‘Pirates’ repel boarders in Italy

Openers fail to make big impression at B.O.

ROME – None of the weekend’s six new releases in Italy were able to dislodge “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “The Break-Up” from the top two spots in a soft frame that dipped 15% from the previous weekend.

With $1.9 million from 554, “Pirates” held firm in its third frame and has now done $22.3 million in the territory. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn pic “The Break-Up” did $1.1 million at 290 and has now racked up $3.5 million in 10 days on release.

“The Black Dahlia” opened moderately with a $1.1 million bow at 318. The screen average of $2,681 was lower than expected with local exhibs commenting that “it needed a screen average twice this much to represent a really strong opening.” The film’s perf, exhibs agree, will depend on word of mouth.

More of a surprise is that none of the three comedies released attracted substantial auds. Italos tend to love comedies, particularly local ones.

Adam Sandler comedy “Click” took fourth spot with an $892,000 opening at 325 screens. Although not a bad result, the Italian bow did not match its boffo perf in some other key Euro territories; it finished top of the charts in the U.K. Nonetheless, Italian bookers are satisfied with the bow and have their fingers crossed it will have some legs.

Running leagues behind was local laffer “Kiss Me Little One” (Baccami Piccina) in ninth position with $255,000 from 170 and Kevin Smith’s “Clerks 2” which took 12th spot with $120,000 from 115 in its Italian box office debut.

M. Night Shyamalan’s troubled pic “Lady in the Water” dredged up just $475,000 from 174 engagements in its opening frame, which was only good enough for sixth place. “We expected this. Since ‘Sixth Sense’ the Italian public has not really gone for Shyamalan’s pictures and this result confirms the disinterest,” said one film booker.