Sunday, November 08, 2009

Foreign B.O.

Animation continues to boogie on overseas.

... Finishing No. 2 on the weekend was director Robert Zemeckis' 3D performance-capture version of Disney's "A Christmas Carol" starring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, which drew $12 million in its opener at 2,750 screens in 18 territories for a per-screen average of $4,364.

Disney said that "3D was a significant factor, accounting for 62% of our total result from only 37% of the screens." The latest version of Charles Dickens' frequently filmed 1843 novella opened at No. 1 domestically and has collected a worldwide tally of $43 million so far.

Driving "Christmas Carol" were strong opening numbers in the U.K. and in Mexico. Disney says that "on a consolidated basis in the same bucket of territories, the $12 million take was the best ever achieved by a Robert Zemeckis film." The take was 50% bigger than that of "The Polar Express," Zemeckis' 2004 Christmas season title in 3D. ...

So that seems clear enough. The Mouse is shooting to replicate The Polar Express magic. Meanwhile, the magic in other territories of Disney's empire is functioning just fine.

Third on the weekend was Pixar/Disney's "Up," which boosted its international total to $367 million -- $48 million shy of the total recorded by Pixar/Disney's "Ratatouille" - thanks to an $8.4 million weekend at 4,278 screens in 26 markets. A Japan opening is set for Dec. 5.

When all the receipts come in, Walt's place will have raked in significant coin from its various animated franchises: the c.g. product, the mo-cap features, the hand-drawn cartoons. Profits are important, but cash flow is also a big deal.

Moolah is the name of the game, first and last and forever.


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