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« Mr & Mrs Incredible | Main | Secret Messages: "I am a short timer..." »
Monday
Jun272011

Box Office: Crushed Cars, Ascendant Woody and Global Hits

We won't waste too much time on the American box office today as it's the usual stories: an animated film tops the charts (don't make me say the name), Bridesmaid barely dipped and Midnight in Paris is zooming up the "all time Woody Allen lists". On this last bit I wish we had "adjusted for inflation" charts at the ready. Those inevitable stories about it passing Hannah and Her Sisters at the box office are going to be annoying because $40 million in 1986 is a helluva lot more ticket-buying action than $41 million in 2011, you know? I'm guessing that Annie Hall, which really captured mainstream attention, would reign supreme if you adjusted for inflation. [updated: yep, ANNIE HALL is #1]

And yes I normally do a new drawing for the box office but I hate drawing cars and the only picture I'd like to conjure in that realm is Cars 2's "Mater" squished flat in a compactor.

U.S. Box-Office (Actuals)
figures via box office mojo

01 CARS 2 new $66.1 
02 BAD TEACHER new $31.6 
03 GREEN LANTERN $18 [review] (cum. $88.9)
04 SUPER 8 $12 [thoughts] (cum. $95.1)
05 MR POPPER'S PENGUINS  $10.1 (cum. $39.2)

the rest of the top twelve are now losing screens... 
X-MEN FIRST CLASS $6.6 [review, top ten X] THE HANGOVER PT II $5.5, BRIDESMAIDS $5.2, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES $4.9 [review], KUNG FU PANDA 2 $4.1, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS $4.1 [podcast] and TREE OF LIFE $1.3 [overheard & thoughts]

Worldwide Action
It's all about the 4th Pirates film worldwide unfortunately, reminding us that the US hardly has the strangehold on lemming-like sequel culture. Johnny Depp on loop nears another 1 billion gross. Crazine$$.

But let's talk about movies that never get any attention on movie blogs!
I looked at the global charts at box office mojo and thought it was worth sharing. Here are the top grossers that aren't Hollywood for 2011 (Please note: Bollywood does not give figures to B.O.M. so who knows with those films)

2011's Top Grossers (Non-English Language)

01 Hankyu densha 
This Japanese film is based on a best-selling novel about intersecting lives (it uses a public transport line as connecting backdrop). Starring Miki Nakatani and Erika Toda. It's nearly as big a hit as, say, Rango across the ocean but it's Japan only thus far. [Trailer]
02 Rien à déclarer (Nothing to Declare)
Directed and written by and stars (whew) Dany Boon who you might remember as the lead actor from last year's chaotic farce Mic-Macs (which was from Amélie's director). It's a comedy about customs officers during the elimination of the French-Belgium border in the 1990s. This is a bigger hit than True Grit or No Strings Attached overseas and has distributors in various markets but nothing for the US as far as I can tell. 
03 Che bella giornata (What a Beautiful Day)
A very complicated sounding comedy starring Checco Zalone (who also co-wrote the movie) as a security officer in Italy who gets mixed up with an Arabic girl posing as a French woman. Italy only thus far. [Official Site]

04 Kokowääh
German star Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds) co-wrote this family comedy and co-stars with his daughter. Warner Bros handled the very very successful German release. Will we see it... or some English language remake here?
05 SP The Motion Picture
Japanese film about Security Police that's based on a TV series.
06 Gantz
A genre film about two teenagers played by Ken'ichi Matsuyama and Kazunari Ninomiya hunting and killing aliens. This one has distributors in some European countries in addition to Asia but the only US plans (at the moment) is a spot in the New York Asian Film Festival which is just about to start (July 1st). 

Here's the trailer for the festival as a whole (cute). If you're in NYC are you seeing anything?


After that in the global charts when its not Hollywood films it's mostly Asian films (they have their own strong markets) but there's one film in particular that our actress-loving heart is thumping for longingly. That's Les Femmes du 6ème étage (Service Entrance) which is a French film about Spanish maids from director Jean-Philippe LeGuay. The Spanish cast includes Carmen Maura and Lola Dueñas (Volver reunion alert!) as the help and Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain as conservative wealthy French employers.

Service Entrance

Strand Releasing has US distribution rights but given that the film is the 79th most popular overseas for 2011 with a $15 million gross (thus far), we hope it gets a hearty US push.

Do you like hearing about foreign hits or did your eyes just glaze over?

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Reader Comments (18)

As German living in Norway, I am always very happy when you write about anything related to European films!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIvonne

Here's a suggestion for a drawing. The Bad Teacher driving Mater off a cliff.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Ask and you shall receive. :) http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/06/23/woody-allen-midnight-in-paris-adjusted-for-inflation/

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

ooh thank you. Handy

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Midnight in Paris is zooming up the "all time Woody Allen lists". On this last bit I wish we had "adjusted for inflation" charts at the ready. Those inevitable stories about it passing Hannah and Her Sisters at the box office are going to be annoying because $40 million in 1986 is a helluva lot more ticket-buying action than $41 million in 2011, you know? I'm guessing that Annie Hall, which really captured mainstream attention, would reign supreme if you adjusted for inflation.

Yes lets take the honor away from the new Woody movie. When Meryl wins her 3rd I'll remind you she's now just even with Hilary Swank in having two Best Actress Oscars.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

this is almost relevant news, but i'm so excited for the iranian film that won berlin's golden bear this year (nader and simin, a separation) because in france only (which i think is the first country to release the film) it's sold about 3 million dollars and that's AMAZING for an iranian film. the best selling film within the country itself sold barely over 2.4 million dollars.
i can only dream that the film gets a north american release though.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

If "Les Femmes du 6ème étage" does show up in the US...run, don't walk, to see it. It's a gem of a film. It's in its 4th week here in Montréal, and it's doing quite well at the local box office. I've seen it twice, and highly recommend it.

"Rien à déclarer" is supposed to open here on August 26. The trailers have been showing for a few weeks now, and it looks fun.

Another film showing here with Benoît Poelvoorde (co-star of "Rien à déclarer") is "Les émotifs anonymes." It looks quite interesting, but I didn't get around to seeing it this past weekend.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

/3rtfull -- it's not an attack on Woody. I love Woody. It's just perpetual annoyance about the way people never think of past films in terms of box office. If you adjust for inflation you don't have record breaking everything each and every year ;)

And it's really actually a false perception that "Midnight in Paris" is as popular as Hannah and Her Sisters was is all i'm saying and why not correct false perceptions? (plus Hannah is kind of a masterpiece so why not defend it's place as a very popular woody allen film?

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I think all grosses should be adjusted for inflation. Period. Otherwise we're kind of cheating.
I don't get all the love for this particular movie... Is it because americans love Paris?

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Sorry, I scrolled down to the next post with all of those random foreign films.

Cars is at 33% Rotten on RT right now. For context, even Bad Teacher is at 44%. Kinda sad that Pixar put out such a dud. Even the first Cars was fresh at 74%.

They'll need some big redemption with Brave, but if anyone can do it, they can!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNed

Anyone who can should go to the NYAFF because it is a super fun time. I went to a couple screenings a few years ago and the crowds are great and the movies are so crazy and amazing. Just saying...

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex BBats

I like the foreign-hits stuff!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaden

How many people are thinking .. Nah, I'll just wait for the American remakes...

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCristhian

Cristhian --*sniffle*

June 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It's just perpetual annoyance about the way people never think of past films in terms of box office. If you adjust for inflation you don't have record breaking everything each and every year ;)

And it's really actually a false perception that "Midnight in Paris" is as popular as Hannah and Her Sisters was is all i'm saying and why not correct false perceptions? (plus Hannah is kind of a masterpiece so why not defend it's place as a very popular woody allen film?

Midnight isn't overshadowing his 80s heyday or his late-70s gold with Interiors being my personal favorite film from him ever. I like it. The audience I saw it with liked it. It's a likeable film that doesn't demand from the audience the way TOL does -- it just wants to share a simple love story that isn't about a man's relationship to a woman but a man's relationship to everything (art, the city of paris, Marion and the girl he ends up with).

By the way I want to say sorry for being a dick to you last year over category fraud -- I felt it when doing some research and found out that Bates was nominated for a Supporting BAFTA for Fried Green Tomatoes -- so your enemy Tandy could be nominated for the Lead!

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

Since there are plenty of Oscar-philes around these parts, lemme just point out that Ninomiya Kazunari (who's in Gantz) was the little ex-baker soldier boy in Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColin Low

Colin - interesting info nugget thanks.

EVERYONE -- Glenn posted an interesting comment about the box office arguments over in the Mr & Mrs Incredible postby accident and i responded there by accident but Glenn's comment is actually well worth a read so go read it.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Of course I like hearing about foreign hits!

Though I have to admit most of those don't sound all that appetising (and it's strange that none of them are familiar from festivals).

I'm always up for a Maura/Duenas reunion though.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergoran
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