'Avatar' still on top globally in ninth week


What a pair of boxoffice legs!

20th Century Fox's "Avatar," in its ninth round on the foreign circuit, defiantly stared down overseas openings of three big major studio films over the weekend, emerging at No. 1 with $59.8 million drawn from 8,453 screens in 71 markets.

Director James Cameron's blockbuster epic in 3D pushed its record-setting overseas gross total to $1.7 billion and its unprecedented worldwide cume to $2.366 billion. The 20th Century Fox release was the sole holdover in the weekend's top five titles.

As per Fox, the top "Avatar" on the weekend was Japan, which generated $5.8 million from 569 spots for a market cume of $121.9 million. Other big markets in order of market cumes are France ($156.4 million), China ($155.5 million), Germany ($125.3 million), the U.K. ($124.4 million) and Russia ($108.5 million.)

No. 2 on the weekend was Warner Bros./New Line's "Valentine's Day," which kicked off its foreign run at 4,600 venues in 57 markets for a weekend tally of $35 million for a $7,608 per-screen average.

The Garry Marshall romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner leading a multi-name cast opened strongest in Australia (No. 1 with $6.7 million from 373 sites), the U.K. (also No. 1 with $5.9 million from 432 spots) and Germany (No. 2 with $2.8 million from 410 sites). Domestically, it grossed $66.9 million on the four-day holiday weekend.

No. 3 was Fox's adventure fantasy, "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," director Chris Columbus' adaptation of the popular book series by Rick Riordan. The opening round produced $27.9 million from 5,847 venues in 40 territories.

Finishing fourth was Universal's "The Wolfman," which collected $21.8 million from 4,256 situations -- for a $5,122 per-screen average -- in 37 territories. The four-day overseas take was $24.1 million, with $38.8 million realized domestically in the same period.

Director Joe Johnston's update (co-starring Benicio De Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt) of the classic 1941 Universal horror title (co-starring Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lagosi and Maria Ouspenskaya) drew $3.7 million from 404 screens in the U.K., finishing at No. 3 in the market.

"The Wolfman" opened at No. 1 in Mexico with $3.5 million from 480 sites and placed at No. 2 in Argentina and in Spain, where it grossed $2.6 million from 419 locales. Its No. 7 France debut produced $1.6 million from 371 screens. The horror title has 25 overseas territories yet to play, with Italy on tap this Friday.

No. 5 was Fox's "My Name Is Khan," a 9/11-related drama about a Mumbai Muslim (played by Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan) with Asperger syndrome detained at LAX airport after action suspiciously.

Fox's recently formed local co-production venture, Fox International Prods., is behind "Khan," which opened at No. 1 in India ($9.2 million from 1,450 screens) and generated an overall weekend tally of $12.4 million from 1,645 screens in seven markets.

Fox said Tuesday that "Khan's" debut "marked the biggest Bollywood opening weekend ever in the U.S., the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand and Holland." In India, the film's opening received "standing ovations" in some locations, according to Fox, and became the territory's biggest opening of a film starring Shah Rukh Khan.

Disney's "The Princes and the Frog" grossed an animated $11.3 million from 3,330 locations in 41 markets, hoisting its overseas cume past the $100 million mark ($111.9 million) with the prospect of various holiday playtimes ahead in active territories. Top markets were France (No. 1 with $4.5 million in its third round from 697 screens for a market cume of $19 million), the U.K. ($2.4 million from 501 sites, cume $6.6 million) and Spain ($2.4 million from 398 venues for a $6.5 million cume).



Finishing at No. 1 in the Paris area was Warner's "Sherlock Homes," which detected $9.3 million overall on the weekend from 3,500 screens in 58 territories. Director Guy Ritchie's update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective figure grossed $3.8 million from 670 sites in France (where it ranked No. 3) for a market cume of $10.9 million. U.K. cume stands at $40.4 million.

Warner's "Invictus" from director Clint Eastwood collected $6.7 million from 2,220 screens in 31 territories. The drama co-starring Oscar nominees Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon has recorded an international cume to date of $54.4 million.

Thanks to a reasonably robust Germany round ($1.2 million from 263 spots for a $3.6 million market cume), Paramount's multiple Oscar nominee "Up in the Air" drew $6.1 million overall on the weekend from 2,104 screens in 42 markets. Foreign gross total for the drama-comedy starring George Clooney stands at $58.2 million.

In France, Pathe's release of "Oceans," an ecological docu-drama from co-directors Jacques Cluzaud and Jacques Perrin, has generated a market cume of $15.4 million thanks to its third weekend take of $3 million from 578 sites, for a No. 5 ranking. In Japan via Gaga, "Oceans" has raised a total of $19.7 million over four frames and finished a market No. 2 on the weekend with $1.5 million generated from 302 locations.

Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" jacked its overseas cume to $207.4 million thanks to a $4.4 million weekend at 3,774 screens in 38 markets.

Fox's "Chuen sing yit luen-yit lat lat" (Hot Summer Days) -- another title from the Fox International hopper, a romantic comedy shot in Beijing -- opened at No. 2 in China with $3.8 million on the weekend from 1,250 screens. The film is the first co-production by Fox in China and Fox's first Chinese-language production. A Hong Kong opening is due Thursday, with debuts in Singapore and Taiwan to follow this month.

After five months on the foreign circuit (it began its run Sept. 16), Sony's family-oriented animation title, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," still is racking up boxoffice mileage with openings in Korea and Portugal, grossing $3 million on the weekend overall at 1,450 sites 22 markets. Foreign cume has now surpassed the $100 million mark ($102.4 million).

Universal's "It's Complicated" pushed its foreign cume to $79.4 million thanks to a $3.1 million weekend at 2,500 screens in 41 territories. The Nancy Meyers romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep still has 22 overseas markets to play.

Icon Distribution opened the Coen brothers' drama "A Serious Man" at No. 8 in the U.K. with $787,346 drawn on the weekend from just 79 locations for a per-screen average of $9,966. Overseas cume for the Focus Features title is $18.3 million. Director Kathryn Bigelow's "the Hurt Locker" made its Mexico debut at No. 8, with $139,395 elicited from 65 sites for a per-screen average of $2,145.

Other international cumes: the Weinstein Co.'s "Nine," $21.2 million; Fox's "The Tooth Fairy," $34.5 million (thanks to a $1.7 million weekend at 1,459 sites in 22 markets); Disney's "Old Dogs," $42.5 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Lovely Bones," 16.7 million (after a $3 million weekend from 1,029 sites in six markets); Lionsgate's "Brothers," estimated $8 million; Sony's "Did You Hear About the Morgans," $44.7 million; Paramount's "Youth in Revolt," $2.3 million (U.K. only); Lionsgate's "Daybreakers," estimated $10.6 million; Sony's "Friendship," $13.4 million (from Germany and Austria only); Lionsgate's "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," estimated $48 million; and Pathe's "Proteger et servir" (Protect and Serve), estimated $2.9 million (over two frames in France only).

Also, Sony's "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" $44.8 million since Dec. 16; DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Lovely Bones," $16.9 million (after a $3 million weekend at 971 locations in six markets); Disney's 'Surrogates," $83.1 million; Sony's "Friendship," $13.5 million after five rounds in Germany and Austria; Summit/Sony's "Book of Eli," $22.7 million; Shochiku's "Ototo" (About Her Brother), $12.4 million over three rounds in Japan only; Universal's "Serge Gainsbourg, vie Heroique," $8.5 million over 26 days in France only; Paramount's "Celda 211," $16.9 million since Nov. 6 in Spain only; Sony's "Legion," $10.6 million; Universal's "Couples Retreat," $60.1 million; Paramount's "Case 39," $12.3 million; Focus Features' "Love Happens," $10.3 million; Paramount's "An Education," $2.1 million; and Pixar/Disney's "Up," $437.8 million.
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