As the international box office anticipates the swollen revenues delivered by Spider-Man, Attack Of The Clones and the rest of the summer blockbusters, local and foreign titles are taking advantage of the counter programming and kick-back business during this heavy cinema-going period.
This week a host of titles are doing just that. In South Korea, where Spider-Man is monopolising the chart in its second week, four local titles have grabbed the other four spaces in the top five. These include hit title The Way Home, which has grossed $17.2m in six weeks on release, and new releases Make It Big ($1.1m in two days) and Chuihwaseon: Strokes Of Flame ($0.7m).
Italy saw local title Casomai, from 01 Distribution, continue to hold its own last weekend as, in its second week, it expanded its release to take $329,116 (Euros 360,711) from 113 screens. While taking fifth position in the chart, unable to compete in terms of three-day gross with the wider releases of Hollywood big hitters including The Scorpion King and Panic Room, in its first weekend (May 3-5), Casomai boasted a superior screen average. The film managed an opening weekend of $335,761 from 89 prints to take a strong average of $3,773 - bettered only by first-placed Ice Age. In its second weekend Casomai gained fourth place with a drop of just 3% and watched Panic Room and The Scorpion King plummet past it with approximately 60% drops from their previous week's grosses.
The chart for Serbia and Montenegro saw another local hit perform well. Ringe Raja opened on eight screens to take $13,767 (Dinars 914,500) for distributor Provision. While a far cry from chart leader Spider-Man, which grossed a colossal $73,565 (Dinars 4.9m) on 16 screens last weekend - bringing its 10-day total to $113,636 - Ringe Raja fought off all other comers to earn second place.
In the UK and Belgium, Spanish-language title Sex And Lucia (Lucia Y El Sexo) scored strongly with high screen averages from a limited release in both territories. In the UK it held the best site average of the week, ahead of wide release titles About A Boy and Panic Room.
The wealth of smaller titles continues this coming weekend. In Iceland BAFTA winning foreign film Amores Perros from Mexico opens for Samfilm against Skifan's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones. Australia sees Guillermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo Del Diablo) and French title My Wife Is An Actress take on George Lucas' behemoth. Similarly Optimum Releasing in the UK launches another French hit, The Closet (Le Placard) - a comedy starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu - when 20th Century Fox opens Star Wars. Momentum Pictures follows suit with Oscar-winning foreign title No Man's Land, directed by Danis Tanovic, also in the UK.
Also scheduled to launch alongside Episode II are local titles including, Eagle Pictures' N'gopp in Italy; Docuzone's Van Mannen En Merries in The Netherlands; Der Glanz Von Berlin for Salzgeber in Germany; and Jojo La Frite in France, handled by Harpo Films.