Cedric Klapisch's comedy L'Auberge Espagnole managed a rare feat this week when it knocked Hollywood blockbuster X2: X-Men United off the top of a chart after just one week - in Poland.
An opening of $79,872 (ZLO 299,026) for local distributor Spinka from 20,096 admissions gave L'Auberge Espagnole the lead position. It played at 29 screens in Poland, compared to X2's 55. It also launched on limited release in The UK last weekend, taking $15,178 (£9,471) from eight sites for distributor Cinefrance.
Featuring an ensemble cast including Romain Duris, Judith Godreche and Audrey Tautou the French-Spanish co-production has taken over $23m internationally to date including strong runs in Italy (Bim Distribution, $2.1m), Switzerland (Frenetic, $1.6m), Spain (Filmax, $1.6m) and Belgium (Paradiso, $1.01m). The film launches for Fox Searchlight in North America this weekend (May 16).
Meanwhile in France, where L'Auberge Espagnole grossed $16.4m from 2.96m admissions for Mars Distribution, Merzak Allouache's comedy Chouchou continues to pull in audiences. With 3.7m admissions and $22.7m (Euro 21.3m) recorded to date the film, which was produced by Les Films Christian Fechner, is already Warner Bros' six highest earner in the territory after the two Harry Potter films, 2001 local hit Would I Lie To You' 2 (La Verite Si Je Mens 2), The Matrix and Ocean's Eleven.
Chouchou is set to pass the French total of Francois Ozon's 2002 hit 8 Women (8 Femmes), which sold 3.71m tickets in France and has grossed $40m internationally to date.
The film has taken an additional $695,529 off 24 screens in Belgium for Elysee after five weeks. International sales are handled by Roissy Films (Riviera E1-F2 during Cannes).
Chouchou was just one of five local titles taking up position in France's top six behind X2 for the week ending May 13. New openers Gomez & Tavares (distributed by SND), and Toutes Les Filles Sont Folles (Vision Distribution) claimed second and third places with opening week admissions of 445,103 ($2.5m) and 131,957 ($732,361) respectively. Bac Distribution's Frenchmen (Le Coeur Des Hommes) took fourth in its sixth week (the comedy has grossed $7.3m to date), with Chouchou in fifth and EuropaCorp's Tristan in sixth ($1.2m after two weeks).
X2 lost out in another Eastern European territory over the weekend. Hungary saw the comic-book sequel drop to second position for local distributor InterCom, behind UIP's romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, despite a relatively low percentage drop off of 37%.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days has grossed $31.7m from international territories to date. The best territories so far have been The UK ($9m), Germany ($7.2m), Australia ($4.9m), Mexico ($2.4m) and Italy ($2.3m).