'Avatar' tops int'l boxoffice again


Hardly resting on its worldwide boxoffice laurels, "Avatar" charged ahead in its seventh weekend on the international circuit, finishing at No. 1 with $95.4 million drawn from 11,088 screens in 120 markets.
 
Overseas gross total stands at $1.452 billion, pushing the 20th Century Fox release's worldwide gross total past the $2 billion mark.

With the domestic gross total registering at $595.8 million through the weekend -- still $5 million shy of "Titanic's" U.S. and Canada record of $600.8 million -- "Avatar's" new global gross record comes to $2.048 billion.
 
Director James Cameron's mega-budget 3D spectacle broke "Titanic's" all-time overseas gross mark of $1.242 billion on Jan. 23 and notched a new worldwide benchmark of $1.859 billion last Monday. It's expected that "Avatar" will break "Titanic's" domestic boxoffice record on Monday or Tuesday.
 
The weekend gross on the foreign circuit was the first to fall below the $100 million mark, but nonetheless the total offshore take was just 12% below the prior weekend's number, indicating "Avatar's" extraordinary staying power at the boxoffice.

Fox said Monday that its international distribution unit set an industry record by earning $1.02 billion in foreign boxoffice in the month of January, "the earliest by far than any studio has ever reached this overseas milestone." "Avatar" action is responsible with assists from "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "Tooth Fairy," and "(500) Days of Summer," which has taken in overseas boxoffice of $1.7 million so far this year. (Its total cume is $27.6 million.)
 
"Avatar's" top market was Italy, where the third weekend generated $11 million from 906 screens for a market cume of $55.8 million. For all the Sturm und Drang in China about "Avatar's" 2D playoff, the weekend there came up with $10.9 million from 1,413 sites for a market cume of $127.6 million.
 
Other key markets included France (cume $134.7 million so far), Germany ($106.5 million), the U.K. ($105.7 million), Russia ($101.8 million), Japan ($92.1 million), South Korea ($88.5 million), Australia ($84.2 million) and Spain ($82.9 million).
 
No. 2 was Warner Bros.' "Sherlock Holmes," which exceeded the $200 million overseas gross mark (cume actually is $220.3 million) with a $16.8 million weekend at about 4,625 screens in 61 markets.

Director Guy Ritchie's interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective, co-starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, opened in Germany to $4.4 million from 599 sites. In Austria, it opened No. 1 with $690,053 drawn from 82 situations.

Third on the weekend was Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," which in its sixth round came up with $11 million from 4,503 screens in 46 territories, pushing its foreign gross total to $190.6 million. An animated opening in Italy generated $2.8 million from 353 locations.

Thanks to a No. 1 France debut, Disney Animation's "The Princess and the Frog" finished at No. 4 on the weekend overall by drawing a total of $9.9 million on the weekend from 2,800 screens in 32 markets, for an international cume of $78.6 million. Of the total, $7.5 million came from 667 situations in France.



Buoyed by debuts in 11 territories, the weekend's No. 5 title from Paramount, "Up in the Air," the George Clooney comedy-drama directed by Jason Reitman, flew to $9.8 million from 2,207 spots in 33 territories for an early overseas total of $34.2 million. A No. 5 opening in France produced $2.6 million from 312 screens.
 
Forceful openings in Spain and Portugal ($3 million from a combined 320 screens) propelled Warner's "Invictus" to a $9.4 million weekend from 1,672 screens in 21 markets. International cume for the Clint Eastwood-directed title stands at $29.2 million.

In France, Pathe opened "Oceans," co-directors Jacques Cluzaud and Jacques Perrin's ecological docu-drama, at 542 screens for $5.8 million and a No. 3 market ranking. In its second Japan round via Gaga, "Oceans" collected $3.5 million from 303 spots for a market cume of $10.8 million. From the two markets on the weekend the docu-drama generated $9.3 million from 845 locations.
 
With 25 territories still to play, Universal's "It's Complicated" has rolled up an overseas total so far of $63.5 million. Weekend for the romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep registered $8 million from 2,775 situations in 37 markets.
 
Fox's "Tooth Fairy," a comic fantasy starring Dwayne Johnson, registered $6.4 million from 2,196 sites in 20 markets for an early cume of $25.9 million. An action-packed Russia opening propelled Sony's "Legion," director Scott Stewart's action fantasy, to a $5.3 million weekend at 783 locales in five markets. Overseas cume stands at $6.7 million.

Nearly tied on the weekend were Sony's "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" and the same distributor's "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs." The former, a romantic comedy with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, played 2,055 screens in 41 markets, grossing $4.3 million and pushing its overseas cume to $36.8 million. Family-oriented "Cloudy" played 1,369 situations in 21 territories, grossing $4.5 million and pushing its foreign cume to $94.3 million.
 
In the U.K., Icon Film Distribution opened "Edge of Darkness," the revenge drama with Mel Gibson that opened at No. 2 domestically on the weekend. Playing at 423 screens, "Edge" grossed $1.9 million, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking. Icon also opened in the U.K. the sleeper indie hit "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" at 47 sites for a weekend take of $414,945 for a $8,829 per-screen average.
 
Universal's release of Focus Features International's local co-production, "Serge Gainsbourg, vie heroique" ("Serge Gainsbourg, Heroic Life"), finished at No. 6 in its second round with an estimated $2.1 million from 499 sites for a market cume of $6.8 million.
 
Director Quentin Tarantino's World War II anti-Nazi adventure "Inglourious Basterds" has passed the $200 million mark overseas ($200.1 million) and has accumulated a worldwide gross of more than $320.6 million. One of the two biggest markets for the Weinstein Co./Universal was Germany, where the film grossed $23.2 million. The France cume is $25.8 million.
 
Other international cumes: Focus Features/Universal's "A Serious Man," $15.2 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Lovely Bones," $10 million from three markets (including a $1.5 million Japan opening at 305 screens); Focus Features' "Love Happens," $10.2 million; Disney's "Surrogates," $81 million; Universal's "Couples Retreat," $58.5 million; and UGC Distribution's "Une petite zone de turbulences," $4.3 million in three rounds in France only.

Also, Disney's "Old Dogs," $39.1 million; Paramount's "Celda 221," $16.3 million from Spain only; Warner's "Io, loro e Lara" ("I, They and Lara"), $22.8 million from Italy only; Sony's "Friendship," $10.1 million from Germany and Austria only; Paramount's "Case 39," $12.1 million; Lionsgate's "Daybreakers," $8.2 million; Focus Features/Universal's "9," $16.3 million; Paramount's "An Education," $2 million; Lionsgate's "Brothers," $6 million; and Paramount's "Law Abiding Citizen," $10.4 million (thanks in part to a $1.6 million Australia opening at 194 spots).
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