Family fare perks up o'seas b.o.

Another French film moves into top international ranks

The tail end of spring school holidays in scattered markets is easing the traditional decline of the overseas boxoffice at this time of year, with family fare getting the greatest attention. "Dr. Suess' Horton Hears a Who!" dominated foreign multiplexes for a second week in a row with $10.8 million from 5,575 screens in 54 markets for a cume to date of $90.6 million. Also in the family mix was "The Spiderwick Chronicles," which brought in $6.8 million from 3,351 sites in 45 markets. Teenagers turned out for "Step Up 2 the Streets," which scored $5 million from 1,677 screens in 26 markets for a cume of $61.4 million. More family action saw "The Game Plan" tally $3.3 million from 1,215 screens in 11 markets for a cume of $43.4 million, and "Enchanted" increased its cume to $207.1 million after a $23.3 million take from Japan in four weeks, where it dropped to No. 2 after holding the No. 1 spot for three weeks in a row.

At the same time, the prehistoric epic "10,000 BC" lifted its international gross to $153.9 million after a weekend tally of $5.9 million from 4,500 prints in 62 territories, and "Vantage Point," the political drama about the attempted assassination of a president, advanced to $67.5 million following a weekend take of $4 million from 2,130 screens in 57 markets.

But the big surprise of the period before May's onslaught of the summer blockbusters was the performance of a series of French films. Following on the heels of the phenomenal "Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis," the rural comedy that has enchanted France for six weeks in a row, comes "Disco," a comedy directed by Fabien Onteniente and distributed by Studio Canal, which grabbed top honors at the French boxoffice with $8.5 million from 824 screens and $9.3 million overall from three markets. "Ch'tis" dropped to second place with $6.7 million from 906 screens for a market cume of $168.5 million. "Ch'tis," which sold 17.4 million tickets since it opened Feb. 27, became France's all-time boxoffice champ by narrowly beating the war film "La Grande Vadrouille," which held a 42-year, 17.3 million admissions record.

"Ch'tis," which has been playing France and French-speaking Belgium and Switzerland, expanded to an English-speaking country, bringing in a satisfactory $30,000 from a single screen in the U.K. The film's overall weekend take from four markets came to $8 million from 997 screens for an estimated cume to date of $189 million.

"Horton's" weekend performance was fueled by a No. 1 opening in France ($3.3 million from 708 screens); a $1.1 million third weekend in the U.K., for a market cume of $13 million; and a $1 million fourth weekend in Germany, for a market total of $11.9 million.

Summit Entertainment's "Never Back Down" picked up $2.4 million from 518 screens in three markets and has reached a cume of $3.7 million. "Cloverfield" has collected $80 million after opening in Japan to $2.6 million from 290 screens. "27 Dresses," with a $3 million weekend from 1,067 screens in 17 markets, reached a cume of $65.3 million. "Jumper" advanced to $124.6 million after taking in $3.5 million from 1,120 screens in 25 countries. The crime thriller "Untraceable," from Lakeshore Entertainment, picked up an estimated $2.3 million from 498 screens in five markets under the hand of different distributors and has reached a cume of $8.7 million. "Juno" hit $74.2 million following a $2.9 million weekend from 782 screens in 14 markets.

Other action in the international market saw "No Country for Old Men" shoot up $1.4 million from 952 screens for a cume to date of $81.1 million. "The Other Boleyn Girl" sliced off $1.2 million from 177 screens in France via Wild Bunch release to add to the $1.4 million from 13 other markets, bringing the film's cume to $28.2 million. "Meet the Spartans" took in $2.7 million and has reached a cume of $36 million. "Drillbit Taylor" laughed up $1.5 million for a cume of $9.1 million. "The Bucket List" reached a cume of $59.3 million after a $1.7 million weekend take, and "Fool's Gold" romanced $2.4 million for a cume of $12.7 million.

The Chinese film "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon" got off to a fast start in Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, opening to $4.2 million from 401 screens.

On its first overseas weekend, the Summit/Universal team-up "Nim's Island" registered $2.4 million from 518 screens in three markets, with the U.K. accounting for $1.7 million from 326 screens for a per-screen average of $5,172.

The George Clooney starrer "Leatherheads" opened in Ukraine to $160,943 from 41 screens.

Germany is proving again that it's a favorite haven for nature documentaries. The newest entry, "Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean," has racked up record business in the opening weeks of its Imax Theater 3-D engagement. The 47,000 admissions since the March 13 opening on 17 screens is hardly huge, but it's considered a milestone for 3-D in Germany. It follows the massive success of the BBC's "Planet Earth," which recently reached 3 million admissions, rated as a blockbuster in Germany. "Dolphins and Whales 3D" is produced and distributed by 3D Entertainment, a company that specializes in underwater-themed docus for Imax and 3-D digital theaters.

Scott Roxborough and Rebecca Leffler in Cannes contributed to this report.
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