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James Bond wins again at the international box-office

12-Dec-2006 • Casino Royale

Amid a wild scramble for dates to gain a foothold for a year-end holiday run, the 21st entry of the James Bond franchise, "Casino Royale," dominated the overseas market for a fourth straight weekend, commanding $35.6 million from 7,700 screens in 69 territories to reach an international gross of $246.6 million - says The Hollywood Reporter.

The spy thriller emerged on top in the face of a barrage of family films, a new romantic comedy and a brace of action-adventure films as the major studios vigorously vie for a piece of the business at the most crowded time of the year. The summer season, which now covers April to September, and the year-end November-December span account for roughly 60% of the overseas boxoffice take, according to studio executives.

This past weekend and the year-end expectations suggest the direction of the offshore boxoffice flow this year. Some experts predict that a new record may be in the making. At this point, four companies -- 20th Century Fox International, Buena Vista International (Disney), Sony Pictures Releasing International and Warner Bros. Pictures International -- have each exceeded $1 billion in gross revenue from the international market. At the same time, Sony, Disney and Fox have each topped $3 billion in worldwide boxoffice revenue.

As "Casino Royale" reaches for the brass ring to become the champion of the Bond series of films, it has taken in $80 million from the U.K., $31 million from Germany, $19 million from France and $10 million each from Spain and Russia. It was No. 1 in all 10 new openings over the weekend, including Australia ($5.4 million from 401 screens) and Mexico ($1.5 million from 564).

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