Warner Bros had cause to celebrate this weekend in the international market as two of their titles carved up the box office. While Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence crossed the $100m barrier, even before opening in many key European territories including France, Spain and the UK, Swordfish secured top level entries from several new openings. Japan accounts for $77m of A.I.'s international take to date.
John Travolta's latest big screen outing, which includes a terrorist storyline, hit screens in The Netherlands, France, Sweden and Switzerland last weekend, despite being removed from screens in the UK after eight weeks on release, following the events in the US early last week. In the Netherlands the film opened against US comedy Rat Race but came through victorious to claim the top chart position, grossing $280,743 from 80 screens over its four-day debut for a screen average of $3,509.
While having to make do with second place in France, unable to dethrone local film Une Hirondelle A Fait Le Printemps which dropped off just 9% in its second week on release, Swordfish sold 388,793 tickets (approximately $2.3m) from 501 screens, Warner Bros' third biggest seven-day opening of the year behind local phenomenon Le Verite Si Je Mens 2 (2.8m admissions) and horror favourite The Exorcist, Director's Cut (621,727).
The distributor released both films together in Switzerland where A.I. claimed second place, coming in behind Bridget Jones's Diary in its fourth week - a one-two repeated in Germany, while Swordfish took sixth. However the actionner's $98,237 from just 19 screens offered up the stronger per screen average with an impressive $5,170. A.I. recorded a four-day gross of $170,909 from 50 screens for a strong $3,418 average.
Swordfish, which is directed by Dominic Sena - previously responsible for 1993's Kalifornia and last year's Gone In 60 Seconds - has grossed over $108m worldwide to date, of which international markets account for $40m. It has also held the lead position for two consecutive weeks in Iceland and opened to a three-day gross of $164,931 in Sweden over the weekend. Before being taken off the film, which also stars Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, had taken $10.2m in the UK. It still has several territories in which to open including Germany on September 27.