Sunday, September 16, 2007

American Animated Features Overseas

Once upon a box office (Fifteen? Twenty years ago?) the grosses that counted most were from the coins collected in the fifty united states of America.

Today, not so much. Now a majority of theatrical box office for high profile films come from abroad. And with growing foreign markets ... and a sagging American dollar ... ticket sales beyond U.S. shores are more important than ever.

With that in mind, we review foreign cumes for animated features in the week gone by:

"Ratatouille" is the 25th Disney picture to top $200 million outside the U.S., mirroring the domestic cume of $202 million. Toon will continue cooking up box office biz overseas for weeks to come, including October openings in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Scandinavia.

For the frame of Sept. 7-9, "Ratatouille" grossed $8.5 million from 2,809 locations in 34 markets, putting it at No. 2.

So let's see. That makes $400 million that the disappointing Ratatouille has now rung up worldwide. But wait, there's more:

Coming in right behind "Ratatouille" was "Shrek the Third," which grossed $8 million from 1,933 playdates to push the international cume to $451 million, only $28 million shy of "Shred 2." Placing No. 3 for the weekend, "Shrek the Third" took $4.3 of its coin from Italy, where it declined 47% in its second sesh.

And how is the third animated candidate for the world box office sweepstakes performing? Not badly at all...

"The Simpsons Movie" and "Knocked Up" each took in roughly $4.1 million for the frame. Perf bumps up the cume for "Simpsons" to $309.4 million, far outpacing expectations.

To date, The Simpsons Movie has run far beyond Fox's initial expectations, taking in -- to date -- $491.7 in global box office.

With a cume nudging up against half a billion dollars, the odds are good that the execs down on Pico Boulevard will order up another Simpsons feature, which is what we're focused on.

Because nothing insures future employment better than a blockbuster. And in the last three months, animation has had three of those in the world marketplace. It's always beneficial to remember that...

"In Hollywood, a good movie is a movie that makes a lot of money."


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