Itwas a great week for Buena Vista International (BVI) at the international boxoffice last weekend as King Arthur and The Village claimed thetop two positions.
Sixweeks after its international debut King Arthur took the international boxoffice crown boosted by a handful of new openings - led by a number one debutin Germany with $3.1m (Euro 2.5m).
Weeksof diligent international service has seen the film open number one in mostterritories - it opened top in the Czech Republic and Austria last weekend. Theaction drama now stands on the edge of crossing the $100m mark with plenty oflife (and several territories including Italy) left in it.
"Itshistorical context has given King Arthur a wider demographic than justthe 15-24 age group," says Daniel Battsek, executivevice president and managing director for BVI UK Ltd, Distribution/Production. "Inthe UK we have seen it playing well mid-week which is a good indicator thatit's reaching outside that group."
TheUK is the film's second highest international result at $11.6m to date, behindJapan's $16.8m. This result is another example this summer of the power of theinternational marketplace and its ability to aid a film that has disappointedin the US. King Arthur barely crossed $50m in North America.
"Weprepared the way from way back, making a special point of taking Europeanexhibitors and press to the set in Ireland," Battsek explains, "I think thathas paid dividends."
Battsekalso points to the story and cast being more familiar to international audiencesthan US audiences as a reason that international grosses already account fortwo thirds of King Arthur's worldwide cumulative total.
"LikeTroy it is a much more European story, even though it's a JerryBruckheimer film" says Daniel Frigo, senior vice president and deputy generalmanager of BVI EMA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). "I don't think people wereas critical as in the US."
BVIfocused on specialty campaigns around local talent in many territoriesfeaturing individual poster campaigns around actors such as Ray Winstone (UK),Mads Mikkelsen (Denmark) Til Schweiger (Germany) and Stellan Skarsgard(Sweden).
"TilSchweiger is the Bruce Willis of Germany," explains Frigo looking at the Germansuccess last weekend. "Plus he's back on top thanks to (T)RaumschiffSurprise. It was great timing for us." (T)Raumschiff Surprise hastaken nearly $70m to date.
KingArthur will breeze through the $100m mark this week.
MeanwhileThe Village saw great openings in the UK ($5.36m) and France ($5.7m)shoot it quickly up the chart into second position. The first major territoriesof The Village's international run the results were a great start for MNight Shyamalan's latest chiller.
"TheUK is always a big test for a film that has already been released in Americawith our audience having immediate access to reviews on the internet. It isvital that we managed to get the film off to a fantastic start," explainsBattsek. "Having two of the significant international territories open so wellis a great indicator of the film's potential"
Elsewhereon the chart significant landmarks were achieved by Shrek 2 and Fahrenheti9/11. The animated hit crossed $400m in international grosses, only thesecond film to do so this year after Harry Potter And The Prisoner OfAzkaban and one of only 15 films in history to manage the feat.
MichaelMoore's documentary passed $50m at the international box office, anextraordinary figure for a documentary and one not previously achieved in thegenre.
For international box office,
The international table is compiled each week by Leonard Klady for Screen International.