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Around the World Roundup: 'Legend' Tops Again, Russia Sees New Record

by Conor Bresnan
Will Smith in I Am Legend
January 17, 2008

While the Top Five remained about the same over the weekend and several new pictures populated the rest of the Top 40, the big news came from Russia, where a new top-grossing movie of all time was crowned. Ironiya sudby. Prodolzhenie (The Irony of Fate 2), a family adventure comedy based on a popular Soviet TV series, reached $44.6 million, smashing past former champ Day Watch's $32 million. Additionally, it has made $3.9 million in the Ukraine, over $200,000 in Estonia, $413,600 in Latvia and $509,088 in Lithuania, though there is currently no scheduled release beyond ex-Soviet territories.

Leading the weekend overall again was I Am Legend, which nabbed $39.8 million from 47 markets for a terrific $221.4 million tally. Contributing to the impressive score was Will Smith's historically highest-grossing territory, Germany. Legend grabbed a top-ranked $10.7 million there from 713 screens, which was better than Smith's I, Robot and Hitch. In Italy, Legend posted a tremendous $8.5 million from 486 screens, which was more than three times bigger than I, Robot and bigger than other apocalyptic pictures like The Day After Tomorrow and War of the Worlds. Legend also wowed in Austria ($1.5 million from 91) and German-speaking Switzerland ($875,000 from 69). Holdovers continued to impress as well, including the United Kingdom, where it was No. 1 for a third weekend with $4 million (for a $43 million total). One sour note, though, was in Australia, where it dove 63 percent in its second weekend for a $14.4 million total.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets stayed in second place with $14.9 million from 38 territories for a $127 million total. All of the movie's openings were strong, including the Philippines ($1.2 million from 90 screens), Sweden ($1 million from 90) or Norway ($801,211 from 61). Its holdovers continue to dwindle slowly with Mexico headlining the bunch, down 25 percent for a three-week total of $8.5 million.

Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem had some important launches across the globe, giving it a $13.6 million weekend from 44 markets for a $53.2 million total. The horror sequel led Russia with $3.8 million from 495 screens, which was just shy of its predecessor's entire run. It debuted in first place in Spain as well with a strong $2.4 million from 348 screens, which was on par with the original. In Brazil, it notched a second place opening of $775,908 from 164 screens while, in Denmark, it started with $348,692 from 35 screens.

Remaining in fourth place, Alvin and the Chipmunks bagged $10.1 million from 44 territories, pushing its tally to $80.9 million. The singing critter comedy's only major new release was Poland where it grabbed a disappointing $384,658 from 70 screens, ranking fourth. Holdovers held steady for the most part.

The Golden Compass tumbled 57 percent in its sixth frame to $8.6 million from 43 countries for a $245.7 million total. The fantasy, which had been holding well before, was down due to a loss of screens to newer pictures. Its remaining markets are Egypt (Jan. 16) and Japan (Mar. 1).

A plethora or local releases led their respective markets over the weekend with very high openings. Woorisaengae Choigoeui Sungan (Forever the Moment) topped South Korea with a superb $5.2 million start from 494 screens, beating out local rival Moobangbi Doshi (Open City)'s $3.8 million from 414 screens, as well as the openings of The Mist and Enchanted. In Turkey, Çilgin dersane kampta beat Maskeli besler: Kibris in a duel for first place with $1.5 million compared to Kibris's $1.3 million. Meanwhile, in Italy, both L'Allenatore nel pallone 2 and Bianco e nero couldn't match I Am Legend's huge opening but nonetheless secured great starts of $5.8 million and $2.6 million, respectively.

Another local record fell in Japan. The Discovery Channel's Earth delivered the biggest opening for a documentary on record. Its $3.2 million debut on 275 screens unseated I Am Legend and exceeded past release, Fahrenheit 9/11, by 37 percent. Earth's overseas total grew to $20.2 million and Germany is its next market on Feb. 7.

Among other debuts, Charlie Wilson's War had a mediocre start in its most important market, the U.K., grossing $2.5 million on 387 screens. 27 Dresses had jump on its domestic release in Australia, making a strong $3.2 million on 240 screens, ranking second to I Am Legend. In France, Into the Wild surprised with a first place $2 million start on only 172 screens, doubling weekend rival Atonement.

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