An impressive debut in Spain last weekend bodes well for the international box office potential of Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo.
Released in Spain simultaneously with the US, 20th Century Fox launched the title on a conservative 180 Spanish screens on Aug 23, achieving a strong three-day opening gross of $1.02m (Euro 1.05m).
Clocking up a powerful average of $5,670 - one of the top ten opening weekend averages of any film released wide in Spain so far this year ( and six of the remaining nine made over $100m internationally) One Hour Photo beat the opening averages of such summer blockbusters as Scooby-Doo, Lilo & Stitch and The Sum Of All Fears.
The success comes as the publicity machine revs up on Photo having played at the 56th Edinburgh Film Festival and London's third annual Lupo Frightfest in the last two weeks, as well as scoring a phenomenal limited opening weekend in the US where it grossed $321,515 from just seven screens in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto for Fox Searchlight.
The film is directed by Mark Romanek, better known for his background in directing music videos for the likes of Madonna and Nine Inch Nails, and is billed as his feature debut despite his directing duties on a little known 1980s US independent called Static, featuring Amanda Plummer.
Receiving good notices for Robin Williams in the central role of Sy Parrish, a long serving one hour photo-lab employee who develops an obsession with the family of one of his regular customers, it is the latest in a string of darker characters for the comic-star following the ill-fated Death To Smoochy (yet to be released in Europe) and Christopher Nolan's Insomnia (currently rolling out around the world and received it's UK launch this weekend). The role is leagues apart from Williams most popular international films (see table below).
One Hour Photo will next have a chance to prove itself in Belgium where it opens this week. That opening is followed on Sept 18 by UGC Fox Distribution's French release and Fox's German bow on Sept 19. Fox launches the thriller in the UK on Oct 4.
Robin Williams' Int'l Top 5
Title (Year) Total Int'l Gross
1 Aladdin (1993) $285m
2 Mrs Doubtfire (1993) $203.9m
3 Hook (1992) $181.2m
4 Jumanji (1996) $164.5m
5 Good Will Hunting (1998) $87.5m