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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

International Relations

Interesting to take a look at Variety‘s report on the international box office
Pirates 3 is now the biggest grosser outside of North America of the trilogy.
Potter 5 now looks like it will be the #3 Potter film worldwide.
The Simpsons has $230 million international, significantly more than at home.
Transformers has done surprisingly well overseas, with $328 million, topping the domestic gross.
Life Free or Die Hard has grossed $204 million overseas, making it the 7th highest grosser of the summer worldwide, leapfrogging Knocked Up and Ratatouille, though The Rat is out in fewer than half their international markets and should jump past DH4 before year end.
Ocean’s 13 is closing in on $300 million worldwide.

9 Responses to “International Relations”

  1. Aladdin Sane says:

    Why does Disney hold back on Ratatouille for so long? Is this common practice for their animated fare?

  2. jeffmcm says:

    I can’t imagine that Knocked Up will have big international legs.
    Another movie that has made significantly more than it did in the U.S.: Hostel 2, closing in on $60m worldwide (sorry to bring up old wounds).

  3. ployp says:

    In Thailand, school isn’t out until early October. But we’ve had Ratatouille for a few weeks now. (which is unusal as we normally have to wait until October for Pixar movies.)

  4. Aladdin, as Ployp alluded to, many kids films are saved for school holidays. What’s annoying is when Ratatouille opened in America was school holidays here, yet we have to wait until the end of September (I think) to see it. Grrr. During the school holidays (er, there’s four lots of them, three of which are two weeks plus the longer one over Christmas if our system is different) we’re usually inundated with a back catalogue of kids films. Amazing holds for Ratatoiulle in France and Japan though, no matter what the trends are.
    Perhaps a reason for The Simpsons Movie‘s big international is that it rates better? I know in Australia it routinely makes it into the Top 20 programs each week whereas in America it’s barely in the Top 60 (right? or did I read wrong). It’s made $26mil here, which would be the equivelant of $260mil in America. Harry Potter has made $33mil.
    One of the anomolies of Australia’s box office is the European film As It Is In Heaven is #15 after being on the chart for 54 weeks. It was nominated for an Oscar a couple of years back I think. For some reason it’s just still playing. Crazy.

  5. jsnpritchett says:

    Not sure why you think the Transformers international gross is surprising. The toy line started in Japan, and the film is a big-budget action/sci-fi romp–exactly the type of film that typically does well globally.

  6. Wrecktum says:

    “Perhaps a reason for The Simpsons Movie’s big international is that it rates better?”
    That is correct. Simpsons is an excellent overseas TV property for Fox. It’s a big reason why the show is still on the air.

  7. seymourgrant says:

    Hey David,
    I don’t know if you’ve seen this but the-numbers.com now has a weekly DVD sales chart. Is this the start of something? Will DVD sales numbers evolve into the same craziness that surrounds boxoffice numbers? If these numbers were out there more, how would that change the residuals debate? Or would it even?
    http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/weekly/thisweek.php

  8. There have been DVD/VHS sales/rental charts for a very long time, haven’t there? It’s just that in the last couple of years people have realised sometimes there’s plenty more cash in these areas than there can be in the cinema.

  9. seymourgrant says:

    I’ve seen plenty of DVD sales charts but never one that included actual amounts of money made. Usually they just list what the top selling DVD’s are for the week and maybe how many units were sold if it was a particularly high number which I suspect were studios bragging. But DVD sales numbers is something new to me. DVD’s being cash cows hasn’t been a secret, but the actual money numbers have been kept pretty close to the cuff. Even if this list is just an educated guess, where is all this heading? Is Katie Couric going to be ‘reporting’ DVD sales numbers on the evening news as if it was the weekend box office? Watercooler talk, “Man, Wild Hogs made $50 million in DVD sales.”

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Box Office

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up