'English' Sequel Opens Big Overseas

Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures

To most Americans, it's still, "Rowan who?" But the Rowan Atkinson action comedy Johnny English Reborn has transformed into a powerhouse overseas, already grossing $61.3 million, and it's only just opened in the U.K. and Germany, the biggest territories for the first Johnny Englishin 2003.

A parody of the James Bond franchise, Johnny English Reborn, from Universal and Working Title, is on course to earn north of $150 million internationally, well ahead of the $132.5 million earned by the original.

The $45 million sequel began rolling out in foreign markets in mid-September but didn't launch until Oct. 7 in the U.K., where it topped the chart with $7.8 million -- Atkinson's best opening in his home country. It also opened in Germany during the Oct. 7-9 weekend, grossing $3.9 million. The original Johnny English saw its best performances in the U.K. and Germany, where it cumed $31.2 million and $20.8 million, respectively (both are markets where physical comedy is a favorite genre).

Atkinson isn't as popular in the U.S., where the sequel opens Oct. 21. Says one box-office observer: "He's a TV personality overseas because of Mr. Bean, but he never caught on here. It's just one of those things."

comments powered by Disqus