Russian 'Koltchak' tops global boxoffice

Revolution-era drama opens in Russia, Ukraine

A Russian-made historical drama about a Revolution-era naval hero with romantic entanglements emerged as the weekend’s surprise No.1 international boxoffice winner as ”Koltchak” (Admiral), which opened in just two markets -- Russia and the Ukraine -- grossed an estimated $12.8 million from about 1,500 screens.

“Admiral” stars Konstantin Khabensky as the admiral and polar explorer who led the elite “white forces” of the anti-Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War. The drama directed by Andrei Kravchuk was produced by Russian Channel 1/Solyaris, and acquired and released by 20th Century Fox. It depicts the title character’s war experiences as well as his love affair with a close friend’s wife.

Warner’s “Body of Lies,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, opened in Australia and New Zealand as well as five Asian markets (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) for an estimated $3.2 million take from a total of 656 screens. The CIA thriller was No. 1 in Australia, Crowe’s home country, with an estimated $1.5 million from 292 screens.   

Finishing a close No. 2 on the weekend overall was DreamWorks/Paramount’s thriller “Eagle Eye,” which premiered in 10 new territories, registering $11.2 million from 3,113 screens in a total of 41 markets for an international total so far of $30 million.

“Mamma Mia!,” which had led the international boxoffice for the last five frames, settled for third place with $8 million from 4,100 dates in 48 markets, pushing its overseas cume at $390.5 million. Distributor Universal predicts the smash-hit musical with Meryl Streep will surpass the $400 million mark overseas by the coming weekend.

Pixar/Disney’s “WALL-E” finished fourth with $5.8 million from 3,109 screens in 33 territories for an international cume of $238.6 million (domestic total is $221 million).  A strong Germany showing -- where it was No. 1 for the fourth consecutive weekend with $2.3 million from 680 screens for a cume of $16.6 million -- powered the weekend’s total number.  Disney expects “WALL-E” to surpass the $239.1 million overseas gross mark of "Toy Story 2” (1999) by Monday.

Ranking No. 1 in the U.K. – and taking the fifth spot overall -- is Sony’s “The House Bunny,” which debuted in the world’s biggest overseas market for Hollywood studio features at an estimated $1.7 million from 252 screens. 

The comedy with Anna Faris as a former Playboy model teaching nerdy sorority girls to be more attractive also opened in Spain (where it ranked No. 5 in the market), Germany, France (ranking No. 14 in Paris and suburbs) and Brazil, and lured $5 million on the weekend overall from 1,585 dates in 25 markets. International cume so far stands at $8.6 million.

In France, Woody Allen’s comedy, “Vicky Christina Barcelona” opened via Warner’s at No. 1 in Paris and suburbs, with an estimated $2 million from an undisclosed number of locations in the market overall. Premiering in second place was “Righteous Kill,” the crime drama co-starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, which garnered an estimated $1.5 million.

Local language holdovers held well, led by director Laurence Cantet’s “Entre le murs” (The Class). The Palme d’or winner at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival ranked No. 3 with an estimated $1.3 million from about 500 screens – a 45% drop from its second weekend -- for a market cume of $7.5 million. “The Class” opened less robustly in Italy, finishing out of the top ten in the market.

Finishing fourth in France was director Olivier Van Hoofstad’s “Go Fast,” an action vehicle about drug-running from Spain to North Africa. The Europacorp release claimed $1.1 million in its second weekend at 286 screens, down 58% from its opening round, for a market total of $3.6 million.

No. 5 in Paris and suburbs was Gaumont’s “Cliente” (Client) with Nathalie Baye as a middle-aged woman paying for sex. Second weekend came in at an estimated $915,000 from 367 screens, down 51% from its opening round.  “Client’s” market cume stands at $2.9 million.

Universal released “Burn After Reading” in Spain for a muscular $2.7 million from 318 locations, the best tally of any of the Coen brothers’ titles to play the market. The espionage-related spoof also opened in Israel, Singapore and Denmark, and looks to have grossed an estimated $4 million on the weekend overall.

Fox opened in Germany its German-language acquisition, “Krabat,” a period fantasy set in the 17th century about a boy learning the black arts. The title finished No. 3 in the market with $2.2 million from 359 locations.

Other weekend tallies, plus international cumes, include: Fox’s “Mirrors,” $4.4 million from 1,700 screens, cume $25 million; Universal’s “Wanted,” $3.8 million from 1,536 dates, cume $193.9 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Tropic Thunder,” $3.2 million from 1,687 spots, cume $54.3 million; Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” $3 million from 935 screens, cume $10.3 million; Miramax/Disney’s “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas,” $2.1 million from 435 locations in Spain and the U.K., cume $14.7 million; Fox’s “Taken,” $2 million from 800 screens, cume $33 million; Paramount’s “How To Lose Friends and Alienate People,” $1.4 million from 447 sites in the U.K., $4.6 million from the single market; Sony’s “Lakeview Terrace,” $550,000 from 192 screens in France, cume $1.8 million from the single market.

Other international cumes: Warner’s “The Dark Knight,” $463.1 million; Sony’s  “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” $99.4 million; Warner’s “Nights in the Rodanthe,” $6.9 million; Sony’s “Hancock,” $395.6 million; Warner’s “Get Smart,” $98.1 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Kung Fu Panda,” $413.6 million; Fox’s “Babylon A.D.,” $16.3 million; Warner’s “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” $32.1 million; Universal’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” $65.5 million; and Universal’s “Wild Child,” $15.4 million.