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300 > Conquers more countries March 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.

King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) uses his shield as shelter from the fierce storm that heralds the arrival of the Persian army to Greek shores

300leonidas.jpg  Dominating the foreign box office, 300 posted $48.3 million from 33 markets over the weekend for a $79.6 million total. The computer-generated battle picture was unleashed in 20 new markets, conquering nearly all of them.

300’s strongest debut was the United Kingdom with $9.2 million from 369 screens. It topped Troy’s start there by six percent, while, in France, it bested Troy by 30 percent with $5.6 million from 485 screens. Spain’s $6.7 million from 536 screens and Mexico’s $2.6 million from 526 screens ranked as the second highest 18-rated openings of all time, and another near record occurred in Russia where 300’s $5 million from 417 prints ranked as distributor Warner Bros’ second largest start ever. It also opened atop Italy with $4.7 million from 486 prints.

Holdovers countries continued to generate potent returns as well. 300 continued to stun in Greece with a whopping $1.3 million third weekend, despite a major Euro Cup soccer match between Greece and Turkey last Saturday. The picture’s $9.4 million total is the industry’s fifth highest mark ever and already Warner Bros’ biggest of all time. 300’s second weekend in South Korea was off 29 percent to $3.4 million for a magnificent $12 million tally, trailing Troy by 12 percent through the same point.
Filling the second spot overseas with $7.9 million was Norbit, including a good $1.8 million opening in Italy. The comedy’s total grew to $42.9 million, but it has witnessed high drop-off rates and has yet to have a breakout market.

Music and Lyrics earned third place with $7 million from 52 markets for a $68 million total. The romantic comedy was driven by holdovers, with only one opening in Turkey ($339,000). The star power of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore and the exclusiveness of its genre overseas have made it a big seller. The U.K. ($17 million), Australia ($7.2 million) and South Korea ($6.2 million) are among the movie’s successful runs.

The other weekend ranks were harder to determine, but it looks like Ghost Rider secured fourth place with an estimated $5.5 million from 60 territories. The comic book movie added five moderately-sized markets, including Thailand (an impressive $919,215 from 116 screens), Greece ($273,227) and New Zealand ($346,720 from 53). Ghost Rider hasn’t held up well, though, with all but one second weekend market falling 50 percent or more as well as an 84 percent, third weekend dive in Hong Kong. With $95.3 million overall thus far, however, Ghost Rider will cross the century mark.

Looking to supplant 300 next weekend but settling for superb results from just two markets was Mr. Bean’s Holiday. It set a record biggest comedy opening ever in both Singapore ($1.1 million from 43 screens) and Malaysia ($739,648 from 49 screens), boding well for its 21-territory release next weekend.

The Pursuit of Happyness entered some of its final markets on a low note. The drama made only $121,910 from 66 screens in Russia, a market that has made even straight-to-video pictures hits. Pursuit, though, looked good in Hong Kong though with a second-ranked $218,767 debut, and it has had an excellent run overall with $137.8 million thus far.

Ending its foreign campaign in Japan, The Holiday excelled again with a $1.5 million launch. The romantic comedy has more than doubled its domestic take with a $130.9 million overall total and it was popular all around, the U.K. leading the way at $23.9 million. Meanwhile, Reign Over Me fell flat in its foreign debut, Australia, grossing only $217,936 from 56 screens.

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