4TH UPDATE, MONDAY 3 PM PT: Studios have weighed in with overseas actuals for the past weekend that was led by Guardians Of The Galaxy. There were no major discrepancies between what was estimated on Sunday and what’s coming across today save for Hercules lifting to $15.4M from a $14.2M estimate. Among the other top films, GOTG bumped up to $67.4M from $66.4M and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes hit $47.82M, up from $47.47M. The milestone movies also each had slightly better perfs than estimated. Transformers: Age Of Extinction joined the $1B+ club at $1,006B vs $1,005B; Godzilla crossed $300M at $307.5M internationally vs $307.3M, and its worldwide cume is now $508M. Also, 22 Jump Street jumped the $100M mark at $101.7M as opposed to the $101.4M we had yesterday. Along with those films, figures have been updated for How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Purge: Anarchy, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, Step Up: All In, Lucy, Sex Tape, Planes: Fire & Rescue, Blended, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors and Boyhood.
3RD UPDATE, SUNDAY 5:13 PM PT: This weekend, Guardians Of The Galaxy gave a well-needed boost to the domestic box office as it blasted off to a record August bow of $94M. Overseas, it hooked $67.4M in 42 markets, about 50% of its international footprint, with rollout to continue in other key territories. It was also a weekend of milestones: Transformers 4 crossed $1B worldwide, Godzilla crossed $500M worldwide and 22 Jump Street collared $100M internationally. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes continued to advance with another $47.8M, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was good for another $20M. Yet, the frame was down 25% on last weekend and 15% on last year across the Top 10 studio titles. The big numbers came last week from DOTPOTA, Transformers, Hercules and HTTYD2. Last year, Pacific Rim had just opened in China where it went on to have an impressive career; The Smurfs 2 bowed internationally and The Wolverine kept slashing away at the box office. The other big international title at this time in 2013 was Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer which took $21.2M in its Korea debut. The movie went on to top out at No. 5 for the year with about $60M there. This weekend, Korea saw a massive bow with Roaring Currents at $35M. It’s kicking off a wave of sea-faring actioners that are expected to be a big draw at home. And, in China, audiences were cast under the spell of Fan Bing Bing’s The White-Haired Witch Of Lunar Kingdom. (More on those titles in the key market round-ups below the previous posts.)
Next week sees the international bow of Warner Bros’ Into The Storm. The Steven Quale-helmed tornado picture will hit about 20 markets including Russia. Quale previously directed Final Destination 5 and worked second unit for James Cameron. This movie comes 18 years after Jan de Bont’s Twister, also a Warner title, which did nearly $500M worldwide. Lost and the Hobbit movies’ Richard Armitage stars. The other wide release on deck is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Paramount reboot is directed by Jonathan Liebesman whose credits include Wrath Of The Titans and Battle Los Angeles. It’s produced by Michael Bay and stars Megan Fox and a host of recognizable faces and voices. It’s going to Russia, Mexico and about 18 other markets. Previous adaptations of the comic series include 2007’s animated TMNT which made about $95M worldwide, and 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a little over $200M. Also up next week is The Inbetweeners 2 which bows in the UK. It’s the sequel to 2011’s No. 3 grosser in the market and very strong business is expected there for the Damon Beesley/Iain Morris-directed pic.
Scroll down for key market round-ups for this weekend.
2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 12:35 PM PT: Several milestones were passed this weekend, including Paramount‘s Transformers: Age Of Extinction joining the $1B club. Among others, Sony‘s 22 Jump Street crossed $100M with a cume of $101.7M — a testament to the power of comedy overseas this summer. And, Warner Bros‘ Godzilla passed $300M in international box office, and $500M worldwide.
Meanwhile, along with the stellar international start of frontrunner Guardians Of The Galaxy with $67.4M, there also were big debuts out of Asia, including China‘s The White Haired Witch Of Lunar Kingdom and its $44M bow, and Korea‘s Roaring Currents in a $35M start. I’ll have more about those films in the key market breakdowns a bit later on.
The strong perf of Guardians bested Disney’s expectations of about $50M for what was an untested Marvel property. “We’re ahead of where we thought we would be,” Disney’s Dave Hollis tells me, then adds, “But you can’t be surprised by Marvel anymore.” Marvel’s Alan Fine, Hollis says, deserves “a ton of credit” for being such a champion of the story of an eccentric intergalactic group led by Parks & Recreation’s Chris Pratt.
“It turns out,” Hollis says, “that if you introduce something as unique and original as this is, people go see it early and tell everyone how much they have to see it. It can provide a real quick kickstart to the box office.” Over the international weekend, there were significant Friday-Saturday bumps and Disney expects to continue to benefit from the summer holiday in most major territories.
“Inevitably, there will be some competition,” Hollis says. “But we don’t have the same kind of big huge tentpole movies that will take our legs out from under us.” The movie is playing ahead of the first Captain America film, which similarly introduced a lesser-known character to mainstream audiences. As expected, it’s playing just behind the sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which marched to a $115M+ China haul, so until GOTG bows there and the full picture comes into focus, it’s important to stay cautious with comps. (See previous post below for more on GOTG‘s bow.)
In other huge business this weekend, Fox’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes added a big $47.8M from 12,054 screens in 73 markets. France was a massive bow with $14.1M on 799 screens — making it the No. 1 debut for any film this year. Likewise in Belgium, where DOTPOTA scored $1.56M at 100 dates. In the UK, the Matt Reeves-directed movie dropped just 16% for a $5.07M take in its 3rd frame. Other key markets include Brazil ($4.16M at 800, $16.4M cume) and Mexico ($3.87M at 2,372, $20.1M cume). Major cumes also include in Korea ($30.85M) and Russia ($20.2M). The total take so far is $261M with important bows to come in China, Japan and Germany.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 added $20M in 54 markets this frame with many of them showing increases over last weekend. It debuted in Spain at No. 1 with $2.86M at 834 dates and up 35% on the start of the original HTTYD. In holdovers, the UK was up in its 4th frame with $1.87M at 753 dates for a $30.1M total to date. Other hikes were seen in Belgium (+9%), Norway (+51%), and Denmark (+5%). France dropped a mere 11% in its 5th session with $1.1M on 699 screens bringing the cume there to $22.4M. The movie’s 2nd week in Korea, where it is not a Fox release, added $5.7M in a crowded field for a cume of $17.8M. The international cume now stands at $296.7M, with China and Italy releasing in August.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction scaled new heights to crush the $1B mark. With $1.006B, the film became the 2nd in the franchise to pass the milestone after Dark Of The Moon in 2011. It had previously been thought that it would be the releases in Spain and Japan on Aug. 8 that would help it cross the line, but the film added $19.5M this frame at 5,853 locations to take the international cume to $764.4M. Coupled with its $241.2M domestically, that was enough to get it into an elite club of $1B+ earners. It opened in the United Arab Emirates — in a key post-Ramadan date — to $2.6M. In holdovers, TAOE had $3.7M in Germany at 665 locations in its 3rd frame. It’s still No. 1 in the market and is also the top movie of the year with a running total of $30.2M. France delivered $2.1M in its 3rd weekend at 890 locations for a cume to date of $19.7M. Brazil’s 3rd weekend was worth $1.7M at 470 locations. The cume there is now $25.3M.
Paramount’s Hercules was the runner-up to TAOE this weekend with $15.4M in 35 territories at 4,660 locations. After bowing last weekend, the overseas cume is now $57.9M. Russia, which loves its action movies – especially if they’re in 3D – added $3.2M in its 2nd frame from 962 locations for a to-date haul of $18.6M. In the UK, Dwayne Johnson rocked a further $1.5M at 442 dates for a 37% drop and a $6.2M cume. Australia added $1.4M from 226 locations for a $5.6M cume and the Netherlands opened to $578K from 75 locations to mirror the opening of comp GI Joe: Retaliation.
The Purge: Anarchy continued its overseas run with $8.6M at 2,833 dates in 30 territories. Released by Universal, the horror pic has now notched $19.23M. Among the additional 13 markets to bow this weekend were Germany ($2M at 324); Austria ($401K at 53); Russia ($635K at 417); and Mexico ($574K at 292). In each country, the sequel is outperforming the original film.
Warner Bros’ Japan’s Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno opened in that market to a strong No. 1 with $8.1M on 438 screens. The sequel to Warner’s Rurouni Kenshin bested the first film by 48%.
In a nod to the strength of comedy at the international box office this summer, Sony’s 22 Jump Street crossed the $100M mark this weekend. It added $7.3 million from 45 territories for an overseas cume of $101.7M. The Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill cop comedy had a fantastic bow in Germany with $4.6M for a No. 1 berth on 615 screens. That was more than three times the open of the original film in the series. Austria also opened No. 1 with $723K including previews on 74 screens. That was also three times more than the opening of 21 Jump Street. The top markets for the movie that’s been playing since May are the UK ($31.3M), Australia ($21.2M), Russia ($9.6M) and the Netherlands ($4.6M). This undercover cop laffer has more juice in it with upcoming releases in Spain (Aug 22), France (Aug 27), Mexico (Aug 29), and Brazil (Sept 4).
Step Up: All In continued its early international roll out in four new markets with the weekend coming it at $5.8M for a $26M cume. Portugal opened on 36 screens to match Step Up Revolution at $105K. In France, where Universal is releasing it as Sexy Dance 5 – All In Vegas, the Trish Sie-directed movie held at No. 7 with $804K at 334 dates. It’s got a $5.8M cume there after 19 days. In the UK, it bowed with $650K at 364 dates, also on par with the previous installment.
Universal started rolling out Luc Besson’s Lucy in overseas markets this weekend. The Scarlett Johansson actioner banged out $5.02M at 376 dates in Australia, Bulgaria, India and Romania. In Oz, it was No. 1 with $4.3M at 210 dates. That’s Besson’s biggest bow ever in Australia. Bulgaria was also a No. 1 with $197K at 39 dates. That was also good for Besson’s directing-career best in the market. It was also the biggest 2D opening of any film there this year and Universal’s No. 3 biggest opening of all time. Lucy scored $242K at 81 dates in India, and Romania opened to $244K at 46 dates, again for Besson’s biggest directing bow in the market. Universal is releasing Lucy in all non-U.S. markets except for Besson’s home turf of France, along with Belgium, the Netherlands, China and Hong Kong where EuropaCorp is handling. Rollout in all territories continues through September.
Sony’s Sex Tape is continuing to show strong legs with an added $4.2M in 26 markets for a cume of $17.7M. New openings in smaller markets included Poland ($385K), Hungary ($224K), Lebanon ($103K) and Slovakia ($89K). Sony says each performed well above comps of Cameron Diaz pics Bad Teacher and The Other Woman, as well as Neighbors and We’re The Millers. In Russia, where Diaz has proven quite the draw, the movie fell 58% from its opening weekend ($1.1M, cume $4.9), while Spain fell 32% in its 2nd frame ($621K, cume $2.4M). Australia, where Diaz also has a big fanbase, slipped 46% in its 3rd frame ($729K, cume $5.6M). Upcoming bows include Belgium (Aug 6), Mexico and the Netherlands (Aug 7), and Brazil (Aug 21).
Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue grossed $4.4M in its 3rd frame this weekend for a $30.9M international cume. The sequel continued its run in 30 markets and had no new openings this session. The top market to date is Mexico with $4.1M, followed closely by France at $4M. Next weekend, it swoops into the UK and Lebanon with Korea and Germany following on August 14, Russia on August 21, Italy on August 28 and Australia on September 18.
After arriving back in his old stomping grounds last week, Godzilla earned $3.4M from 427 screens this frame in Japan. The cume to date there is $15.3M. That helped push the international cume over $300M to $307.5M, and the worldwide total to $508 M.
Brazilians continued their love affair with Adam Sandler again this weekend, buying an estimated $1.2M worth of tickets to Blended in its 3rd weekend. The movie now has a cume there of $8.7M and has added Grown Ups 2 to the long list of Sandler titles it has now bested. Mexico remains the top ex-U.S. territory for the family comedy with a $12.2M cume. In total this weekend, it added $3M from about 1,316 screens in 43 markets for an international cume of $72M.
The little movie that could, aka The Fault In Our Stars, added $2.38M from 1,961 screens in 38 markets. It kicked off in Hong Kong with $346K on 73 screens and continues to hold in Brazil, where it is the No. 2 movie of the year with a cume of $30.87M. The international total is now $140.9M.
Universal’s Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’ Movie is now open in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and has a cume of $27.5M after adding $1.5M at 501 dates in the three markets.
Horror pic Deliver Us From Evil grossed $1.2M from 23 territories for an overseas total of $9.7M. The Sony pic from director Scott Derrickson and producer Jerry Bruckheimer bowed in Venezuela with $382K on 39 screens, strongly outperforming comps like The Devil Inside, Insidious: Chapter 2 and Carrie. New Zealand scared up $110K on 42 screens and Australia fell 47% in its 2nd session with $500K for a $1.8M cume. The movie has yet to open in Italy and the UK (Aug 20), and Russia (Aug 28).
Universal’s Neighbors partied to $814K at 809 dates in 26 territories with no new openings this weekend. The total overseas is $108.9M. Also released by Universal in most overseas markets, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood grossed $493K at 292 dates in five territories for an early total of $6.69M. In the UK/Ireland, it’s still dominating the arthouse circuit with a weekend gross of $366K at 163 dates for a 22-day total of $3.2M.
Back in a bit with key market breakdowns. But here’s a chart based on Rentrak’s totals:
1ST UPDATE, SUNDAY 8:44 AM PT: As studios begin to report international weekend estimates, here’s the latest on the frame’s big debut from Disney/Marvel. Blasting off in about 42 markets this weekend, Guardians Of The Galaxy got off to a stellar start with an overseas haul of $67.4M (it also smashed August IMAX records in the process, nabbing $17M globally). Markets that were among the first to debut the James Gunn-directed intergalactic good time represent 50% of the international footprint and include such big-ticket launch pads as the UK, Russia, Korea, Mexico and Brazil. With an “A” CinemaScore in North America, and an estimated domestic haul of $94M, the global box office this weekend is $160.4M. The galactic band of misfits is lesser known than other characters in the Marvel universe, but was nevertheless embraced off of a smart marketing campaign and huge Marvel brand awareness and goodwill. Three weeks ago, UK daily The Guardian called the “barmy little space opera” Marvel’s “surefire summer action smash.” Disney/Marvel of course had a pre-summer smash with Captain America sequel The Winter Soldier, whose international debut in March was worth $75.2M across 32 markets.
GOTG opened at No. 1 in all but one market this weekend (the holdout was Korea which had a massive local picture opening this frame in Roaring Currents). After giving GOTG its best overseas opening day on Thursday, Russia continued to fuel the film’s fortunes with a $13M weekend. Behind that, the UK came in with $10.8M; Mexico was worth $6.5M; Brazil posted a $5.4M bow; and Korea cumed the frame at $4.7M.
Along with the high-profile territories noted above, GOTG debuted in a handful of European, Latin American, and Asian markets which together tallied $26.1M. Importantly, it has yet to bow in the key markets of Australia (Aug 7), France (Aug 13), Spain (Aug 14), Germany (Aug 28), Japan (Sept 13), and Italy (Oct 22). A China release is a go, but has yet to be dated. Next weekend’s openings also include Portugal, India, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela and New Zealand.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 9:09 AM PT: With $11.2M in domestic late nights, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy bested the studios’ own start for Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year. And it was a similar story abroad where the James Gunn-directed space chase earned $11M across its first day on Thursday. In total this weekend, GOTG hits about 40 markets. Among the openings yesterday were the UK, Russia, Korea, and Brazil. Those are key markets which were among the top consumers of Cap 2, and that’s one of the movies that Disney is using as a key comp today when it points to the strong starts around the globe. Russia was reliably receptive with a $3.2M opening day, the single biggest take of any territory so far. Across Asia/Pacific, Guardians earned about $3.4M from seven territories. Korea opened with $900K. That was 25% ahead of Thor 2 on a day for day basis, and is a very healthy number in a crowded field. There are two giant local movies at the Korean box office right now, Kundo: Age Of The Rampant and Roaring Currents. Across the region, Guardians‘ first day was 19% biger than Cap 2 and 37% bigger than Thor 2.
In the UK/Ireland, Guardians opened to $2.3M in previews, which is 8% above the opening day of Cap 2. IMAX results in the UK were worth 12% of the box office, off just 2% of the screen count. Without breaking out numbers just yet, Disney says box office in all of the other European territories where Guardians released Thursday easily surpassed opening day figures for Cap 2. In Latin America, Brazil got hooked on a feeling to the tune of $800K yesterday. GOTG also bowed in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and Central America, and earned a total $1.6M across the region. That was 7% up on Thor 2 and 9% up on Cap 2. Mexico opens today. Both it and Brazil should be hot spots for Groot and Co — keen as they are to embrace lesser known characters. They were the top two markets for the first Captain America. They were four and five for Cap 2.
Key Market Round-Ups
With July and August an unofficial period during which China puts an emphasis on local movies to help boost market share, there has been a spate of impressive debuts over the past few weeks. Last frame we got The Continent which started off with $45M. That followed the previous openings of Tiny Times 3 and 3D horror pic The House That Never Dies. This weekend, it was the turn of The White-Haired Witch Of Lunar Kingdom. At No. 3 on Rentrak’s list of the weekend’s top global performers (see chart above), the movie earned $44M after bowing on Thursday. Starring Fan Bing Bing, it’s set at the twilight of the Ming Dynasty where the Imperial court is plagued by corruption as tyrants rule over the land. With war imminent and widespread famine rapidly claiming lives, sorceress Jade Raksha fights the soldiers that oppress people for their own gain. As payback, local government officials pin the murder of Governor Zhuo Zhonglian on Jade, making her and the members of her cult into wanted fugitives for a crime they didn’t commit. The 3D wuxia fantasy film is directed by Jacob Cheung and is one of those that might have a chance at a small crossover audience. Road trip movie Continent was back in the Top 10 with a further $17M for a cume of $82.5M. Further down the list, animated pic Dragon Nest: Warriror’s Dawn came in with a $5.5M cume. Directed by Song Yuefeng, it’s based on the Dragon Nest video game. The House That Never Dies, China’s most successful horror pic ever, has now cumed $61.5M. One notable title that went out last week was Dhoom 3. The top-grossing Bollywood film ever entered the Top 10 in China at its bow. It earned about $1.35M for the three-day weekend and is expected to be the biggest Indian film ever in the market. It was released there on a flat-fee basis, meaning it was not one of the movies on the quota list.
Korea is riding a wave of mega-succesful local films led by this week’s entry Roaring Currents. The Han-min Kim directed pic set an opening day admissions record last Wednesday selling 683K tickets for $4.6M. CJ E&M is releasing the movie that it calls a “mega-scale naval action film.” Oldboy and Lucy’s Choi Min-sik stars with The Target’s Ryu Seung-ryong. The film portrays the historic Battle of Myeongnyang on the southwestern coast of the Korean peninsula. It finished the weekend at $35M and a U.S release is afoot, says CJ. After its No. 1 bow last weekend, Kundo: Age Of The Rampant added $5.1M for a $34M cume. Those two movies and the 2nd frame of How To Train Your Dragon 2 ($5.7M) ended up pushing the debut of Guardians Of The Galaxy to the 4th position with $4.7M (this was the only market where it did not start at No. 1). The next big local bows in Korea are the August 6 release of sea-faring period adventure Pirates about the hunt for a gray whale, and, in keeping with the high-seas theme, Sea Fog goes out on August 13. Also known as Haemoo, it’s directed by Sim Seong-bo, who co-wrote the script with Bong Joon-ho.
With a further $3.2M on 427 screens this frame, Godzilla now has a local cume of $15.3M. That helped push the giant lizard past the $300M international and $500M global box office marks this weekend. Released locally by Toho, the Warner Bros movie was No. 2 in the market behind its own local pic Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno. Produced by Warner Bros Japan, the Rurouni Kenshin action drama sequel opened to a strong $8.1M on 438 screens. The first film in the series went on to earn about $37M in Japan. The debut of the sequel was 48% bigger than the debut of the original.
With 12 movies released in the UK this weekend, the only major new studio picture was Guardians Of The Galaxy. The Disney/Marvel pic which shot at Shepperton, where Marvel is now making most of its movies, earned $10.8M. That was the film’s 2nd biggest overseas score, following Russia’s $13M bow. The UK is generally good to the Marvel-verse with films like The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier landing near the top of the box office at the end of each year. Also continuing its run in the UK this frame was Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes which slid just 16% week-on-week for an added $5.07M and a cume of $40.1M – the biggest ex-U.S. number so far. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up this frame with a local cume now at $30.1M, also the biggest ex-U.S. perf. Next week’s arrivals include local pic The Inbetweeners 2 which is the highly-anticipated follow up to the very successful ($82M worldwide) 2011 youth comedy that’s based on the popular TV show. Entertainment releases it on Wednesday.
France went ape for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes this weekend. The movie bowed on Wednesday at the top of the market and through the weekend took $14.1M on 799 screens — making it the No. 1 debut for any film this year. Likewise, France also remains keen on HTTYD2 with an 11% drop this week and a cume of $22.4M. This week saw 13 movies enter the market including John Carney’s Begin Again at No. 2 and the scarer Mister Babadook at No. 3 among new titles.
Germany was expected to be a big growth market for 22 Jump Street and as numbers show today, that’s the case. Helping the Sony comedy cross the $100M international box office mark this weekend, $4.6M in box office was collared in Germany on 615 screens. The movie had opened on Thursday with a terrific $950K bow. That was 91% above Neighbors‘ opening day and – remarkably – 650% above the opening day of 21 Jump Street. No. 1 22JS was followed by How To Train Your Dragon 2, Transformers: Age Of Extinction and the debut of The ste: Anarchy. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes breaks out next week as does Step Up All In.
Brazil was one of the major debut markets for GOTG this weekend where the film took $5.4M for the No. 1 slot. In Mexico, it sped to $6.5M. Those two markets also happen to be the top two for Adam Sandler’s Blended. Brazilians continued their love affair with the actor who consistently performs well there. An estimated $1.2M was added to what is now a cume of $8.7M. Blended has passed a series of Sandler’s other titles in the market including Grown Ups 2. Mexico remains the top ex-U.S. territory for the family comedy with a $12.2M cume. Also in Brazil, The Fault In Our Stars has now become the No. 2 movie of the year. The World Cup counterprogrammer has had a stellar run there with a $30.87M cume to date.
Russia raced to outer space this weekend giving Guardians Of The Galaxy its best ex-U.S. performance. Playing in 3D it was expected to do well there and ended up earning $13M. Also playing in the fast-burn market, Hercules went from No. 1 last weekend with $12M at 930 dates to $3.2M in its 2nd weekend at 962 locations. The cume to date there is $18.6M. Sony’s Sex Tape also is still playing with an added $1.1M in frame 2 for a $4.9M cume. Russia next week gets Warner Bros’ extreme weather pic Into The Storm which with its effects driven premise is right up Russia’s alley. Also bowing is the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. The 2007 animated version did only a little over $3M here, but times have changed and Leonardo & Co are appearing this time courtesy of producer Michael Bay.
Salman Khan’s Kick continued to perform throughout the week, crossing the 100 crore mark after just five days in release. Updated figures out of India put it at 183.93 crore ($30.27M) which sets it up to possibly become Khan’s all-time biggest hit. Ek Tha Tiger currently holds that title with 198.78 crore ($32.71M). The movie did provide the Bollywood superstar with his best ever first week at 164.09 crore ($27M). Opening this weekend in India were Hercules, which is understood to have been the No. 1 film, with Luc Besson’s Lucy at No. 2. Opening next weekend is The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri in what I found to be a really charming Lasse Hallstrom confection when I saw it recently at CineEurope.