'Benjamin Button' stays on top overseas

Oscar contender's international gross passes $119 mil

Lavished with 13 Oscar nominations, Warner Bros.' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is already showing considerable pre-Academy Awards strength on the international circuit, claiming the No. 1 boxoffice spot for the second consecutive weekend with $31 million from about 6,000 screens in 54 markets.
 
The David Fincher-directed film with Brad Pitt was propelled by first-place debuts in Italy ($4.2 million from 505 screens), South Korea ($2 million from 212 sites) and Taiwan ($960,000 million from just 105 screens).

A No. 3 market finish provided a France tally of $4 million from 579 screens in "Button's" second frame in the territory, while in Spain it held the No. 1 spot with $3 million from 481 sites. A first-place finish in Japan ($3.1 million from 427 screens) and a muscular second frame holdover in the U.K. ($2.6 million from 419 situations) boosted the weekend tally.
 
So far, "Button" has grossed $119.1 million overseas.
 
With its Oscar nomination in the best animated film category, Disney's "Bolt' has been showing real spunk internationally, finishing second and pushing its overseas cume to $132 million thanks to a $16.3 million weekend from 3,504 screens in 39 territories. A No. 1 U.K. bow ($7.9 million from 496 screens including previews) helped, as did solid bows in Holland and Belgium.
 
Oscar favorite “Slumdog Millionaire” is logging hefty numbers in at least five territories -- the U.K., France, Spain, Australia and India -- and has grossed more than $50 million over seven frames on the international circuit. The U.K. market is leading the list by providing the Danny Boyle outing $29 million over six stanzas.
 
Other Oscar bidders are doing nowhere near as well. Focus Features/Universal's "Milk" has accumulated $7.5 million overseas so far thanks to a $625,000 weekend at 430 screens in 15 markets. Universal's "Frost/Nixon" has grossed $6.3 million foreign so far with a weekend tally of $660,000 from 627 screens in 29 markets.
 
Miramax/Disney's "Doubt" has rolled up $10.5 million abroad thanks to a $2 million weekend from 978 screens in 30 territories. DreamWorks/Paramount's "Revolutionary Road," which opened overseas Jan. 15, has an international cume of $43 million thanks to a $3.3 million weekend from 2,263 screens in 38 territories.

Finishing No. 3 was 20th Century Fox's release of United Artists' "Valkyrie," which expanded its run to include 18 markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. Weekend tally was $11.9 million from 4,500 screens in 55 markets, for an international cume of $72 million. As per Fox calculations, the historical drama with Tom Cruise opened No. 1 in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico ($1.4 million from 409 locations).
 
At No. 4, New Line's "He's Just Not That Into You" broadened its overseas run to 2,087 screens in 16 markets for a weekend estimate of $11.4 million. The comedy with Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson and Drew Barrymore opened at No. 1 in Australia with $3 million recorded from 253 situations for a per-screen average of $11,858. Cume stands at $16.5 million.
 


Finishing fifth was the dusted-off and rebooted "Friday the 13th," which slashed its way to an estimated $9.4 million from 2,138 overseas locations in 28 markets, which Paramount Pictures International says is the biggest international opening of any title in the horror franchise's 29-year history.
 
Opening day-and-date with its No. 1 domestic bow, the New Line/Paramount redo (via Platinum Dunes Prods.), featuring machete-wielding Jason in a hockey mask, grabbed $1.7 million from 268 spots in the U.K., $1.7 million from 300 locations in Russia and $1 million from 174 sites in Italy. In Spain, the tally was $1.1 million from 230 spots, while Germany produced $1 million from 192 screens. According to Paramount, the U.K. opening for "Friday the 13th" was 61% ahead of the comparable market bow of 2003's "Freddy vs. Jason," the last of the franchise's titles.
 
Disney opened "Confessions of a Shopaholic" in five overseas markets for an estimated $3 million from 857 screens. Sony's "The International" with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts debuted at $2.5 million from 566 sites in three foreign markets, including Germany, where the espionage thriller played the Berlin International Film Festival.

In the U.K., Fox opened "Notorious," a film biography of rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace), in the No. 7 slot in the U.K. with a weekend take of $1.6 million from 239 screens. Universal's "Coraline" recorded $1.5 million from 640 locations in five markets for an early international cume of $3.2 million.
 
"Bride Wars," Fox's comedy with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, continues apace on the foreign circuit with $4.8 million grossed from 2,660 spots in 42 territories for a cume of $39 million.

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel for Dogs" registered $3.3 million overall -- slightly more than half of which came from a No. 5 U.K. opening -- from 1,028 screens in nine markets.
 
MGM/Sony's "Pink Panther 2" with Steve Martin in its second weekend picked up $3.8 million from 930 screens in 28 markets for a cume of $4.4 million, while Warners' "Yes Man" drew $3.7 million from about 2,000 spots in 56 territories for a cume of $113.4 million. Fox's "Australia" drew $2.5 million from 2,200 screens in 19 markets for a cume of $146 million.
 
Sony's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" chugged along to $2.7 million from 1,300 sites in 38 markets for a cume of $22.1 million.

Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" pushed its cume to $41.7 million thanks to a $2.5 million weekend from 1,035 screens in 16 territories. Sony's "Seven Pounds" with Will Smith also came up with $2.5 million from 1,756 screens in 47 markets for a cume of $83.8 million.
 
In France, the top local-language title was "LOL," a mother-daughter drama with Sophie Marceau, which drew a No. 1 market spot with $4.7 million from 461 locations for a France-only cume of $10.4 million. TFM Distribution’s "Le Seminaire," the latest big-screen version of the French comedy TV series about a dysfunctional office, registered a No. 5 spot and $1.9 million from 510 screens.
 
Other international cumes: Warners' “Gran Torino, $6.1 million from Australia and New Zealand only; New Line's "Inkheart," $27 million; MGM/Sony’s “Quantum of Solace,” $403.8 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," $400.3 million; New Line's "Four Christmases," $43 million; Universal's "Mamma Mia!" $446.2 million (thanks to a $1.9 million weekend in Japan at 336 screens); New Line's "Pride and Glory," $13.4 million; Universal's "Changeling," $57.5 million; New Line's "Appaloosa," $7.1 million; Universal's "Role Models," $19 million; New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $127 million; Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $26.3 million; Disney's "Bedtime Stories," $85.9 million; and DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Ghost Town,” $11.7 million.
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