Arnold Schwarzenegger and Angelina Jolie were the hot tickets last weekend as “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” blasted off in South Korea, parts of Europe and, less potently, in Mexico. Meanwhile, “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” showed more spunk than at home as it kicked off its foreign adventures in Southeast Asia.
Milder weather in Europe softened the drops for holdovers “The Hulk” and “Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle” and proved a reasonably hospitable climate for rookies “Johnny English” in France and “Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde” in Germany.
Two Jerry Bruckheimer productions of very different stripes are resonating strongly in their first markets. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” improved by 14% in its second sojourn in Argentina, buoyed by the school vacation, drumming up $400,000 and boosting the total to $1 million.
‘Guerin’ goes over
“Veronica Guerin,” director Joel Schumacher’s saga of a crusading Irish journo whose drug-trade exposes cost her her life, reigned for the third weekend in a row in Ireland, tallying $2.2 million so far. That bodes well for the Cate Blanchett starrer’s prospects when it launches Friday in the U.K. BVI will release the pic in a handful of other Euro markets before it bows Oct. 17 in the U.S.
“Terminator 3” commanded $20.1 million from 3,285 engagements in 29 markets, including top-ranked preems in nine territories, spurring the cume to $87 million. Sci-fier grabbed $4.2 million in South Korea (ranking among the industry’s top six openings) and $2.7 million on 453 in Mexico: solid, but below “Bruce Almighty’s” opening the prior weekend in a family-oriented market.
Jonathan Mostow-helmed pic mustered $1.2 million on 288 in India’s (the industry’s third-highest debut); $992,000 on 115 in Holland; $935,000 on 91 in Denmark (No. 11 of all time); and $842,000 on 96 in Switzerland. “T3” also captured $608,000 on 98 in Portugal and $355,000 on 61 in Indonesia (the fourth best ever). After a monster debut Down Under that benefited from the end of the school vacation, pic racked up $2 million (down 57%), stealing a hefty $8 million in 11 days.
In Japan it’s amassed a formidable $36.7 million through its third weekend, although trailing local cop action/comedy “Bayside Shakedown 2,” which has arrested an estimated $37.6 million in nine days.
Philippines loves ‘Lara’
“Lara Croft” sequel unlocked $699,000 on 75 in the Philippines, a Paramount record and UIP’s second-biggest preem locally behind “The Mummy Returns” and 37% bigger than the first “Tomb Raider.” UIP figures the closure of screens in Manila on Sunday during the soldiers’ mutiny cost the pic as much as $80,000.
The Jolie starrer fetched $451,000 on 38 in Malaysia, also a Par record, 15% ahead of “Mission: Impossible II” and 44% up on the original; and $510,000 on 26 in Singapore, a non-holiday opening weekend high for Par but a bit below the first, which bowed on a public holiday. Sequel hooked $605,000 on 154 in Thailand, UIP’s biggest opener this year, 11% bigger than the predecessor.
“Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle” revved up $9.9 million from holdovers on 5,200 prints in 48 markets, driving cume to $125 million, with Russia and China the only significant markets ahead. McG-helmed caper fell by 44% in France, scoring a decent $6.6 million in 12 days, but eased by just 13% in its third frame in Germany ($8.2 million cume) and by 19% in its fourth in Blighty ($17.3 million).
‘Bruce’ brings it home
“Bruce Almighty” fetched $743,000 on 60 in Norway, yet another career best for Jim Carrey. Testimony to its playability, Spyglass laffer was No. 1 in its fifth weekend in Spain, grossing $1.4 million (off 6%), lifting the territory total to $15.1 million.
“Bruce” minted an estimated $10 million from 29 territories, elevating the cume to $152.1 million, including five Spyglass markets. After overtaking “Batman Forever,” it’s the second highest Jim Carrey earner overseas behind “The Mask” and headed for north of $200 million with Japan and France on the horizon.
“The Hulk” advanced to $81.4 million with 18 countries ahead, principally Japan on Saturday and Italy on Aug. 29. Ang Lee-helmed epic held top spot in the U.K., easing by a reasonable 37%, taking $2.2 million, and a hefty $10.7 million in 10 days.
Winding its foreign tour in France, “Johnny English” rang up an estimated $1.8 million on around 550 prints, drawing Rowan Atkinson’s sizable army of fans; cume topped $119 million.
“Legally Blonde 2” whistled up $1.6 million on 551 in Germany (No. 1 in depressed trading), a fair $336,000 on 208 in Mexico and $318,000 on 82 in Taiwan. The first pic made just $45.2 million overseas so it’s unrealistic to expect the follow-up to open big.