'Harry Potter' is magic overseas

Film draws biggest-ever five-day opening figures

'Harry Potter' tops North American boxoffice

Warner Bros. is celebrating the largest five-day overseas opening launch in history as "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" debuted a commanding No. 1 in 54 territories, grossing $236 million on 15,800 screens.

"Prince" handily eclipsed the previous franchise record for the top international launch: the $192.9 million accumulated in five days from 44 territories by 2007's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Warners says the "Prince" bow represents the largest Imax opening to date, with 62 screens grossing about $3.6 million.

The worldwide tally for "Prince" is $394 million, which Warner's says is the biggest worldwide opening launch for any film ever.

Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," which opened May 23, 2007, drew $218.4 million in its first five days; a sixth day (Memorial Day) pushed that tally to $251.1 million. "Spider-Man 3" also opened in May 2007, recording a five-day total of $203.4 million, distributor Sony said. Its six-day figure was $232.8 million.

Double-digit opening-launch numbers for "Prince" were recorded in the U.K. with $32.1 million from 1,305 sites, 20% more than the comparable market figure for "Phoenix." Also, Germany produced $23.6 million from 1,300 sites; France, $20.4 million from 949 locations; Japan, $18.4 million from 843 screens; Australia, $14.7 million from 510 situations; Italy, $13.8 million from 928 locations; and China, $12.8 million from 575 screens.

Robust overseas boxoffice is crucial for "Prince" because the previous "Potter" titles grossed far more internationally than in the U.S. and Canada. Of the $4.48 billion worldwide tally for the five previous films in the franchise, $3.07 billion was grossed on the foreign circuit, Warners data showed.

With the latest "Potter" pic virtually monopolizing overseas action, "Bruno" dropped to $11 million during the weekend from 2,400 situations in 30 territories to finish No. 4 overall. The Sacha Baron Cohen comedy opened at No. 2 the previous weekend with $25 million generated by 2,278 screens in 28 markets.

The overseas total for "Bruno" is $47 million; the domestic cume is 49.6 million. Universal, "Bruno's" foreign distributor with Sony and Mandate International, said a $100 worldwide gross will be reached this week.

At No. 2 overall for the weekend was Fox's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," which had occupied the No. 1 spot the previous two frames. Fox said it is 2009's biggest grosser internationally, with a foreign cume of $430.9 million, versus $398 million for runner-up "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the weekend's No. 3 title.

In its latest round, the "Ice Age" threequel bagged $61.9 million from 11,089 screens in 102 markets. Fox said "Dinosaurs" is the industry's biggest grossing film to date in Russia, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay.

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Transformers" sequel, meanwhile, drew $13.6 during the weekend from 7,506 spots in 57 markets, good for an overseas cume of $396.5 million. After four weekends, the tentpole from director Michael Bay has surpassed the $389 million overseas gross total recorded by the 2007 original.

Finishing fifth on the weekend was Warners' "The Hangover," which grossed $5.9 million from 1,750 screens in 34 markets. The comedy has accumulated $84.4 million overseas.

A No. 3 second round in France ($2.3 million from 471 spots) helped push the weekend tally for Universal's "Public Enemies" to $4.7 million from 1,606 screens in 21 markets. The crime drama starring Johnny Depp and from director Michael Mann has a foreign cume of $24.6 million with 47 territories to play.

Disney's "The Proposal," co-starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, pushed its overseas cume to $48.1 million thanks to a $3.4 million weekend from 2,120 situations in 23 markets; the comedy opens the U.K. this weekend. Fox Searchlight's "My Life in Ruins," a comedy starring Nia Vardalos, opened in Australia ($637,680 from 169 sites; No. 7 in the market), New Zealand and Puerto Rico for a total of $717,831 from 196 situations.

In France, the Weinstein Co.'s "The Reader," starring Kate Winslet, finally opened via local distributor SND, grossing $1.6 million at 285 sites, enough for a No. 4 market ranking. Director Xavier Dolan's "I Killed My Mother," a prize-winner this year in Cannes, premiered at No. 18 ($86,000 from 50 dates).

Colifilms Distribution's release of director Jean Francois Davy's "The Cheat," a comedy with Valerie Kaprisky about an unmarried lawyer who passes off her piano tuner as her husband, opened at No. 17 with $100,000 from 100 situations.

Other international cumes: Pixar/Disney's "Up," $54.7 million; Sony's "Angels & Demons," $347.6 million; Universal's "State of Play," $47.8 million; Sony's "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," $6.2 million over six frames overseas; Disney's "Hannah Montana: The Movie," $67.6 million; Sony's "Terminator Salvation," $235.6 million since May 27; Paramount's "Star Trek," $125.7 million; Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $210.8 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Ghost Town," $13.4 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Coraline," $39.5 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens," $177 million; and Universal's "The Last House on the Left," $9.7 million.
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