For the first time since its launch in April, Screen'sexclusive international box office chart is headed by a non-US producedfilm.
Germancomedy 7 Dwarfs topped the chart, led by its $11.7m (Euro 9.2m) openingon its home turf. It also receivednumber ones in Austria and Switzerland.
Itwas the third highest opening of the year in Germany behind another localcomedy, (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1 ($15.4m), and Harry PotterAnd The Prisoner Of Azkaban ($14.8m).
Followingin second place, off launches in France, Belgium and French-speakingSwitzerland, was French-US co-production A Very Long Engagement. Thefigures gave the film the biggest opening for a local film in France this year.It was the eighth biggest local release opening in France to date.
Itis a great start for Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Oscar hopeful. His previous film,2001's Amelie, grossed $141m from international markets.
It should be noted, however, that both 7 Dwarfs andA Very Long Engagement are distributed by studios. 7 Dwarfs is aUIP pick-up while Warner Bros co-produced and distributes A Very LongEngagement.
WarnerBros also handles the highest new US entry of the week. Horror prequel Exorcist:The Beginning launched in multiple territories over the Halloween weekendled by a number one debut in Spain with $2.4m (Euro 1.9m). The film also gained number ones in Mexico($1.1m) and Brazil ($556,000). The UK proved less successful, however, wherethe film had to settle for sixth place.
UIP'sShark Tale saw only a few Eastern European openings this week, led byRussia's $1.4m, but its $9.3m weekend eased it passed $100m internationally(see separate ScreenDaily.com story).
Furtherforeign language support came in tenth and eleventh positions where localreleases in South Korea (romantic thriller The Scarlet Letter) and Japan(Be With You) saw good results.
Frenchand Dutch openings led a swath of new European launches for Fox's Alien VsPredator.
Meanwhile BVI's The Village saw a late launchin Italy garner a number one spot in the country with $3.3m (Euro 2.6m) andhelp launch the mystery drama back into the international chart.
Italyalso provided a boost to light romantic drama Shall We Dance' The film,which stars Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon, went out through01 Distribuzione in Italy for second place. It is still in the early stage ofinternational roll-out.
Thefirst weekend anywhere in the world for Oscar-hopeful Finding Neverlandproved underwhelming in the UK ($1.4m from 324 sites). However, similar themedfilms have often proven mainstays and slowburners at the UK box office somid-week sales and second weekend drop-offs will be key to judging its firstresults. BVI consider it a solid start over what proved a soft weekend at theUK box office for adult-themed titles and are confident the film will have along life.
For full chart, click here
The international table is compiled each week by Leonard Klady for Screen International.