Year of the Comeback at overseas boxoffice

By Hy Hollinger
The Hollywood Reporter
Jan 3, 2007

Six high-profile U.S. films, led by "Night at the Museum's" $48.9 million haul, collected more than $134 million at the overseas boxoffice as the final weekend of the festive season came to a triumphant close, cementing 2006 as the Year of the Comeback after 2005's Year of the Slump.

Other high rollers as 2007 loomed were "Eragon," with $20.6 million, "Happy Feet" ($20.5 million), "Casino Royale" ($16.6 million), "The Holiday" ($16 million) and "Deja Vu" ($10.1 million).

Although 19 films each topped the benchmark $100 million in 2006, compared with 23 in depressed 2005, there was an amazing crop of bigger-than-ever grossers in 2006.

Buena Vista International, the Walt Disney Co.'s overseas distribution arm, set a company record as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" brought in $642 million from offshore movie houses. The Johnny Depp starrer became the third film in industry history to hurdle $1 billion ($1.06 billion) at the worldwide boxoffice, following 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ($1.12 billion) and 1997's "Titanic" ($1.83 billion).

Other weighty overseas scorers in 2006 included Sony's "The Da Vinci Code," with $539.1 million, 20th Century Fox's "Ice Age: The Meltdown" ($452 million) and Sony's "Casino" ($338.3 million).