The pre-summer biz surged last weekend as “Spider-Man” spun heroic debuts in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, while “Blade II” tore through Germany and Switzerland and “The Time Machine” was a crowd-pleaser in Latin America.
Sony’s web-slinging hero drew an estimated $11.1 million from 838 prints in 18 countries. That tally doesn’t include the estimated $2.7 million the pic earned in three days of sneaks on 420 screens in Japan, cueing a massive launch there on Saturday.
When the dust settled, figures in a few markets didn’t quite live up to the distrib’s Sunday projections of record-breaking rankings for three-day openings, but they were spectacular nonetheless.
“Spidey” conjured up $2.8 million on 140 in South Korea, hailed as an all-time high for a U.S. release, beating “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The Tobey Maguire starrer snared $1.2 million on 166 in Thailand (best-ever for a U.S. pic, trailing only local click “Suriyothai”); $1.14 million on 68 in Hong Kong (the market’s biggest non-holiday preem and No. 7 of all time); and $1.1 million on 18 screens in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei (the fourth biggest after “The Mummy Returns”).
The Sam Raimi-helmed epic brought in $1.12 million on 100 in Russia (distrib’s first $1 million entry in that increasingly lucrative territory) and $1.04 million on 127 in the Philippines, the third highest in both markets.
UIP disputes Malaysia take
Sony reported its $1.2 million Singapore bow on 52 as a three-day record for a Hollywood pic and Malaysia’s $1.02 million on 44 as an industry record. Those claims were disputed Monday by UIP, which said both figures included sneaks and, on that basis, the Singapore opening ranked second behind that of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” and Malaysia’s was the fourth best; Sony insists there were no previews.
By Warner Bros.’ reckoning, “The Time Machine” ruled in Mexico, drumming up $1.9 million on 340, Venezuela ($239,000 on 50), Argentina and South Africa; estimated cume topped $31 million.
After muscular performances in Blighty and Spain, “Blade II” minted $4.2 million on 583 in Germany (doubling the original’s debut) and $393,000 on 34 in Switzerland (astonishingly repping 90% of the first “Blade’s” lifetime gross there).
“Panic Room” captured a fine $2.9 million on 525 in the U.K., No. 2 behind the Hugh Grant comedy “About a Boy,” which dipped by a reasonable 27%, bringing its 10-day market total to a splendid $11 million.
The Jodie Foster starrer led the field in its soph session in weak trading in France, picking up $3.6 million in 12 days. All told, “Room” grabbed $8.5 million at the weekend, lifting its cume to $35 million.
UIP estimated “The Scorpion King” amassed $9 million from 3,912 screens in 38 markets, hoisting cume to $41 million. Following the Euro pattern, the Rock headliner wasn’t strong in France, making $1.05 million on 454, but fared better in Belgium, notching $330,000 on 50.
‘Ali G’ a Dutch treat
British comedy “Ali G Indahouse” hopped across the Continent to Holland, delivering $380,000 on 50, characterized by UIP as the territory’s second biggest preem this year behind “Ocean’s Eleven.” Topliner Sacha Baron Cohen is a cult figure in Holland, where his TV shows air late at night, and his promo visit to Amsterdam stoked interest in the pic, which has collared a nifty $14.6 million at home.
It was a mixed frame for “The Count of Monte Cristo,” which cut a dashing $567,000 on 148 in Brazil, a mediocre $460,000 on 160 in Australia and a dull $367,000 on 100 in Italy.
“We Were Soldiers” plunged by a worrying 50% after a sturdy opening in Oz, taking $2.3 million in 11 days, while “John Q” checked in with a fair $698,000 on 179.