‘Troy’ triumphs in overseas outings

Pic nabs an estimated $71 mil on 10,272 screens

Exhibs were all-aquiver just before “The Day After Tomorrow” launched day-and-date on 8,234 prints in 110 markets/100 countries, blanketing the world except for Japan and South Korea. However, while some bookers in Spain were anticipating gangbuster numbers for Roland Emmerich’s apocalyptic saga, they doubted it would beat the bows of “Troy” or even “Van Helsing.”

Programmers in Italy, meanwhile, were confident the market would expand and that “Troy” would fall by a modest 25%-30% in its second voyage, despite “Tomorrow’s” invasion. Demonstrating much more firepower abroad than at home, “Troy” triumphed in 55 markets, capturing an estimated $71 million on a massive 10,272 screens in 58 territories May 21-23.

That ranked as the industry’s sixth biggest weekend ever and Warner’s third best behind the last two “Matrix” installments. “Troy’s” cume through May 25 soared to $162 million, eclipsing domestic. Trojan War tale is on course to hit $250 million; its chances of reaching $300 million will depend on how it stands up to Fox’s disaster pic.

Brad Pitt starrer saw stellar debuts in 11 markets and was No. 1 again in its soph sessions in 44. Wolfgang Petersen-helmed pic notched WB’s third biggest bow in South Korea, its fourth highest for a three-day preem in Italy and its fifth best in the U.K. In industry rankings, it registered the fourth biggest debut in Taiwan, No. 5 of all time in Russia and the best for an R-rated release in Denmark.

The Japanese opening was impressive, although 8% below that of “The Last Samurai,” sans sneaks. “It may not be as rounded a film as ‘Gladiator’ and may not stand up to relentless scholarly scrutiny from classicists, but it does deliver the thrills and spills desired by its audience,” enthused one British exhib, as the national B.O. rocketed by 107%. But he opined the pic lost some potential due to scorching weather during its London platform and previews, and he was expecting its second weekend to be frozen out by “Day After Tomorrow.”

Receipts in Italy jumped by 66%, Germany improved by 15% and France was up 13%, but Spain dipped by 16%. Slide was blamed chiefly on the distraction of the wedding of Prince Felipe and TV newscaster Letizia Ortiz, especially in Madrid, given the security measures that made it difficult to move around the center of town.

Beginning its offshore adventures in Southeast Asia May 21, “Shrek 2” more than doubled the original’s first three days in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, and it was tops in Hong Kong as well. DreamWorks’ toon actually beat “Finding Nemo’s” three-day bows in Singapore and the Philippines. UIP is holding “Shrek 2” in the rest of the world until late June/early July for the school vacations.

“Van Helsing” dropped by an average of 40% in its third stanza in 41 countries, propelling its cume to $122.2 million; arguably the action adventure had less to lose after steep descents in its second weekend. It has a shot at hitting $200 million if it clicks in Japan and South Korea.

The Cannes fest proved an effective launching pad for “Bad Education,” which bowed on 45 screens in the U.K. and held stoutly in its second chapter in France. One booker said Pathe could have released Pedro Almodovar’s pic on another 10-15 prints as biz was strong at most locations, although less so in London’s downmarket suburbs.

After its Cannes preem, Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries” saw a reasonable turnout in Italy, where exhibs say Che Guevara still is revered by many.

“The Ladykillers” displayed some charm in Spain, positioned as an alternative to the popcorn fare, which included a fair debut by “Twisted” and a lousy start for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” But the Tom Hanks starrer tanked in Japan, where the Coen brothers have never caught on.

“Kill Bill Vol. 2” climbed to $65.6 million in 34 territories, overtaking domestic, but with Spain the only remaining major market it won’t catch the original’s $110 million. Quentin Tarantino’s splatterfest is kicking along OK in France, but disappointing exhibs who had higher expectations after all the hoopla that surrounded pic and its helmer in Cannes. However, the Uma Thurman/David Carradine starrer was meek in Mexico, where the first edition fizzled and auds eschew overtly violent themes.

Emir Kusturica’s Bosnian-set black comedy “Life Is a Miracle” is a solid arthouse attraction in France, getting a similar response to his “Black Cat, White Cat.” Ticket sales in Germany got a leg up from “Der Wixxer,” a spoof of the Edgar Wallace movies that many Teutons watched in their youth. The title is a double pun on Wallace’s novel “The Mixer” and the German word wichser, meaning wanker. “It’s really silly and pretty dumb, but it’s funny and will probably continue to attract big numbers,” said one exec.

After steady runs in the U.K. and Oz, Jim Carrey starrer “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” piqued some interest at specialized venues in Germany but didn’t connect with the mainstream, no surprise to local exhibs in light of its U.S. experience.

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

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

    Film News Roundup: Stephen King's 'Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' Movie in the Works

    In today’s film news roundup, a Stephen King horror movie is in the works, “Downton Abbey” is seeing strong sales and a project about Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson is in development. KING ADAPTATION Stephen King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” has been set up as a movie at George A. Romero’s Sanibel Films, [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Issue With Customer Records

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, has confirmed a security issue may have exposed customers’ records. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. Reports of the data breach first surfaced Tuesday through the Tech Crunch site, which alleged that tens of thousands [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Matthew Modine Accused of Violating Labor Laws With Campaign Videos

    Matthew Modine has been accused by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris of violating federal laws in his campaign to unseat Carteris. The production of three campaign videos for Modine by the for-profit New York Film Academy — on whose board Modine sits — has been blasted by Carteris for alleged violations of federal labor law prohibiting [...]

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content