The weekend saw a host of titles, and especially local films, performing exceptionally well at the international box office. The Others in Spain, Musa: The Warrior in South Korea, Der Schuh Des Manitu in Germany as well as Moulin Rouge in the UK, all point to a healthy year for ticket sales that will be remembered chiefly for domestic product.
Spanish co-production The Others opened strong in Spain over the weekend with an estimated $3.27m (pts607m), making it the territory's highest-ever domestic opening
Previous local title holderTorrente 2 made $3.18m (pts581.8m) when it opened on March 30 on 303 copies. Distributor Warner Sogefilms released director Alejandro Amenabar's The Others on a massive 305 copies. The weekend saw major media coverage of the film starting with last Thursday's premiere, which was attended by the film's star, Nicole Kidman, and many of Spain's best known film and TV personalities.
Miramax honcho and Others executive producer Harvey Weinstein was also present at Thursday's premiere, alongside co-producers Fernando Bovaira of Sogecine, Jose Luis Cuerda of Las Producciones del Escorpion and Sunmin Park, as well as co-stars Fionnula Flanagan, James Bentley and Alakina Mann. Co-executive producer Tom Cruise was not in attendance.
Spain's fall season has started off with a bang thanks to The Others and last week's premiere of Tim Burton's The Planet Of The Apes, which became Spain's highest grossing weekend opener ever, taking $4.04m (pts740.3m) on a 317-screen release.
Meanwhile, the UK became the latest conquest for Australian high-kicker Moulin Rouge. Baz Luhrmann's vibrant musical claimed the top spot at the UK box office with a three-day gross of $3.2m (£2.2m) crushing fellow opener Scary Movie 2, which took $2.05m (£1.4m) in the same period from 407 sites. In comparison Moulin Rouge played at just 284 sites for a whopping site average of $11,318.
Elsewhere, South Korea saw yet another local film grab the top spot as Musa: The Warrior opened on Saturday. Musa's two-day opening in Seoul of 177,700 admissions (approximately $964,000) is the fifth biggest of the year, after The Mummy Returns, Friend, Shrek and Pearl Harbor. However, like Pearl Harbor, Musa's long running time (158 mins) may have handicapped it - only allowing four shows per day instead of the usual five. The film, distributed by CJ Entertainment, sold 521,000 ($2.8m) tickets in the whole of the country.
Finally, reclaiming the lead at the German box office in its eighth week on release was Der Schuh Des Manitu. Having spent a couple of weeks at number three following the releases of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Bridget Jones's Diary and Planet Of The Apes, the local hit sold 460,000 tickets at the weekend. More than seven million people have now seen the film, making it the biggest German success of the past 15 years in the territory, overtaking Der Bewegte Mann.
Additional reporting by Robert Mitchell.