Local heroes rescued the B.O. in German- and French-speaking territories last weekend, during which “Collateral” and homeland heart-tugger “Be With You” energized Japan, while “The Village” and “Shall We Dance?” roused Italy from its torpor.
The combo of school vacations and a public holiday Monday in much of continental Europe boosted rookies and holdover “Shark Tale.”
Major surprise was “The Grudge’s” lukewarm bows in Taiwan (where it was trumped by “Taxi”), Hong Kong and Thailand after a muted start the prior weekend in Singapore. All four markets are usually hip to horror.
Retaining the crown overseas for the fourth straight weekend, “Shark Tale” netted $15.5 million from 4,300 locations in 27 markets, hoisting its cume to $109.6 million.
Fish toon conquered Russia, pulling in $1.5 million on 180 prints, with sneaks. Cruising through its third frames, the shark slayer devoured $4.3 million in the U.K. (off 24%), amassing $35.2 million so far, and $4 million in France (surging by 47%), banking $13.6 million.
“Seven Dwarfs,” a Teutonic comedy inspired by the fairy tale, captivated auds in Germany, whistling up $11.3 million on 753, and nabbed $1.3 million in Austria and $464,000 in Switzerland.
‘Long’ strong in Gaul
Warners’ “A Very Long Engagement” romanced an estimated $9.7 million on 707 in France, the biggest bow for a Gallic pic this year and WB’s seventh best ever locally. World War I saga, which reunites “Amelie” helmer Jean-Pierre Jeunet and thesp Audrey Tautou, drummed up a projected $315,000 in Belgium and $235,000 in the French-speaking sector of Switzerland.
Invading Japan, its last major market, “Collateral” captured a solid but not exceptional $3.8 million on 287, with previews, ahead of “Be With You’s” $2.7 million on 243. Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx starrer snared $393,000 in Greece and $245,000 in Denmark (trailing the soph session of local click “Inkasso”). Thriller’s estimated cume hit $84.2 million.
Winding its offshore adventures, “The Village” rang up a hefty $3.2 million on 302 in Italy, 10% bigger in euros than the entry of helmer M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense.” Suspenser’s cume levitated to $136.1 million.
“Shall We Dance?” waltzed into Italy with an impressive $2.6 million, and New Zealand with $317,000. Richard Gere/Jennifer Lopez starrer showed fancy footwork in its soph session in Oz, ranking No. 1 again with $1.2 million (slipping by just 18%), bringing the local total to $3.4 million.
‘Exorcist’ haunts Spain
“Exorcist: The Beginning” reigned in Spain, scaring up an estimated $2.2 million on 292, on par with “The Ring” and 15% below “Exorcist: The Director’s Cut.”
Prequel spun into Mexico with a lively $1.1 million and Brazil, scoring $556,000 — No. 1 in both. But the pic took an anemic $1.1 million on 327 in the U.K. and bombed in Australia, where the genre usually underperforms. It met a similar fate in Japan last month.
Two world preems were noteworthy: Woody Allen’s “Melinda and Melinda” fetched $961,000 on 155 in Spain for 20th Century Fox, his strongest debut there in recent years; and “Finding Neverland,” Marc Forster’s saga of “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie, whistled up $1.5 million on 321 in the U.K., and looks set for a long run.
The “Alfie” remake starring Jude Law eased by a moderate 31% in Blighty, earning a pleasing $6 million in 10 days.
“Alien vs. Predator” swallowed a beefy $3.3 million on 568 in France and $350,000 in Holland. Fox’s creature feature has minted a sturdy $40.5 million, with the rest of Europe to come.
Given that Italians aren’t ardent for Hollywood sci-fiers, “I, Robot” fell by an acceptable 34% to $1.4 million in its second orbit there, bringing the market tally to $4.1 million. Will Smith starrer’s cume peaked at $196 million.
“The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” penned a healthy $405,000 on 84 screens in Seoul and Pusan in South Korea, the No. 1 U.S. release behind local debutante “Scarlet Letter.”
Disney’s girl pic eased by 16% in the U.K., charming $5.3 million through its second weekend wide. Sequel, which has pocketed $19.4 million in 19 markets, was a dud in France, mediocre in Germany and quite good in Oz.