“The Interpreter” translated to healthy offshore business and Vin Diesel’s “The Pacifier” provided steady returns at an otherwise mild mid-spring frame at the international box office.
The weekend’s typically lukewarm takings generated little surprise as the season draws to a close, with exhibs awaiting day-and-date tentpoles such as Sony’s “XXX: State of the Union” on April 29, Fox’s “Kingdom of Heaven” May 6 and its “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” May 19, Warner’s “Batman Begins” June 17 and UIP’s “War of the Worlds” June 29.
UIP’s “The Interpreter” turned in a solid performance with $12.6 million at 2,378 playdates in 35 territories during the Friday-Sunday period, as the U.N.-set thriller opened in 19 new markets. As of April 26, foreign cume had hit $27.56 million, with its best take by far in the U.K. at $7.14 million.
In Blighty, “The Interpreter” provided the single bright spot: Overall bizbiz was down 12% from the previous weekend and off 8% from the same weekend last year. Exhibs expressed hope that the April 29 openings of BVI’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “XXX: State of the Union” during the bank holiday weekend can generate some much-needed momentum.
“The Interpreter” dipped just 24% in its soph sesh in the U.K. and retained the top spot by a big margin, with exhibs pointing to the casting of Sean Penn alongside Nicole Kidman. “This is a classic 2+2=5 box office situation: Although their last two pics did not totally connect with audiences in the territory, Kidman alongside Penn is a real crowd-pleaser,” one Blighty booker asserted.
Despite the strong hold, U.K. exhibs opine “The Interpreter” is benefiting mostly from being the most notable release in a soft market.
“The Interpreter,” which led Stateside with $22.8 million on its opening frame April 22-24, showed decent soph sesh legs in many offshore markets: It slipped a mere 9% in OzOz, 24% in the Netherlands, 27% in Poland, 28% in Portugal, 11% in Sweden and 18% in Switzerland.
The Sydney Pollack-helmed thriller opened at the top in Germany with a 23% share. One Teuton exhibexhib cited Kidman’s wide appeal among local moviegoers along with a glitzy premiere in Berlin — which drew Kidman and Pollack — as a boost, along with the timeliness of being set at U.N headquarters.
In Greece, where pic opened a week earlier than any other market on April 8, the third frame of “The Interpreter” declined 43% to $213,467 at 48 engagements; cume on April 26 totaled $1.53 million.
The Interpreter has made about $117m worldwide to date, $61m domestic and $56m overseas [i](thanks skanky at the forum for these numbers!)[/i]