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'Prince of Persia' weaker than hoped for in foreign debut

The videogame adaptation with Jake Gyllenhaal was No. 1 in 18 of 19 foreign markets but failed to generate the box office of 'Kingdom of Heaven' and the original 'Iron Man.'

May 24, 2010

"Prince of Persia" didn't exactly get a royal reception overseas this weekend.

Walt Disney Studios' big-budget video game adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal opened in 19 foreign markets, including every major European country except France, one week ahead of its Memorial Day weekend debut in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

The film sold a studio-estimated $18 million worth of tickets. That's 5% more than the opening of "National Treasure" in the same countries in 2004, but 13% less than the original "Iron Man" in 2008 and 24% less than 2005's historical epic "Kingdom of Heaven." Those three are among the pictures that Disney is using as benchmarks for "Persia," which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Mike Newell.

"Prince of "Persia" was No. 1 in every country where it opened except Great Britain, where it was in a tight battle for No. 2 with "Robin Hood" behind a local 3-D movie.

The studio noted that Western Europe experienced unseasonably warm weather this past weekend, which appears to have depressed grosses there, particularly for matinees.

— Ben Fritz

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