HARRY POTTER WOWS WORLDWIDE FANS
Copyright 2001 www.variety.com

[ December 17th 2001 ]

Harry Potter's tour de force through international territories continued unabated over the weekend as pic minted a further 45.3 million from 8.8 million admissions generated by 8,378 prints in 39 countries.

Five weeks since it began its international juggernaut in Blighty, on the same day it opened in the U.S, international receipts have surged ahead of the $252 million domestic tally to total $313 million. The film has bowed in all major territories with just Eastern Europe, Hong Kong and smaller Asian territories still to go.

In Blighty, where Harry is on track to out-gross that other home-grown literary adaptation, Bridget Jones's Diary, by 12% to become the biggest pic of 2001, it dropped just 28%. It still holds top spot in lap five, and cume is $68 million. But the big news out of Blighty was generated by Bollywood's Kabhi khushi kabhi gham. The masala movie set a new benchmark for sub-continental fare by grossing nearly $562,000 from just 39 screens.

Preems of Harry in South Korea and Hungary over the weekend set territory records. In a Korean market dominated by local fare, 662,407 admissions to 186 houses generated receipts of nearly $3.3 million, and in Hungary pic outperformed Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Shrek to accrue $359,000 from 34.

Fantasy film remained the top performer in all international territories except Mexico and Brazil. In lap four in Mexico, it was bumped into second spot by BVI's Monsters, Inc., which over three days garnered $3.2 million from 635 houses to set a new industry benchmark for a Christmas animated release. In Brazil, $687,000 from 289 screens made Monsters Pixar's biggest opening there and beat Shrek's opening by 13%.

Despite premieres by four strong challengers, Harry's supremacy was unwavering in Japan, where it grossed $8.2 million from 621 screens in lap three. Openers Spy Game garnered $2.28 million, Shrek $2.1 million, Godzilla Mothra King Gidora $1.9 million and Sennen no koi $1.2 million. It was a similar story in Italy, where preems included Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, local pic Il principe e il pirate and Spy Game. Harry in lap two dropped 33% but still took about double the B.O. of the best opener, Lara Croft. Harry's cume there has reached $10.5 million from 537 prints.

In a Spanish market dominated by Harry in lap three, American Pie 2 in lap two and Don't Say a Word in lap four, BVI's The Princess Diaries opened delicately to garner $399,000 from 202 screens. Miramax's Serendipity, on the other hand, charmed the Taiwanese market - dominated by Harry and local pics - to garner second spot after Harry, about $201,300 from 37 houses.

In Australia, Col TriStar's Thirteen Ghosts worked some magic with students who were beginning summer holidays, but the four-day weekend gross of $308,000 from 139 screens was a quarter of American Pie 2's takings from 308 in lap two.

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