'Destination' dethrones 'Basterds' overseas

No. 1 openings included Germany, Holland, Austria

In a sluggish end-of-summer round on the international circuit, "The Final Destination" in 3D narrowly outgrossed "Inglourious Basterds," emerging as the weekend's No. 1 title with a foreign boxoffice take of $15.5 million drawn from about 2,000 screens in 18 territories.

Boxoffice estimates Sunday had director Quentin Tarantino's World War II drama reigning at No. 1 overseas for the third consecutive weekend with a take of $14.3 million from 2,946 locations in 35 territories, with "Destination" logging in at $14 million. But, as Warner Bros. reported Monday, returns for the fourth title in New Line's horror-thriller franchise "came in higher than estimated."

Warners and various independent distributors handle the New Line series, about young people harboring deathly premonitions involving plane crashes, highway pileups, roller coasters run amok and, in "Destination," a violent race car mishap.

"Destination" had muscular No. 1 openings during the weekend in Germany ($4 million, including previews, from 414 screens), Holland, Austria and Poland ($1.3 million from 74 sites for a per-screen average of more than $17,000). The latest "Destination" is benefiting from 3D since most of the returns derived from situations in that format, Warners said.

So far, "Destination" is outpacing the comparable foreign gross of its three predecessors, accumulating $32.5 million after its second round. Worldwide, it has grossed $83.1 million thanks to a No. 1 finish domestically. Openings in Russia and Mexico are set for Wednesday.

Weekend newcomers on the foreign circuit included the U.K. debut of Fox Searchlight's "(500) Days of Summer," the offbeat romantic comedy starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which grossed $2 million during its first five days at 318 locations. Sony's "Julie & Julia," starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, introduced itself in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland for $1.2 million from 376 spots.

"Basterds" opened in Finland, Croatia, Romania and Argentina and in each market registered the best opening-weekend gross of any previous Tarantino title. The Weinstein Co./Universal release has accumulated $83.3 million overseas and $174.3 million worldwide.

With 26 markets to play during the next three months, the international run of "Basterds" is on track to become the biggest to date for a Tarantino film. The director's "Pulp Fiction" grossed $101.9 million offshore in 1994, and 2003's "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" grossed $111.4 million, the Weinstein Co. said. "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" grossed $86.6 million in 2004, and 2007's "Death Proof" logged $28.7 million.

The year's biggest foreign grosser to date, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," added $10.8 million, drawn from 5,000 screens in 39 markets, to boost its international total to $657.5 million. Distributor Fox said the animation title is the fourth-largest overseas grosser in industry history, on pace by the middle of the week to take the No. 3 all-time spot behind only 1997's "Titanic" ($1.24 billion) and 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ($742 million).

Pixar/Disney's "Up" continues its marathon overseas run with an $8.6 million weekend from 2,576 locations in 32 territories, raising its foreign cume to $168.9 million. Sony's "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" opened in six markets including Japan (No. 2 with $2.3 million from 310 locations) for an overall weekend take of $6.4 million from a total of 2,020 screens in 42 territories. Its cume is $48.5 million.

"The Proposal," the Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds pic that Disney describes as the year's No. 1 romantic comedy, pulled $5.6 million from 1,879 sites in 40 markets for a cume of $124.7 million. The distributor's "G-Force" bagged $5.4 million from 2,899 screens in 29 territories for a cume of $76.6 million.

Sony's sci-fi drama "District 9" raised its foreign cume to $21.6 million thanks to a $4.6 million weekend at 1,000 sites in 15 markets. A solid No. 1 opener in the U.K. produced $3.8 million from 447 sites.

Sony's romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" finished No. 1 in Mexico and hiked its offshore take to $28.5 million after a $4.1 million weekend at 1,380 screens in 19 markets. Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" lured another $2.7 million from 3,037 screens in 45 territories for an overseas cume of $138.8 million.

The best-grossing local-language production in France was TFM's "Neuilly sa mere," a comedy about a slum youth residing with a wealthy French family, which drew a No. 2 market spot with $1.9 million from 44 sites for a four-frame market cume of $13.2 million.

At No. 2 in the Paris area (but finishing fifth in the overall market) was "A Prophet," director Jacques Audiard's prison drama and Grand Prix winner at this year's Festival de Cannes, which took $1.6 million in its second weekend at 322 locations for a cume of $4.5 million. The top local-language newcomer was the market's No. 7 title, "Non ma fille, tu n'irais pas danser," a drama starring Chiara Mastroianni about the travails of a single mother of two children. Its opening tally was $1.1 million from 200 situations.

Germany's hottest local-language title, Constantin's "Horst Schlammer-isch kandidier," a political satire ranking No. 3 in the market, lifted its three-stanza cume to an estimated $9.7 million thanks to a $2.1 million weekend at 654 sites.

Other international cumes: Warners' "The Hangover," 168.3 million (due to a $5.2 million weekend at 2,500 screens in 54 markets); Fox's "High Security Vacation," $14.1 million (from two Russia frames); Warners' "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $619.6 million ($916.5 million worldwide); Sony's "Year One," $14.3 million (thanks to a $1.1 million weekend at 490 sites in 15 markets); Paramount's "Imagine That," $3.5 million; Universal's "Public Enemies," $95 million; Fox's "Aliens in the Attic," $20.2 million; Paramount's "Dance Flick," $3.2 million; Universal's "Funny People," $6 million (thanks to a $1.4 million weekend at 619 situations in five markets); DreamWorks/Paramount's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," $430 million; Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $234.8 million; DreamWorks/Universal's "The Soloist," $1 million; Fox's "Taken," $47.8 million (Fox territories only); and DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Uninvited," $12.3 million.
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