BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) gave ratings to the bonus features of the Mamma Mia DVD
Audio Commentary (doesn't say who's doing it) "What’s the Name of the Game?" Deleted Song (2:58) Deleted Scenes (8:00) Outtakes (1:53) Birthing Mamma Mia! (4:40) The Filmmaking (14:47) The Cast (10:26) Anatomy of a Musical Number: "Lay All Your Love on Me" (5:39) "Gimme Gimme Gimme" Music Video (3:47)
When Mamma Mia! The Movie opened last month, backers Universal hoped it would beat Moulin Rouge! (£18.5million) to become the biggest movie musical at the UK box office. Never in their wildest dreams did they imagine the ABBA-powered island romance would crack £50million and enter the All Time UK Box Office Top 10. Yesterday, Mamma Mia! beat The Full Monty to become the ninth biggest movie of all time, and tonight it should move up a place to eighth, when it vanquishes the second Pirates Of The Caribbean flick, the most successful in that trilogy. Tomorrow, Friday, the singalong version expands into more cinemas, and we hear it will now be in the improved bouncing-karaoke-ball caption style. The all-time Top 10 films in the UK are:
1. Titanic £69.0million 2. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone £66.1million 3. Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring £63.0million 4. Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King £61.1million 5. Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers £57.6million 6. Casino Royale £55.6million 7. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets £54.8million 8. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest £52.5million 9. Mamma Mia! The Movie £52.3million 10. The Full Monty £52.2million
James Nesbitt will be one of the hosts of this year's National Movie Awards, it has been announced.
The actor, known for his TV roles in shows such as Cold Feet, said he was excited about presiding over the prize-giving, which is being held in London in September.
"I'm really looking forward to being involved in this year's National Movie Awards. It will be an honour to be among such great international actors for what promises to be an unforgettable evening," he said.
He also spoke about one of his own favourite movies of the year.
"The Dark Knight is one of my favourite films of 2008. And for me Christian Bale is the definitive Batman," he said.
The short-lists for Best Male and Best Female Performance have now been whittled down from 14 to four by public vote.
In the male category only Christian Bale, Pierce Brosnan, Johnny Depp and Will Smith have made the grade, while the four short-listed females are Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Ellen Paige and Meryl Streep.
James will be joined on the night by other surprise guests.
The National Movie Awards 2008 will take place at London's Royal Festival Hall on Monday September 8 and will be broadcast on ITV1 the following evening.
‘Mamma Mia!: The Sing-Along Edition’ is irresistible
Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing…
I don’t sing.
Actually, I can’t sing.
Before I’d try karaoke I’d need to know that everyone else in the room was even more wasted than I was.
At funerals and weddings I fake it, silently mouthing the words to the hymns. (Also, I’m usually reading ahead to see if I agree with the lyrics.)
So the idea of movie musical sing-alongs was lost on me.
Or so I thought.
On Wednesday the people at Universal Studios, which is behind “Mamma Mia!: The Sing-Along Edition” opening today, invited fans of the movie and some media types to a preview screening.
It’s the same film that opened here six weeks ago, except now the lyrics are splashed across the screen in big colorful letters. The idea is that you can sing along with Meryl Streep and the other cast members.
The cynic in me wondered if this wasn’t just an effort to squeeze a few more bucks out of a film that already has sold $333 million in tickets.
But duty called. Nights like this are why I earn the big bucks.
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance ….
“Mamma Mia!” is a worldwide stage phenomenon that has been seen by more than 30 million people in 170 cities — and a lot of that was repeat business. The show’s fans are rabid.
It’s a ridiculous story — a bohemian named Donna runs a hotel on a Greek island with her daughter, Sophie. Now Sophie is getting married and, having sneaked a peek at Mom’s old diary, she realizes that one of three men may be her father.
So she surreptitiously sends out wedding invitations to the three unsuspecting middle-aged guys who haven’t seen Donna in 20 years.
But the story isn’t important. The music is.
“Mamma Mia!” incorporates a slew of songs by ABBA, the Swedish pop group that ruled the charts in the ’70s. Unless you listen to nothing but right-wing radio you already know tunes like “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me.”
They’re as tuneful as they are lyrically suspect (this is what happens when you write lyrics in a second language), and once heard they burrow into your brain and won’t let go.
About 130 folks showed up at AMC’s Town Center for the sing-along’s KC debut. Universal encouraged us to pick up a plastic tiara and brightly colored chicken-feather boa from a cardboard box just inside the auditorium door. Reps told us that looking ridiculous might shrink our inhibitions.
Just about everybody took advantage of these mood enhancers — couples (a distinct minority in this crowd), obvious gatherings of girlfriends (many on their second or third screening of the film) and especially a big contingent of men who took up most of two rows in the middle.
Turns out they were members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus, invited by the movie company to help the musically challenged get into the swing of things.
I asked Kelly Marzett, a 16-year veteran of the chorus (he sings tenor), if he were familiar with ABBA’s songs.
He looked at me as if I’d just fallen off a turnip truck.
“Duh!!!” he said.
Then Marzett proudly informed me that he’d seen the original London stage production of the play.
“Before it was cool to have seen it,” he said.
In fact, ABBA was one of the big musical influences of his youth.
“Music brings back memories,” Marzett said. “Good times. What you were doing when the songs came out. Old times and old friends.
“Besides, ‘Dancing Queen’ is a song that all gay men adore. That and ‘Does Your Mother Know.’
“Think about it.”
I would have, but the movie was starting.
“Feel free to sing along,” studio representative Debby Brookstein told us before the lights went down. “Dance in the aisles if you like. We want to encourage you to get into the movie.”
Easier said than done.
For the first few songs only the 30 members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus seemed to be singing along with the actors. The rest of us sat like stones, intimidated.
I sat in front of Marzett. Even if you can’t sing, being surrounded by people who can is a moving experience. I mean, these dudes were even singing harmony.
Thirty minutes into the movie, Streep, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters and a huge chorus of Greek peasant women began singing “Mamma Mia!” — and dancing all over their picturesque island.
At that point the audience began to rock. Folks sang, laughed, clapped along with the music. In front of me heads bobbed in four-four time.
And at the end of the number the theater erupted in applause. After that, ovations followed every musical number.
I once had a friend who maintained that people who applaud movies probably also talk to their radios. I thought of him for a moment, then forgot him. I was too busy clapping madly.
I’d caught the theater’s infectious buzz created by all those live voices, and I was grinning at the screen like the village idiot.
A few numbers later I realized that Pierce Brosnan’s rendition of “S.O.S.” — one of the movie’s weak points when I first saw it last month — sounds much better when he’s accompanied by 30 gay guys in the audience.
That’s when I started singing, too.
Not really loud. I didn’t want to ruin anybody’s fun.
Just enough to feel part of the party.
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen.
Biz was good for another female-skewing pic, Universal's "Mamma Mia!," which actually saw a 2% bump in grossing an estimated $4.4 million from 1,968 runs in its seventh weekend for or a cume of $131.5 million. U held special Labor Day "sing-alongs" in certain markets.
Universal's "Mamma Mia!" -- the summer's biggest surprise success on the international front -- dazzled again with $12.1 million at 2,933 in 33 markets to lift the foreign cume to $258.3 million thanks mostly to impressive holdovers. Once again, U.K. biz led the way with $2.8 million in its eighth frame, finishing a close second to the launch of "Step Brothers" as the feel-good tuner declined just 20% for a 52-day Brit cume of $106.4 million.
"Mamma Mia!" also launched in first in Poland with $1.4 million and sang sweetly in Spain with $1.4 million, down only 24% in its fourth frame. "Mamma" should stay a player in coming weeks with 22 markets still to open including South Korea next weekend.
Universal's worldwide smash Mamma Mia! stayed on song as an estimated weekend haul to the tune of $12.1m from 2,933 venues in 33 territories through UPI boosted it to sixth in this year's overseas pantheon on $258.3m.
As if overtaking Iron Man's $256 cumulative total weren't reward in itself, Universal top brass will be pleased to see that the worldwide tally is a week or so away from $400m and currently stands at $391.2m.
The musical scored notable number one launches in Poland on $1.4m from 78 and South Africa on $363,000 from 89. Results from the debuts in Colombia, Romania, Thailand and Vietnam are expected early this week.
Mamma Mia! benefited from a strong hold in the UK where it ranks second and consolidated its status as the highest earner of the year to date. The $2.8m weekend haul from 500 following a 20% drop pushed the UK tally to $106.4m.
Ranking third in Germany after seven weekends, the film added $1.2m from 582 after tumbling 42% for $30.4m and also ranks third in Spain on $1.4m from 375 for $13.8m after four and held at fifth in Australia on $716,000 from 283 for $27m after eight. There are 22 territories to open over the next two months. South Korea, Portugal, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia open this week on September 4.
Post by judithmoose on Aug 31, 2008 17:19:22 GMT -5
Was just looking at the "Mamma Mia" portion of the website (very nicely done!) and noticed that the production notes for the film aren't there. So I've tossed the PDF version on Stephanie's site for a few days if you all want to save yourselves a copy. I'll pull it down again on Friday, so get it while you can! Coming soon - a copy of the script!
Universal's "Mamma Mia!" grabbed the No. 1 spot on the overseas circuit for the first time, grossing an estimated $15 million during the weekend from 3,493 screens in 39 markets to best Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" by about $3.2 million.
The surprise smash musical adaptation of the stage hit opened at No. 1 in Portugal with an estimated $804,000 from 65 sites for a per-screen average of $12,369. In Korea, it premiered at No. 2 (after the local-language "Divine Weapon") with an estimated $5.5 million from 370 screens. In both markets the film registered the biggest opening gross ever for a musical title.
With an international gross of $280.1 million, "Mamma Mia!" has eclipsed Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" -- (which has accumulated $275.1 million overseas and $416.1 million worldwide )-- to become 2008's fifth-biggest boxoffice hit overseas. It has 16 markets to play and opens this weekend in France, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong and India.
"Mamma Mia!" continued to do sensational biz overseas, warbling its way into the top weekend slot at the international box office with $15 million from 3,493 playdates in 39 markets.
Thanks to a socko Korean launch plus impressive holdover biz, "Mamma Mia!" has topped $280 million outside the U.S. -- more than double its domestic take.
With "Mamma Mia!" leading the way, summer hits dominated offshore biz. "The Dark Knight" stayed bright with $11.8 million off 5,100 to lift its foreign cume to $437 million, and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" scared up $11.6 million from 5,265 -- mostly from its launch in China -- to surpass $255 million in international box office.
The trio has combined for nearly $1 billion in overseas gross, all exceeding studio forecasts. The performances have kept overall foreign biz for Hollywood majors on pace to match 2007's record of $9.5 billion -- and a tonic at a time when moviegoing's falling from red-hot summer levels.
"Mamma Mia!" has been the biggest surprise in foreign markets since French mega-hit "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" topped $200 million. Among 2008 releases, the feel-good musical trails only "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" at $466 million, "The Dark Knight," "Kung Fu Panda" at $397 million and "Hancock" at $362.6 million.
"Mamma Mia!" set a record in South Korea as the top musical launch with $5.5 million, finishing behind the opening of Kim Yoo-jin's war epic "Divine Weapon." And in a sign of the staying power of "Mamma Mia!," its ninth Brit frame was competing for first with the $2.9 million launches "RocknRolla" and "The Duchess" while its U.K. cume hit an astounding $112.1 million, going past "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" as the fifth-highest grosser of all time in Blighty.
"Mamma Mia! continued to shine in other markets too: Germany at $1.3 million for $32.4 million in eight weeks and Australia at $27.8 million after nine frames. Spanish biz slid only 27% in its fifth frame to $1.1 million for a $14.1 million cume.
With solid holdover biz plus openings in 16 more markets, "Mamma" is on track to stay a player throughout the fall and top $500 million in combined international and U.S. grosses. It launches next week in Belgium, Brazil, France, India, Hong Kong and Mexico.
Mamma Mia as of this weekend (after dropping only 7.5%) is now #5 all time in the U.K
All Time UK Box Office (unadjusted)
Rank Title Distributor Cumulative Gross Release Date
1 TITANIC TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX £69,025,646 Jan. 23, 1998 2 HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE WARNER BROS. £66,096,060 Nov. 16, 2001 3 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING ENTERTAINMENT £63,009,288 Dec. 21, 2001 4 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING ENTERTAINMENT £61,062,348 Dec. 19, 2003 5 MAMMA MIA! UNIVERSAL PICTURES £57,687,650 July 11, 2008 6 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS ENTERTAINMENT £57,600,094 Dec. 20, 2002 7 CASINO ROYALE SONY PICTURES INTL. £55,600,009 Nov. 17, 2006 8 HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS WARNER BROS. £54,780,731 Nov. 15, 2002 9 PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST BUENA VISTA INTL. £52,515,550 July 7, 2006 10 THE FULL MONTY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX £52,232,058 Aug. 29, 1997
Mamma Mia! has been crowned best musical at the National Movie Awards, while its star Meryl Streep was named best actress.
ITV hosted the second National Movie Awards at London's Royal Festival Hall.
Voted for by the public in a huge nationwide poll, the awards recognise and reward the year's blockbuster movies and the stars who appear in them.
The award saw The Dark Knight triumph in the superhero category. The latest Batman film beat competition from Iron Man, Hancock and The Incredible Hulk.
Mamma Mia! The Movie was nominated alongside Enchanted and Johnny Depp's dark film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street.
In the action/adventure section Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull won over I Am Legend, The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor and Wanted.
Johnny Depp was named best male performance for his role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, beating Pierce Brosnan for Mamma Mia!
He also triumphed over Christian Bale who was nominated for his role as the caped crusader in The Dark Knight and Will Smith who was up for his roles in I Am Legend as well as the blundering superhero in Hancock.
Streep beat rivals Amy Adams for Enchanted, Helena Bonham-Carter for the Sweeney Todd film and Ellen Page for Juno.
In the family films section, Wall-E, an animation about a robot living in a pollution-riddled Earth, came out on top.
Q. Did it take a lot of persuasion to get you to agree to star in Mamma Mia!? A. The call came in on a February evening and I was at my mother's house. My father had passed away a few days previously. I was sitting in the living-room with the priest, planning for the funeral. I said, "We've got to have bagpipes at the funeral." I went out into the yard to stretch my legs. The phone rang. It was the boys from Creative Artists Agency. They said, "Mamma Mia! Meryl Streep. Greece." And without missing a beat I said, "Count me in." I didn't even ask how much I'd get paid. I walked back in and said to the priest, "I've got a job."
We had the funeral the next day, sent dad off to heaven. That night I went to the theatre with my mother and step-children to see the Mamma Mia! show. I sat there in the theatre before it began and I was thinking, "Oh my God, what did I agree to yesterday?" I just kept telling myself 'Meryl Streep is doing it and everything will be OK.' Then the show started and one of the kids asked, "Who are you playing in the film?" I realised I didn't have a clue. I'd forgotten to ask. As the show went on I concluded that I must be one of the three possible dads.
My father was called Carmichael. He was a great man from Scotland. A wonderful father. Then your man on stage says, "I see you play the bagpipes." Now my dad loved the bagpipes. I actually put my father's tartan on the bagpipes that Meryl carries in the film. It's not a sad story I'm telling you. It's just one of those poignant stories about how you get to land a job.
Q. Have you always been an ABBA fan? A. Sure. I grew up with them. I was at the Drama Centre in London when I watched them win Eurovision with Waterloo in 1974. I marvelled at how these four Swedes could wear such outrageously ridiculous outfits, singing this song that even Benny can't explain the meaning of to this day. I'm glad Benny hasn't got a clue what Waterloo is about. It makes me feel less stupid. Because I could never work that song out. Anyway it seemed that everyone loved ABBA at that time. They put Sweden on the map. They kept writing hit after hit. You'd hear those songs everywhere you went in those days. I liked the songs and danced to them like everybody did. But I wouldn't have described myself as a huge fan. My musical taste was somewhere else altogether. It's only when I look back that I can pinpoint big moments in my life and associate those moments with ABBA songs.
Q. Were you attracted to Agnetha and Anni-Frid? A. Absolutely. I never missed them on Top Of The Pops. They were gorgeous, foxy, sexy…you name it. And the great thing as that there were two of them. Most bands had one sexy woman at the most. ABBA was double the pleasure. I hardly ever noticed Benny and Bjorn. But they obviously knew what they were doing.
Q. Did you find the idea of singing slightly daunting? A. Slightly. It's one thing getting the job. It's another thing to go off and sing S.O.S. The lad who sang it on stage when I saw the show, he had a wonderful voice. I saw the show in New York a few months later and, again, the singer was hugely talented. Martin Lowe is the musical director on this movie version and he turned out to be my north star. He was everyone's north star, all of us who were required to pass ourselves off as singers. He was so constant and patient. But I was terrified about the singing to begin with. Q. Was it difficult to be directed by a woman? A. On the contrary. It takes a wise man to know what side his bread is buttered on. I was more than happy being told what to do by a woman like Phyllida Lloyd who is the living embodiment of grace under pressure. Every moment she pointed us in the right direction, giving us all the courage to make fools of ourselves and complete a great movie, which I think it is.
Q. How would you compare your acting in Mamma Mia! to your previous work? A. I had the time of my life making this movie. I loved making it. It's not easy to be objective about your own work. You look at it and always think you could have done better. But I am proud of this one. I looked at it and thought, "Am I looking alright or am I acting?" It was easy because you're meant to have fun. You've got this guy, an ex-MI6 character, singing S.O.S. I'm sure it puts the audience into a bit of a tailspin. There's Brosnan doing his usual acting thing and suddenly he's singing his heart out. But it's done with sincerity and that's the beauty of it.
Q. How did you cope with the dance sequences? A. We're surrounded by sixty amazing dancers who are giving it 110% every day and there's the rest of us quickly trying to absorb our lessons and not forget our steps. I found that the Greek Step messed with my Irish feet a little bit.
Q. Did it help having Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth alongside you? A. Oh yeah. Big time. It meant we could rely on each other throughout. We all became big mates. We'd met up in California with Martin Lowe and talked it all through. Then it came to the recordings in London. The night before those recordings was a long, dark night of the soul. I remember standing in the hotel room at 1.30 in the morning singing along to ABBA songs and thinking, "How am I going to pull this one off?" But it was too late to turn back. I showed up the next morning at AIR Studios. I sheepishly walked in there like a schoolboy to meet Benny and Bjorn. The only comfort on offer was to see Skarsgard and Firth walk in looking like they'd been hit by a mack truck. They looked a lot more nervous than me. So I knew I'd be alright.
Q. How did it feel when you heard that some of the filming for Mamma Mia! was going to take place at Pinewood Studios where the Bond films are made? A. I thought "You have got to be kidding me". It felt as though the gods were out to mess with me. But it was great going through the gates that morning, going in to do Mamma Mia! It felt like a glorious way to return to that studio, to kick out the ghosts as it were. As the car approached the dressing-rooms I thought, "I hope they haven't put me in my old cell." They put me in the Stanley Kubrick Building in this beautiful dressing-room. As I drew the drapes there was 007 emblazoned on the big shed across the way. That was my view every day. So I set up my easel because I like to paint on jobs like this. It takes the pain out of waiting and waiting for your call. So I'd do a painting in between working on my dance routines in front of the mirror. Q. Did Meryl Streep live up to your expectations? A. She went beyond my expectations. In the garden that night when I heard I'd be working with her, that was a lot to take in. I knew she was brilliant but, until I worked with her, I didn't realise how brilliant. She truly is The World's Greatest Actress. Q. You have a moment towards the end of the movie when you appear in spandex and platform boots. How did you feel wearing that gear? A. That was a day of reckoning, believe me. About to walk out of set I looked in the mirror thinking, "Hey, you look pretty groovy" until I realised it looked as though I had a toilet seat around my neck. Then I thought, "This really could be the end of your career. This could be your Waterloo, old son." I minced and hobbled out into the corridor to meet my colleagues who looked equally ridiculous. So we all swanned down the slippy, squeaky corridor and I thought, "Now would be a good moment to bump into Daniel Craig." Thinking I'd be saying, "Hi Daniel. Bond won't last forever. You have all this to look forward to. All you see is genuine. There's no sock hidden down these spandex trousers." (laughs). We all wanted to do that scene. When you see the scene it's so nice and funny. It's pantomime, it's vaudeville. It's put the silly costume on, get your backside out there and make them laugh. When we walked out to do it, I've never heard such laughter. Then there was work to be done. We had to remember our moves. We're up on this platform twelve feet in the air because they have to illuminate the whole thing and there's all these pyrotechnics going off around us. It was the only time the three of us lost our cool. Because we're tottering around on these platform boots, looking so completely gormless. But the more uptight we got, the funnier it was.
Universal films ruled the roost at the weekend led by an estimated $17.5m haul for Mamma Mia! from 4,296 sites in 44 territories through UPI that took the musical adaptation over $300m.
The film opened top in France on $2.4m and Belgium on $1m, as well as in French-speaking Switzerland on $300,000 and Hong Kong on $400,000. The film opened in second place in Mexico on $850,000, debuted in Brazil on $650,000 for a possible second place launch behind Blindness through Fox International.
South Korea led the holdover business with a number one hold in its second weekend on $3.4m for $9.5m. Mamma Mia! added $1.9m from 444 venues in its tenth weekend in the UK for a staggering $116m cumulative total. The musical has amassed $34.1m after nine in Germany, $16.1m after six in Spain and $28.2m after ten in Australia. There are 15 territories to go including Italy on October 3 and Japan on January 30 2009.
"Mamma Mia!" TORONTO -- Mamma Mia! That's some overseas business.
Universal's ABBA musical adaptation earned the No. 1 spot on the overseas circuit for the second frame running with an estimated $17.5 million take from 4,296 screens in 44 territories during the weekend.
"Mamma Mia!" opened on top in France, with an estimated $2.4 million from 462 screens; Belgium, with $1 million from 55 dates; and Mexico, with $850,000 at 294 dates.
The movie's international cume is $307 million.
Holdovers include Korea, with $3.4 million in its second stanza bringing its local total to $9.5 million, and Britain, where "Mamma Mia!" pulled in $1.9 million at 444 dates for a 66-day count of $116 million.
"Mamma Mia!" has another 15 markets to launch, including Italy on Oct. 3 and Japan on Jan. 30.
Mamma Mia!" remained golden at the international box office, easily winning the weekend with $17.5 million at 4,296 playdates in 44 markets in a frame dominated by summer successes.
Universal's feel-good tuner has totaled an eye-popping $307 million outside the United States, dwarfing the $139 million domestic cume. And with back-to-back first places, it's kept overall foreign business decent at a time when moviegoing often lags.
Holdover biz for "Mamma Mia!" again provided much of its punch with the second South Korean frame dipping only 10% to $3.4 million to stay in first. In its 10th U.K. weekend, biz stayed sensational with a 25% decline to $1.9 million to hike the Brit cume to $116 million, while German grosses slid only 16% in their ninth frame to $1.1 million for a Teuton total of $34 million.
"Mamma" also launched in first in France with $2.4 million and in Belgium with $1 million. With its exceptional staying power and 15 markets to go, including Italy and Japan, final foreign cume for the Meryl Streep vehicle should top $400 million internationally -- a milestone passed by 31 pics, including "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "The Dark Knight" and "Kung Fu Panda" this year.
The beat goes on for 'Mamma Mia!' overseas In mid-September, the big dogs of summer still barking
By Hy Hollinger
Sept 15, 2008, 08:01 PM ET
"Mamma Mia!" LOS ANGELES -- You can't keep 'em down. The blockbusters of summer, led by Universal's musical miracle "Mamma Mia!" persisted as the top draws at overseas multiplexes during a period without any semblance of new competition.
The stage-to-film adaptation featuring the music of '70s Swedish pop stars ABBA dominated the international market for a second weekend, pulling in $19.5 million from 4,434 locations in 43 markets for an eye-catching foreign gross of $309 million. At the same time, "Mamma Mia!" solidified its position as the top-grossing movie musical of all time in the overseas market and has more than doubled its domestic take of $139.2 million.
"Mamma Mia!'s" ascendancy to major international hit status, along with New Line's "Sex and the City" ($250. 6 million), may have the major studios rethinking the value of femme-appeal movies dur-ing summer seasons usually dominated by fanboy action-adventures and animated family fare.
Over the weekend, "Mamma Mia!" opened No. 1 in six markets -- France ($3 million), Belgium ($1 million), French-speaking Switzerland ($450,000), Hong Kong ($438,000), India ($97,000) and Brazil ($681,000). And holdovers have been especially strong. In the U.K., the Meryl Streep starrer holds the No. 2 spot after 10 weeks in the market, reaching a cume of $107.8 million. In Korea, it is No. 1 for a second weekend with $3.4 million from 427 screens for an 11-day take of $9.8 million. Fifteen more territories are still set to open, including Italy on Oct. 3 and Japan on Jan. 30.
Euro summer hits still going strong 'Mamma,' 'Knight,' 'Wanted' still giving
By ED MEZA
BERLIN — A slew of late-summer Hollywood openers boosted the European box office over the weekend, with “Mamma Mia!” making a splash in France, “Wanted” shooting to the top in Spain, “Hancock” flying high in Italy, and the U.K. buzzing on "Pineapple Express," while “The Dark Knight” continued its reign in Germany.
“Mamma Mia!” had a wholesome, if hardly boffo bow for Universal in Gaul.
A take of $3.33 million on 462 in its first five days made it the 20th place for best opening week of the year.
“Mirrors,” another new release, is proving a pleasant surprise for Fox.
Horror helmer Alexandre Aja’s latest earned $1.66 million on 246.
Likewise, “Get Smart” had a solid first week for Warners in Gaul, where auds never seem to tire of Bondian spy spoofs. Its first five days made $1.43 million on 447.
Showing sprightly legs after five frames, “The Dark Knight” was down only 25% on the week for Warners. A cume of $24.5 million gives it the eighth spot among top earners in Gaul so far in 2008.
Also down by 25% in its second frame, local dramedy “Commes les Autres” (Baby Love) is a success for Mars, having cumed $2.84 million on 301 — up 50 prints from opening day.
Universal's "Wanted" placed comfortably in the top spot in Spain, nabbing $3.4 million from 430 and establishing a nice copy-average of $7,429.
Following in second, Fox's "The Argentine," the first part of Steven Soderbergh's "Che," is showing that it's not a one-weekend wonder, adding $1.7 million in its soph sesh for a $6 million cume.
"Spain is working as a barometer for ‘Che’s’ international performance,” noted one booker. “The question is whether you can extrapolate Spain's results to another country — Che was a legendary hero for many youngsters during Francisco Franco's dictatorship.”
In terms of stamina, the queen remains Universal's "Mamma Mia!." which in its sixth frame holds fourth place, slipping just 24% for an excellent running cume of $15.5 million and surpassing Warner's "The Dark Knight," which totaled $15.4 million, down 55%.
Manga's "Spirit of the Forest" placed 10th, achieving a respectable $356,623. "There won't be another similar product for family auds in weeks. It will have good word of mouth," predicted another a distribber.
Surprisingly, BVI’s local thriller “King of the Hill,” a strong seller worldwide — all rights in the U.S. were picked up by the Weinstein Co. — disappointed on its home turf, managing just $155,710.
In Italy, after a long, somnolent summer, the box office finally woke up — leaping 58% compared with the previous weekend as curtains closed on the holiday season.
Will Smith comedy "Hancock" made most of the running with a whopping $7.2 million in its first frame. The meaty total came off 613 screens with an $11,813 average for Sony Pictures.
At number two, Universal's "Kung Fu Panda" was still alive and kicking on 553 screens. The healthy $5,322 average produced $2.9 million — down 32% but enough to make the animated pic this year's Italo box office champ with a running cume of nearly $20 million in just its third outing.
"Il Papa di Giovanna" (Giovanna's Father), a sentimental drama by local helmer Pupi Avati, bowed at three, taking $1.3 million from 347 screens with a decent average of $3,698. Takings for Ferzan Ozpetek's "A Perfect Day" slipped 22% in its second outing to $948,030 for a running cume of $2.8 million for 01 Distribution.
In fifth, Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" fell 39% to $450,739 off 203, with the cume now at an impressive $11 million.
In contrast, there's nothing out of this world about the returns for "X-files: I Want to Believe," which hasn't fared any better in Italy than it has elsewhere on the continent. Fox saw second-frame earnings fall 55% to just $355,491 from 248 screens.”
"Pineapple Express" scored a first-place finish in the U.K., with a decent $2.5 million launch, followed by “Mamma Mia!,” which continued to do sensational biz with a 25% decline to $1.9 million toward a $116 million cume.
Warner’s tough-guy drama "Rocknrolla" stayed solid in its second frame with $1.7 million for a $6 million total, while Holocaust drama "Boy in the Striped Pajamas" debuted smartly for Disney with $900,000 at 168 for the best per-location average in the top 10.
“The Dark Knight” continued to strike fear in its rivals as it cleaned up at the German box office for the fourth weekend running.
Dropping 38%, the Batman sequel nabbed $2 million on its way toward a boffo $25.2 million total.
Following in second, “Wanted” pulled in $1.7 million for a running cume of $5.7 million.
Vin Diesel managed to muscle Meryl Streep and the “Mamma Mia!” gang down a rung as sci-fi thriller “Babylon A.D.” took third place with $1.5 million from 459 via Concorde.
“Gomorrah,” Matteo Garrone’s uncompromising look at the Camorra underground in Naples, opened in eighth with $312,971 from 65 via Prokino/Fox for a decent per-location-average of $4,815.
The only other new entry to squeeze into the top 10, Sony’s “Step Brothers,” failed to tickle Teutonic moviegoers, taking only $278,541 from 100.
Additional reporting by David Hayhurst (France), Emilio Mayorga (Spain), Michael Day (Italy) and Dave McNary (U.K.).