'Talk,' 'Chaos' top charts
Local fare ruled the roost in Italy this weekend, where opener “Parlami d’amore” (Talk to Me About Love) and holdover “Quiet Chaos” made it a one-two B.O. finish for RAI’s 01 Distribuzione.“Parlami’s” tyro helmer Silvio Muccino also stars in the pic, playing a twentysomething man who falls for an older woman, played by Spanish thesp Aitana Sanchez-Gijon. Pic pulled a $5 million four-day take off 595 screens, after opening Feb. 14 and capitalizing on the St Valentine’s Day vibe. Nanni Moretti starrer “Quiet Chaos,” about a TV exec’s bizarre bereavement behavior, is solidly ensconced in second place, having dropped a mere 27% after opening at number one last week. “Chaos,” helmed by Antonello Grimaldi, drew $1.7 million from 365 for a $4.9 running cume. 01 Distribuzione has been trumpeting the pics’ boffo results. “The success of these two films, which belong to two very different genres, proves that something has changed in Italian cinema,” RAI Cinema topper Caterina D’Amico said. “When there is good Italian product on the market, exhibitors now trust it, give it the space it deserves, and the audience responds.” Italo frame’s only other notable opener was “There Will Be Blood,” which got a niche launch on just 108 screens, but still debuted at number nine with $532,000, scoring the frame’s second-best per-screen average —$4,900 — via Universal. Two other Oscar-nommed pics got modest Italo bows. “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” opened at number 14 with $167,000 off 64, via BIM Distribuzione, while Sarah Polley’s “Away From Her” scared off Italo auds with a mere $47,000 debut off 31 via Warner Bros. As expected, Fox’s “Jumper” landed on top in the U.K. with an opening four-day frame of $6 million at 406 screens. The sci-fi actioner, which bowed a day ahead of the competish on St. Valentine’s Day, posted the weekend’s second-best screen average: $14,745. UTV Communications release “Jodhaa Akbar” landed 10th spot with $713,797 at just 46. The Aishwarya Rai starrer’s leading screen average of $15,517 delighted exhibs given pic has a running time of 193 minutes. “The Bucket List” made a so-so $1.2 million at 280 for Warner Bros. Of the holdovers, Daniel Day-Lewis starrer “There Will Be Blood” expanded very successfully in its soph sesh, taking $1.1 million at 121 for an impressive screen average of $8,715. Pic, which is benefiting from awards season successes and excellent word of mouth, opens across Ireland Feb. 29. It should play well on the Emerald Isle, the adopted home of Day-Lewis. Showing decent legs, “Juno” slipped a respectable 33% (including previews) in its soph sesh for a $9.5 million running cume via Fox. Sony’s “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” drew half-term crowds, leaping up 4% in its second frame for a $4.7 million total. Fox’s “Jumper” leapt to the top of Spain’s B.O. charts. Despite dismissive reviews and skepticism about a none too electrifying cast, Liman’s teleporting fantasy pulled $3.6 million from 450, establishing a high copy average of $8,372, and performing above bookers’ expectations. Bizzers partly attribute the success to the appeal of the high concept of “Jumper” to Spain’s young vidgame crowd. “The weekend’s takings have been good in general, in part because there was no collision among demographic targets for the top films,” noted a local distrib. Soft-gore musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” grossed a juicy $1.8 million from a controlled copy spread of 273. Result placed Tim Burton pic in third with the second best copy average of the frame: $6,596. “I am pretty sure that word-of-mouth will mobilize auds who are reluctant about musicals,” forecast an upbeat exhib. “There Will Be Blood,” released by BVI on a tempered 103, ranked number 10, banking an opening of $535,785 for a third best average of $5,305. “This is another movie that needs patient auds — given its challenging length. If ‘Blood’ bags any Oscar, it will pick up pace,” the same exhibber noted. Holdovers saw mixed fortunes. Best of the bunch was “Juno,” which dipped just 28% in its third frame for a cume of $3.4 million. Eco-friendly German auds, plus an increase in screens from 147 to 283, shot “Planet Earth” into top spot in its second week, attracting $3.2 million for a total of $6.4 million. With admissions up 56% from last week’s number five spot, Universum/Disney’s nature doc once again racked up the best screen average of $8,193, almost doubling that of the next highest contender. Warner Bros.’ “John Rambo” hit the charts guns blazing with $2.8 million from 405 screens. “Rambo” was followed closely by Fox’s “27 Dresses,” which debuted at number three, earning $2.6 million at 509. Warners’ domestic powerhouse “Keinohrhasen” keeps on trucking. Dropping just 14% in its ninth frame, it scooped $2.2 million from 643 for a boffo cume of $47.7 million. Outside the top 10, upscale new entries “The Orphanage” (Senator/Central) at number 11 at 134 locations and “There Will Be Blood” (Disney) at number 13 on 60 screens are both doing respectable business with per screen averages of $2,513 and $3,357, respectively. In Gaul, local blockbuster “Asterix at the Olympic Games” continues to do solid cinema biz. Down 35% in its third frame, live-action family fave has topped the 5 million aud mark on home turf and swelled Pathe’s coffers to the tune of $45.3 million. Disney’s “National Treasure: The Book of Secrets” topped the charts with $5.9 million in its first five days on 625. “Rambo” has perfed strongly for Metropolitan, which had worried that the franchise might have grown a bit stale for Gallic tastes. Down 38% in its second frame, it has cumed nearly $5.2 million on 453. Local family drama “The Maiden and the Wolves” had a decidedly underwhelming first frame for Warners, making $1.5 million on 401 in its first five days. Additional reporting by Andrew Horn (Germany), Emilio Mayorga (Spain), Nick Vivarelli (Italy) and David Hayhurst (France).
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