UIP's Shrek and Bridget Jones's Diary have entered the summer races in the international markets against early leaders, fellow UIP release The Mummy Returns and BVI's Pearl Harbor, although these two behemoths still hold many of the major territories.
Shrek, the DreamWorks-produced animated hit, which became the first film to cross the $200m domestic box office mark on Tuesday, started its international roll-out in Italy on June 15. The film, which features the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow, took $1,014,684 (L2.3bn) from 326 screens in the territory for distributor UIP, and snatched the top position away from Pearl Harbor. Strong reviews and word of mouth have led to predictions that this will be one of the biggest hits of summer and this is certainly a good international start. The film opened in Australia yesterday (June 21) and reaches the UK on June 29, France on July 4 and Germany on July 5.
Meanwhile British success Bridget Jones's Diary, starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, holds top positions in The Netherlands, Spain and Poland, although most of the romantic comedy's $60m international gross still comes from the UK, where it has taken $53.8m.
However, the current leaders remain The Mummy Returns and Pearl Harbor. The Mummy Returns has now taken a mighty $149.1m international gross, giving a worldwide total of $342.6m when added to its domestic take of $193.5m. The Brendan Fraser starrer recently had the highest ever opening for a film in Korea and Taiwan for UIP Asia. The action comedy has an advantage over Pearl Harbor though, as it opened first and has entered more territories so far. From the territories it has attacked, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced WWII epic has managed a strong $73.5m, bringing its worldwide gross to $233.9m.