No curse in 'Mummy's' second week
EmptyBatman might be the U.S.' immovable boxoffice object, but a mummy is the unstoppable force internationally.
Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" dominated the international market for the second straight weekend, grabbing $55.1 million in its face-off with Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight," which took $35.1 million in its fourth round.
In contrast, Batman ruled the domestic roost for the fourth consecutive week with $26 million, while "Mummy" came in third in its second week with $16.1 million.
"Mummy," with 25 new openings, including several key European territories, came in No. 1 in 13 markets, with the U.K. delivering $8.6 million from 477 screens; Germany, $6.5 million from 650; France, $5 million from 557; and Taiwan, $3.9 million from 78.
The third "Mummy" thriller, with Asian stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh aboard this time, had record-breaking openings the week before in Southeast Asia and maintained a strong pace worldwide, raising its international gross to $140.6 million despite a letdown in Asia as the Beijing Olympics got under way.
The local boxoffice dipped in Hong Kong as the Opening Ceremony on Friday kept moviegoers glued to their television sets. According to the Hong Kong and Kowloon Motion Picture Industry Assn., "Mummy," last week's boxoffice champ, took in $148,000 on Friday, a more than two-thirds drop from last week's $448,216 opening.
Meanwhile, Batman, never in the same class overseas as "Spider-Man" or "Pirates of the Caribbean," is making its best-ever foreign showing. "Dark Knight" reached a cume of $263.5 million with its $35.5 million take from nearly 7,000 screens.
The Caped Crusader opened No. 1 in four new markets and broke into the top 10 all-time grossers in Latin America, according to Warner Bros. International. It opened No. 1 in Korea with $6.9 million from 461 screens, exceeding the entire gross of "Batman Begins" in just five days of release, Warners said.
The summer offerings continue to roll along at a good pace, though indications are that the boxoffice for MPA companies is running about 3%-5% behind the same period last year.
Disney/Pixar critics darling "WALL-E" hit a foreign gross of $122.3 million as it slowly wends it way around the globe. The weekend saw "WALL-E" set an all-time Disney record for an animated film in Korea, bringing in $3.8 million from 369 screens. It arrived No. 1 in Spain, with $48 million from 491, and set a Disney record in Argentina with $965,000 from 80.
The surprise hit of the season, Universal's "Mamma Mia!," sang its cume to $174.1 million after a $15.4 million weekend marked by a No. 1 opening in the Czech Republic and strong holdovers in the U.K., Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.
DreamWorks/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda" continued to lead the animation parade, hitting $349.2 million after a $10 million weekend, with $36 million from the U.K. in five weeks, $28.6 million from Korea in nine sessions and more than $20 million to date from Australia, France, Germany, Mexico and Russia.
In single-market openings, Sony's "Pineapple Express" opened No. 4 in Australia to $1.1 million from 195 screens, while Fox's "Taken" opened No. 3 in Spain with $1.3 million from 318.
Other weekend activity saw Sony's "Hancock" earn $6.5 million from 4,050 screens, lifting its cume $332.3 million; Fox's "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," $5.2 million (cume: $30.6 million); Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," $3.9 million (cume: $254 million); New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $3.2 million (cume: $37.3 million); Universal's "Wanted," $2.9 million (cume: $120.7 million); Warners' "Get Smart," $2.3 million (cume: $73.6 million); Fox's "Meet Dave," $1.8 million (cume: $18.7 million); and Universal's "The Incredible Hulk," $1.2 million (cume: $114.8 million).
Cume updates: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," $461.4 million; "Sex and the City," $237.6 million; "The Happening," $94.8 million; "Red Cliff," $65.5 million; "Nim's Island," $40.7 million; "The Love Guru," $5.3 million; "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," $29.2 million; "Prom Night," $10.8 million.
Karen Chu in Hong Kong contributed to this report.