'21's' hand ends 'Horton' reign

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Although the industry is standing by for a major uplift when May tentpoles take off, the overseas boxoffice is holding up remarkably well for this time of the year, with Sony's "21" narrowly beating Fox's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" for weekend honors with $9.8 million and $9.5 million, respectively.

The gambling caper's call ended the animated family feature's three-week hold on first place as it reached an international cume of $117.5 million. Fox's cop thriller "Street Kings" aroused $8.8 million from 2,461 screens in 37 markets in its second weekend, providing an early cume of $10.7 million.

Family fare, led by "Horton," continued to play a meaningful role at the foreign boxoffice. Paramount's "The Spiderwick Chronicles" tallied $5.6 million from 2,745 screens in 41 countries (cume: $74.1 million). Universal/Summit Entertainment's "Nim's Island" sailed with $4 million from 1,154 screens in 10 markets (cume: $11.9 million), and Disney's "The Game Plan" collected $2.1 million from 1,290 screens in 12 markets (cume: $50.4 million). At the same time, Summit/Universal's "Step Up 2 the Streets" danced to $6 million from 1,830 screens in 28 markets (cume: $77.5 million).

Local-language films continued to hold the limelight in a number of countries. The German-language "Sommer," released by Disney International, brought in $2.4 million from 504 screens in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland, with Germany representing $2.1 million from 407 screens. Constantin's "Die Welle," now in its sixth week, held the No. 3 spot with $1.1 million from 460 screens, for a market cume of $18.7 million.

France maintained its hold as the top market for homegrown films. The phenomenal "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis" held first place with $5 million from 867 screens in its eighth weekend for a market cume of $182 million. The film's total cume, including French-speaking Belgium and Switzerland, is now at $198.2 million. Studio Canal's "Disco" held second place in its third weekend, bringing in $3.3 million from 794 screens for a market cume of $20.4 million. Mars Distribution's "Sans Arme, Ni Haine, Ni Violence" opened at No. 5 with $2 million from 285 screens, and Warner Bros.' "Passe Passe" (No. 6) pulled in $1.5 million from 278.

In Japan, two local animated films dominated the market: Toho's "Detective Conan Full of Fear" tallied $4.1 million from 335 screens, and Toho's "Crayon Sinchan 16" garnered $2.4 million from 317.



In Mexico, the Sony release "Casi Divas" (No. 3) has taken in almost $2 million in two weeks, and the Fox entry "La Misa Luna" (No. 4) has tallied $8 million in five weeks. In Spain, the Warner Bros. release "Fuera de Carta" (No. 2) has taken in $1.9 million in two weekends.

"21" revealed its cards at No. 1 in Russia ($1.7 million from 277 screens) and at No. 2 in Brazil ($625,000 from 104). The card sharps turned out for a second weekend in the U.K., where "21" remained at No. 1 for a second weekend with $2 million from 355 screens for a market cume of $7 million.

In three new openings in Italy, "Step Up 2" walked in at No. 1 with $2.2 million from 308 screens, "Horton" was No. 2 with $1.5 million from 555, and "21" was No. 3 with $1.1 million from 247.

Universal's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" opened day-and-date with domestic in Australia and Iceland, hitting $1.8 million from 215 screens in both countries. It entered Down Under at No. 1 with $1.7 million from 210 screens, edging No. 2's "Street Kings'" $1.4 million from 222 screens. Business for both films is expected to benefit this coming weekend with about half the country still on school holidays.

"Shutter," Fox's remake of the Asian horror film, scared up $2.2 million from 933 screens in 25 countries to provide an early foreign gross of $10.1 million.

"Fool's Gold," Warner Bros.' lost-treasure comedy adventure, dug up $3.5 million from 1,125 prints in 35 markets, raising its cume to $20 million. It opened at No. 2 in the U.K. with $1.9 million from 398 prints.

"The Forbidden Kingdom," in day-and-date openings with the U.S., took in $3.2 million from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The George Clooney starrer "Leatherheads," which is still having difficulty connecting with moviegoers, grossed $1.2 million from 514 screens. In the U.K., it was at No. 12 in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $1.9 million. It's doing better in Italy, where its 10-day total is $2.4 million. The film's international cume to date is at $4.7 million.

In Japan, Fox's "Lions for Lambs" entered the market at No. 3 with $1.5 million from 314 screens to lift its international cume to $43.6 million. New Line's "The Golden Compass" is still playing in Japan, where it has chalked up $32.2 million in eight weeks. The film, a major domestic bust with $70.1 million, has tallied $292.3 million overseas.

More weekend action: "The Ruins," $1.5 million (cume: $1.8 million); "Vantage Point," $1.4 million (cume: $75.3 million); "10,000 BC," $1.3 million (cume: $162.2 million); and "27 Dresses," $1.1 million (cume: $72.5 million).
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