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"Sex" a lusty performer at international box office
June 10, 2008 / 6:15 AM / 9 years ago

"Sex" a lusty performer at international box office

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Early fears that romantic comedies could not travel overseas were somewhat assuaged over the weekend as New Line’s “Sex and the City” surged to the top of the international market and Fox’s “What Happens in Vegas” hurdled past the $100 million (51 million pounds) mark.

<p>Sarah Jessica Parker arrives during the "Sex And The City" movie premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York May 27, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>

In its second weekend, “Sex” edged out “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” pulling in $37.6 million from 5,708 screens in 40 markets compared with $36.5 million for the Paramount tent pole title’s third round on 7,519 screens in 53 territories. “Sex” reached an international gross to date of $91.5 million while “Indy” hit a lusty $325.1 million.

In Australia, where “Sex” debuted at No. 1 with $7.5 million, pirates served as indicators of what’s hot at the box office when police raided two retailers in Sydney that were selling pirated copies of the film two days before the opening. Many theatres in major Aussie cities reported sell-out audiences on opening day, with a number of showings in movie houses that normally play art-house fare.

In Hong Kong, where the film was categorized as restricted to persons over 18, about 75 percent of the audience were women in their 30s and 40s who dressed up for the occasion and attended in groups, according to Joe Li, manager of the IFC Palace Theatre in central Hong Kong’s multinational business hub.

“Sex” opened at No. 1 in 16 of its 25 new openings, including Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia and Lithuania.

The Steven Spielberg-directed “Indy” has tallied $64.6 million to date in the U.K., $30.8 million in France, $21.7 million in Australia, $23 million in Korea, $15.5 million in Italy, $22.1 million in Germany, $16 million in Russia and $24.8 million in Spain. It premieres in Japan this weekend before the official opening June 21.

With “Sex” and “Indy” leading the way, overall summer business is beginning to boom. Paramount/DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda” joined the fray with a promising $20.5 million from 1,552 screens in nine markets; Disney’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” reached a foreign gross of $101 million after a weekend take of $20.1 million from 4,473 screens in 26 territories; and “What Happens in Vegas” picked up $7.4 million from 3,482 screens in 60 markets on its way to $100 million-plus glory.

“Panda,” like Sony’s new entry, the Adam Sandler-starring “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” are off to staggered rollouts, with “Panda” making the overseas rounds from now to the end of August. “Zohan,” which opened to $2.1 million from 406 screens in Mexico and Iceland, also has overseas dates running to the end of August.

In the midst of the battle of the blockbusters, Sony’s “21” managed to pick up another $4.6 million from 1,650 screens in 52 markets to lift its gross to $59.5 million.

“Iron Man” forged another $4.1 million to lift its international take to $248.9 million, and Sony’s romantic comedy “Made of Honor” reached $35.1 million, following a $3 million weekend.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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