 markets. Universal’s Rowan Atkinson vehicle — replete with goofy sight gags — showed impressive staying power on its home turf, with a 36% decline in its U.K. soph sesh to $5.7 million at 512. Pic nearly tripled the take of the “300″ launch to push the 10-day cume to $27.4 million. Laffer also held well in Germany, posting a 21% dip for $4.6 million at 845 in its second frame. “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” also opened with a bang in Italy, with $2.7 million at 339 to finish first, and showed solid traction in Australia, down 15% to $2.6 million at 257 in its second weekend, and in Spain, down a mere 2% in its soph sesh with $2.3 million at 280. In Mexico it made a moderate debut in fifth with $1.1 million at 275 and bowed at No. 2 in Brazil with $800,000 at 140. Laffer has cumed a beefy $86.7 million, and U execs expect it will maintain enough momentum to cross the $100 million mark Tuesday. That milestone leaves the sequel halfway to matching the final foreign total for 1997′s “Bean,” which took in 80% of its worldwide gross outside the U.S. The solid numbers for the second Bean pic — which still hasn’t launched in Japan, South Korea or the U.S. — reflect the international appetite for broad comedies such as “Night at the Museum,” which has surpassed $315 million overseas. “Museum” underlined its appeal by topping the Japanese charts in its fifth frame with $1.8 million at 522, pulling that cume to nearly $25 million. BVI’s “Meet the Robinsons” finished a distant third with a moderate $9.5 million at 3,900 in three dozen markets, lifting foreign cume to $25.7 million — less than half the domestic take for “Robinsons” as “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” attracted most comedy fans in international markets. The “Robinsons” results contrast sharply with that of “Cars,” BVI’s last toon, which cumed $218 million in overseas markets. The family-friendly toon showed some traction in second-frame holdovers, up 2% in Spain to $1.6 million at 434, down 30% in Mexico to $1.4 million at 600, off 39% in the U.K. to $1.1 million at 451 and up 40% in Oz to $770,000 at 275. “Robinsons” opened in second in Brazil with $850,000 at 238, on par with “Robots,” and debuted in first in Hong Kong with $490,000 at 40 and in Singapore with $340,000 at 35. Warner Bros. scared up respectable returns from its day-and-date launch of “The Reaping” with $7.1 million in 16 markets, led by Spain with $2.3 million at 301 including sneaks — 3% better than “The Grudge” — and Mexico with a second-place $1.5 million at 371. Taiwan generated $853,000 with 74 prints, but Italy saw subdued results with $615,000 at 230 as sunny weather suppressed moviegoing. BVI’s “Wild Hogs” led the rest of the pack with $3.5 million at 1,043 in 10 markets, with most of that coming from a first-place Mexican launch of $2.2 million at 460 and its fifth Australian frame with $800,000 at 234. “Hogs” has cumed $18.5 million overseas — 58% of that in Oz — and is poised to be a major player next weekend with launches in Benelux, Scandinavia, Spain and the U.K. Fox saw decent numbers from its first launches of Danny Boyle’s sci-fier “Sunshine” with $3 million at 652 in half a dozen markets. About two-thirds of that came from the U.K., with $1.9 million at 409; Taiwan took in $442,000 at 76. Paramount’s “Norbit” drew $3 million at 1,876 in 45 markets, with a French launch of $882,000 at a relatively modest 198, to lift the foreign take to $54 million. Par also launched domestic winner “Blades of Glory” in second in the U.K., where it edged “300″ and “Sunshine” with $2.1 million at 362. That was 10% better than the opening of “Talladega Nights,” as Will Ferrell pics remain relatively mild draws overseas compared with the Stateside results. Fox saw a solid Chinese launch for “Eragon” with $1.6 million at 364. The family-friendly fantasy has performed far better outside the U.S., with more than $170 million overseas, accounting for almost 70% of its worldwide $245 million total. U’s “The Holiday” held well in Japan with a 21% decline in its third frame to $1 million at 250, pushing the foreign take to an impressive $136.7 million — more than double its domestic total, underscoring the attraction of romantic comedies overseas. Sony’s day-and-date launches of “Are We Done Yet?” showed quiet results, finishing in seventh in Mexico with $405,000 at 250 and eighth in Oz with $340,000 at 175. Other notable results included U’s “The Good Shepherd,” with $1.7 million at 320, and its “Hot Fuzz,” with $1.3 million at 542, to lift the foreign take to $46 million. Par’s “Shooter” added $1.2 million at 472 in eight markets.