With a paltry 12% loss week-on-week Japanese animated smash Howl'sMoving Castle passed the $200m mark at the international box office overthe weekend. Over $170m of this has come from Japan with strong support fromSouth Korea and France.
After seven weeks in France 1.2 million people have seen thefilm providing an $9m gross. With the rest of Europe, all of South and CentralAmerica and other key Asian territories including Hong Kong to come Howl'shas a good chance of surpassing Spirited Away's $265m internationalcumulative gross.
Twelve new territory launches including Australia, Mexicoand Italy were not enough for Constantine to topple the seeminglyendless international chart leader Meet The Fockers, which added anothernumber one opening in New Zealand this week.
Led by a triumphant $3.1m in the UK horror title Hide AndSeek (which also stars Robert De Niro) added nine territories and climbedthe table to third. Other launches included France and South Korea.
A stunning $2.3m launch in France saw Ray leap up thetable. Jamie Foxx's Oscar win at the weekend should help sustain its life andcould ensure the territory is the film's best performer. The opening grossalone makes France the fifth highest earner behind Germany ($4.8m), the UK($3.5m), Japan and Australia (both $2.8m). The film also launched in SouthKorea, Hong Kong, Turkey and Croatia at the weekend and went out inFrench-speaking Switzerland, boosting nationwide figures 12%.
Million Dollar Baby will also look to capitalise onits slew of Oscar wins on Sunday. Last weekend the film added 11 new smallerterritories and $4.6m. Baby's total gross is now on a par with Ray'sbut likely to eclipse it in the long run as Ray has all but concludedits run while Baby has many territories to come in March including majorports France, Germany, Russia and Hong Kong.
UIP finished off Shark Tale's major territoryroll-out with a number one in Italy which rocketed the film back into theinternational chart at number eight.
Also re-entering was reincarnation thriller, Birth. Agood launch in third place in Spain through Tri Pictures gave the film $1.3m(Euros 1m).
It was also a strong week for German product on theinternational table. As well the continued success of Die Wilden Kerle 2,Oscar nominee Downfall re-entered the table and Berlinale competitionentry Sophie Scholl: The Final Days debuted. Nearing $60minternationally Downfall saw a good limited launch in Sweden lastweekend taking $42,000 from just eight screens. A 10% week-on-week rise in itssecond week in Norway for a $231,280 (NKR 1.4m) weekend at 26 screens alsocontributed as did continued strong holdovers in European territories includingBelgium, where it remains in the top 10 after seven weeks, and The Netherlandswhere it holds in the top 20 after 17 weeks.
A $1.04m (Euro 788,764) opening from 131,000 admissions onjust 202 screens saw Sophie Scholl finish fourth in Germany forX-Verleih. Combined with Austria the film's $1.1m weekend saw it slip into theinternational top 30.