‘Sex’ tops international box office

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The Independent Culture

With 32 more countries joining the worldwide release of Sex in the City 2, the fashionable foursome kicked the Prince of Persia out of the top spot in theaters.

Openings in France, Australia and Scandinavian countries helped move the film to No. 1 for the weekend in close to 8,000 theaters internationally for a two week total of $90 million. It was also a big draw in Japan, Germany, and the UK.

This sequel to the 2008 film, from the popular HBO television series, is set in New York City with an exotic holiday romp to the Middle East. The Abu Dhabi location was actually shot in Morocco.

In the US, ‘Sex' fell from 2nd to 5th place in its second weekend. Despite bad reviews it has earned a total of $73 million in the US. There is some backlash to the rotten critiques, mostly written by men, since the film is overwhelmingly seen by women.

In second place, Prince of Persia, the "sword-and-sandals" epic co-starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton, opened strong in Brazil and stayed on top in Russia and China.

Robin Hood took the third place and Shrek Forever After in 3D was No. 4. ‘Shrek' came in on top in the US, perhaps by default with an overall weak box office this past weekend, down 23% from the same time last year with the surprise hit The Hangover.

Other Hollywood films are releasing slowly through the foreign market in select countries, including the rock comedy Get Him to the Greek with Russell Brand and Jonah Hill, which was the No. 2 film at the US box office, Marmaduke, a talking dog tale, and Death at a Funeral, the remake of the British hit with a mostly African American cast.

The first four months of 2010 point to a record box office year around the world. Though most studios expect that starting next weekend when the World Cup commences June 11, theaters could underperform, depending on the game schedule.