Pearl Harbor has performed well on its debut in the international market, led by a strong showing in Italy. As it started its international roll-out at the weekend Buena Vista International's World War II epic suggested a new trend in Italy, which has traditionally all but closed down for the summer season. Michael Bay's film rallied a strong $1.95m (L4.47bn) from 420 screens, recording a $4,653 screen average. Until recently most Italian cinemas closed their doors between May and September.
The latest from producer Jerry Bruckheimer also opened in the UK, where it took $4.3m (£3.1m) over an unusual four-day opening from Thursday May 31 to Sunday June 3. However, the film's three-day UK take of $3.7m (£2.6m) from 457 sites still fell some way short of last month's summer kick-off The Mummy Returns, which took $8.4m (£5.9m). Titanic, which BVI seemed keen to compare to Pearl Harbor, opened with $6.2m (£4.4m) on its 1998 UK debut.
The Ben Affleck vehicle proved a hit in Asia as well. Showing massive two-day receipts of $2m in South Korea, the film became the highest opening of all time for a foreign film, second only to local hit Kwak Kyung-taek's Friend, which opened in April. In Singapore, Disney scored its best ever opening with $800,000 and repeated this success in Malaysia with $700,000. The film opened in France yesterday, June 6, and meets Australian and German shores today, June 7, as well as a host of other territories at the weekend.
Pearl Harbor and The Mummy Returns have the international market very much in hand as the summer season gathers strength, but as always some local productions are holding territories where these behemoths have yet to open and, in the case of Australia, where Moulin Rouge reigns, proving strong competition.
In Mexico City, local success El Segundo Aire has continued to pull in crowds since its opening on May 11. The film, distributed locally by Videocine, took $753,689 on its opening weekend from 96 screens for an impressive screen average of $7,851 and dropped off just 21% the following week.
Japan also saw two strong openings last week, with local film Hotaru taking second place with an opening take in the key nine cities (Sapporo, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Hiroshima) of $959,790 from 13 screens. However this lost the top spot to Korean wonder Joint Security Area (JSA) which took $1.01m from 21 screens in the key nine cities and $5m in its first nine days nationwide.