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Around the World Roundup: 'Ghost Rider' Races to the Top

by Conor Bresnan
Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider
February 20, 2007

Speeding into first place at the foreign box office, Ghost Rider opened to $16.6 million from 26 territories, including first place finishes in Australia ($1.9 million), Mexico ($2.1 million), Russia ($3.6 million) and Spain ($3.1 million) that were higher than Daredevil. Daredevil made $76.6 million in its entire overseas run, and Ghost Rider is poised to crush that figure.

Second place went to Night at the Museum, which squeezed $14.1 million out of 46 markets. The family comedy entered China during the country's New Year holiday frame with a respectable but underwhelming $1.9 million from 300 screens. Neighboring Hong Kong, though, posted a dazzling $1.8 million from 46 screens, which was the second-largest opening ever there for distributor 20th Century Fox behind The Day After Tomorrow. Museum also debuted in Belgium ($886,000) and the Netherlands ($527,099). With only Israel and Japan ahead, Museum has grossed $250 million overall.

From the United Kingdom alone, Hot Fuzz claimed third place in its international premiere. The action comedy nabbed $11.5 million from 426 U.K. screens, which quadrupled the Hot Fuzz team's last picture, Shaun of the Dead, and trailed Borat as the second-biggest opening ever for a picture rated "15" (meaning for people aged 15 years and older). Hot Fuzz's opening was also the best of the year as well as distributor Universal Pictures' fifth highest on record. Shaun of the Dead never caught on outside of the U.K., grossing $16.5 million in all, but Hot Fuzz will receive a much wider release, starting with Spain on March 9.

Blood Diamond generated $8.5 million over the weekend from holdover markets for a $78.1 million total. The adventure drama fell 40 percent in Spain, its highest-grossing market at the moment, for a $4.3 million total there.

From mostly holdovers as well, The Pursuit of Happyness grossed $7.8 million over the weekend for a $104.3 million total. The drama had average openings in Peru ($101,249) and South Africa ($192,611). Its top countries are Italy ($19.8 million total), the U.K. ($18.5 million) and Japan ($17.1 million).

Hugh Grant in Music and Lyrics
Strong in seven new territories and holding well in the U.K., Music and Lyrics took in $6.5 million over the weekend for a $13.8 million total. The romantic comedy nearly beat Ghost Rider Down Under, where its five-day start of $2.3 million was on par with the surprisingly potent Epic Movie. Music ranked first in both Greece ($317,000) and New Zealand ($201,000) and played well Taiwan with $327,000. In addition, Music and Lyrics fell only 24 percent in the U.K. to $2.8 million and is now performing better than Something's Gotta Give and The Break-Up did there.

Contrary to their titles, "The Good" movies were mediocre at best. The Good Shepherd grossed $2 million from six territories, finding only moderate success from openings in Germany ($758,046 from 136) and Australia ($766,424 from 176) and fizzling in the Netherlands with $172,382 from 58 screens. The Good German followed suit with soft openings in France and Switzerland, pulling $447,000 from both countries.

Dreamgirls continued its underwhelming overseas run with a $1.7 million debut in Japan, which was worse than Chicago. Overall, Dreamgirls earned $3.6 million from 26 markets for a $19.1 million total.

Despite being an Oscar-nominated war picture directed by Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima continued its weak campaign, grossing $1.5 million from 19 markets and 560 prints. The war drama was decent in Spain with $364,000 from 68 prints as well as in Italy ($212,000) and Brazil ($180,000), but bombed in the Netherlands ($22,000 from 20) and Mexico ($57,000 from 50). Japan alone accounts for $41.8 million of the picture's $43.1 million foreign haul. Letters' companion movie, Flags of Our Fathers, has eked out $30.9 million overall after a $949,000 weekend.

Meanwhile, Charlotte's Web finally found a receptive market, easing eight percent in the U.K. to $3.7 million for a $12.8 million total through its second weekend. Debuts elsewhere, however, continued the family picture's woes, including Finland's $41,140 from 30 screens and Slovenia's $7,261 from 8. Overall, Charlotte has spun $43.1 million.

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International Box Office Results



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