News

Around the World Roundup: 'Pirates' Dominates Again

by Conor Bresnan
Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
July 18, 2006

Rejuvenating business in their respective markets Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Superman Returns made up for the box office lost during the World Cup. Pirates led the way with $57 million from 24 markets (18 of which were new), pushing its total to $124 million—it's the seventh title of the year to cross the century mark.

Pirates dominated Russia and Ukraine with an 85 percent market share. It set new all time opening records with $10.4 million from 530 screens in Russia, where it should become the first American movie to cross the $20 million mark there, and $1 million from 125 in Ukraine.

The response in Scandinavia was overwhelming as well. Pirates nabbed the second highest-grossing debuts ever in Sweden ($3.6 million from 125 screens), Norway ($2 million from 100) and Denmark ($2.6 million from 80), and, in Finland, it may have had the best launch ever ($1.4 million from 49). In the Netherlands, it had one of three best starts in history with $2.3 million from 114 screens.

Pirates also invaded Singapore ($1.8 million from 65 screens) and Malaysia ($1.1 million from 70), posting all time benchmarks. Meanwhile, in South Korea, it fell 38 percent in its second weekend to $4.4 million from 420 sites for a $15.7 million total. The United Kingdom (down 43 percent) and Australia (down 35 percent) were just as impressive with two-week tallies of $49.1 million and $17.4 million respectively.

Brandon Routh in Superman Returns
Superman Returns flexed its box office muscle as well, though it's not in the same league as Pirates. The Man of Steel grossed $38.1 million over the weekend from 36 markets for a $77 million total. In the U.K., it opened beneath Pirates's second weekend with a solid $8 million from 477 sites that nonetheless topped what Batman Begins opened to last year. Superman's most surprising return came from China, where it recorded distributor Warner Bros.'s second highest opening ever with $4 million from 349 prints.

Superman Returns also landed in Latin America, including Mexico where it raked in $5.1 million from 758 prints. It was a strong No. 1 in Brazil with $2.4 million from 468 and in Chile with $399,000 from 68. In Argentina, it opened in second place with $472,000 from 126 prints.

At a distant third place overall, Over the Hedge grossed $14.1 million and has tallied $88.2 million. In second weekends, the animated comedy fell 25 percent in Brazil ($3.2 million total), 40 percent in France ($4.6 million), 36 percent in Germany ($8.6 million) and 4 percent in Poland ($1.2 million). Debuts in Argentina ($510,191 from 100 screens) and Portugal ($415,741 from 52) were potent.

Cars yielded $9.6 million from 31 markets, highlighted by Spain's $2.2 million second weekend (down 33 percent for a $6.9 million total). The Pixar feature's only new territory was South Africa, where its $475,000 from 80 screens was the company's best opening ever.

Surprisingly, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was No. 1 out of the gate in Austria, Germany and Italy. The action sequel scored $668,257 from 63 screens in Austria, which was over 30 percent bigger than its predecessors. It was just as impressive in Germany with $3.7 million from 415 screens, while it beat the first movie in Italy with $1.2 million from 151 screens. Overall, Tokyo Drift grossed $7.3 million for a $42.1 million total.

Mission: Impossible 3 held well in Japan, falling 29 percent to $3.7 million for a $20.7 million total, and will try to build on its $228 million total with an opening in China later this month.

Little Man made its international debut in Australia, where its $1.2 million from 165 screens was just shy of the Wayans brothers' previous comedy, White Chicks. Overall, that picture ultimately grossed $42.3 million, which was strong relative to its genre. The costlier Little Man hopes to improve on that mark.



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