(April 17, 2000 – Burbank, CA) - Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Pokemon the First Movie” took international audiences by storm when it triumphed in 11 markets, ranking No. 1 in five key markets – Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel and Finland. “Pokemon the First Movie” shattered all other family film opening weekend receipts in Germany, Israel and Finland. The film also enjoyed excellent weekend openings in Austria, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Portugal. Total weekend receipts were $14,573,355. The announcement was made today by Edward E. Frumkes, President of International Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures. Propelled by a vigorous multi-tiered promotional campaign, the film was warmly received throughout Europe: • In Germany, the film enjoyed the biggest opening in admissions and second biggest box office opening in studio history, with a gross of $4,655,000 on 712 screens, making it the no. 1 movie and the biggest opening ever for an animated film in Germany. • In the United Kingdom, “Pokemon the First Movie” earned $4.5 million on 635 screens, making it the No. 1 movie and the 4th best Warner Bros. Pictures opening ever. • In Spain, the film opened at No. 1, grossing $1,253,000 on 250 screens, in the 6th highest opening of a Warner Bros. Pictures film. • The film marked an all-time industry best opening in Israel, grossing $400,000 on 33 screens, making it the No. 1 film in Israel. • In Finland, “Pokemon the First Movie” was the No. 1 film, earning $304,000 on 35 screens, making it Warner Bros. Pictures’ biggest opening ever in this territory. • The film also enjoyed outstanding openings in Austria ($304,000 on 73 screens), Sweden ($208,000 on 58 screens), Norway ($222,000 on 32 screens), Switzerland ($195,000 on 41 screens), Denmark ($103,000 on 30 screens) and Portugal ($106,000 on 45 screens). In the hold-over markets, the film moved up to No. 1 in its second weekend in Belgium with a fantastic 59% increase from first weekend. It also enjoyed a strong second weekend in France, where the weekend figure dropped a low 28%. Stated Frumkes, “This film’s performance against other animated and family fare is a testament to the outstanding efforts of our international marketing and distribution staff to create, explore and utilize all possible opportunities in bringing ‘Pokemon the First Movie’ to the international marketplace. I’m certain that their efforts will continue to produce record-breaking openings in the remaining territories.” Warner Bros. Family Entertainment presents a 4Kids Entertainment Production, “Pokémon The First Movie” is written by Norman J. Grossfeld, Michael Haigney and John Touhey with voice direction by Michael Haigney. Norman J. Grossfeld, President of 4Kids Productions, is the Producer. The animated film is directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and produced by Choji Yoshikawa, Tomoyuki Igarashi and Takemoto Mori. The film written by Takeshi Shudo is based on characters created by Satoshi Tajiri. It is distributed by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment, A Time Warner Entertainment Company.
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