You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Global auds find ‘Incredibles’ indelible

Biz in German drops 26%; Spain off by 10%

Exhibs in the U.K. and Australia had millions of reasons — measured at the cash tills — to be cheerful last week as “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” drew vast crowds, while “The Incredibles” saw heroic preems in seven markets and Italians embraced “Exorcist: The Beginning.”

Biz in Germany dropped by 26% after the prior weekend’s peak, although Teutonic bookers weren’t complaining, while Spain was off by 10% despite a winning bow by “Say I Do,” Sony’s first local-language production in that territory.

The weekend’s champ by a sizable margin, “Edge of Reason” wooed $26.6 million from 1,016 playdates in six markets, and its cume through Nov. 16 raced to $32.4 million. Romantic comedy starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth posted record entries for Universal in the U.K. (where receipts shot up by 147%), Poland, and Hungary. Singleton saga notched the studios’ third highest debut in Holland and its fourth best in local currency in Australia; all were career highs for producer Working Title and substantially ahead of the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” openings.

One U.K. booker predicts the sequel could wind up grossing £35 million ($68 million), although shy of the original’s £42 million, opining, “It is too similar to the first movie to generate the necessary repeat visits.” Word of mouth kicked in for “Bad Santa” after its ho-hum debut in Blighty and ensured a modest decline for “The Grudge.”

“The Incredibles” set new toon highs as it invaded Taiwan and the Philippines, beating “Finding Nemo,” and while the superhero saga bowed 25% bigger than the fish tale in Denmark it was below the debut of “Shrek 2.” Pixar/Disney pic came in slightly below “Nemo” in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and on par in its platform at the Grand Rex theater in Paris.

In Germany, bookers were thrilled with the third outing of “Seven Dwarfs” and some believe the spoof will break through the six million viewer mark, which would mean more than $44 million B.O.

Takings in Italy improved by 14% as horror-loving auds flocked to the “Exorcist” prequel. Curiously, the demon tale helmed by Renny Harlin has resonated more strongly in predominantly Catholic countries like Spain and Mexico than in more secular states such as the U.K., Germany and Australia. It’s collared an estimated $24 million.

A consistent fave among females, “Shall We Dance” fox-trotted along to $36 million in 17 markets, driven by its top-ranked bows in Mexico and Argentina, OK preems in South Korea and Russia, buoyant soph sessions in Germany, Spain and Hong Kong, and its third in Italy.

One booker in Hong Kong attributed its success to the cast headed by Richard Gere (who has a “very faithful following” there), Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon, and a terrific campaign by distrib Intercontinental. It’s a rare hit for a remake in the territory after the demise of “The Grudge,” which was perceived as an inferior rip-off of the original, although from the same helmer.

The Gallic B.O. rose by 18% on the back of the lucrative third sojourn of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “A Very Long Engagement” and two local debutantes: “Banlieue 13,” a futuristic film about a battle between gangs and peacekeepers, written and produced by Luc Besson, whose release was accompanied by a video game; and “Just Trust” a satire which skewers the French class system via the tale of two small-time crooks who pose as live-in help to fleece their employers, starring Vincent Lindon and Cecile de France.

After insipid runs in Asia and Australia, “The Manchurian Candidate” showed more appeal in Italy and Spain but was coolly received in Germany. Remake helmed by Jonathan Demme attracted young Spaniards who so dislike the Bush administration they don’t find anything shocking about the U.S. political shenanigans depicted.

In Germany, one exhib praised the perfs by Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep but asked, “What is this saying to viewers? Powerful defense contractors already control the U.S. government. That’s nothing new.” “Candidate” has pocketed a desultory $13.2 million in 23 territories.

“The Forgotten” registered medium-level entries in Germany, Belgium, Austria and Singapore and was number one again in Brazil, despite falling by 43%. Julianne Moore starrer was overshadowed by the muscular second turn of “Alien vs. Predator” in Germany, where one programmer noted, “Fans of sci-fi horror prefer alien monsters over mysterious goings-on; they want to cut to the chase, or in this case, the big monster fight.”

After a profitable tour of Latin America and Asia, “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” looks a dubious prospect in Europe as it opened weakly in France, the U.K. and Holland. Snake tale has trapped $26 million in 26 markets and could overtake domestic’s $31.5 million.

(Liza Klaussmann in Paris, John Hopewell in Madrid, Archie Thomas in London, Sheri Jennings in Rome and Ed Meza in Berlin contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Boots Riley arrives at the 34th

    Boots Riley: Spike Lee Yelled at Me After 'BlacKkKlansman' Criticism, But We're Good Now

    “Sorry to Bother You” director and musician Boots Riley, who wrote a scathing criticism of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for its positive representation of law enforcement, said that he and the “Do the Right Thing” auteur are good now. But it took some time (and drama) to get there. Last year, Riley called Lee’s Oscar-nominated “BlacKkKlansman” [...]

  • Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali, right)

    Read Variety's 1957 Review of 'Green Book' Pianist Don Shirley

    “Green Book” viewers who are not totally versed in the ways of ’50s and ’60s jazz may come away from the heavily Oscar-nominated movie wondering just how well known and respected the film’s central musical figure, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), really was in his heyday. The answer: revered enough to have picked up [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Steven Spielberg Remembers 'Friend and Early Mentor' Stanley Donen

    As news of the death of prolific director Stanley Donen spread Saturday, the industry was quick to remember the helmer of so many classic musicals. Donen directed such hits as “Singin’ in the Rain,” co-directed with and starring Gene Kelly; “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn; and “Charade,” with Hepburn and Cary Grant. “Stanley Donen was [...]

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Spirit Awards Online

    The Spirit Awards are taking over television Saturday from Santa Monica, Calif., but viewers don’t need a TV to tune in. Hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, this year’s Spirit Awards are set to air on IFC at 2 p.m. PT and again on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. However, indie lovers [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Takes Center Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content