French pics boost o'seas market

'Land of Shtis' No. 1 again with whopping $29.5 million

The performance of local films in France, combined with the strong debut of Warner Bros.' "10,000 B.C." and the holdover ability of Fox's "Jumper," Sony's "Vantage Point" and Paramount's "No Country for Old Men" made for a highly satisfactory weekend at the overseas boxoffice.

France's "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" (Welcome to the Land of Shtis) continued its phenomenal run for a second weekend, taking in $29.5 million from 840 screens following a $37.7 million opening (with previews). The story of a postman's observations of the foibles of a rural community has reached a cume of $75.7 million. The Pathe Distribution release directed by actor Danny Boon averaged $35,173 per screen on its second five-day weekend.

Meanwhile, "10,000 B.C." came in at No. 1 in 19 of its 20 weekend openings, picking up an estimated $26.1 million from 3,634 prints for a worldwide cume of $61.8 million following a day-and-date opening with North America. The prehistoric epic directed by Roland Emmerich notched 51% marketshare of the top five films in Spain, taking in $4.5 million from 472 prints. Mexico grossed $4.1 million from 500 screens; Germany, $2.9 million from 749; Australia, $2.2 million from 221; and Brazil, $1.6 million from 300. Warner Bros. called special attention to India, noting that the adventure-drama beat out Bollywood films that opened during the weekend, taking 59% of the marketshare of the top five films, with $1.5 million from 295 prints nationwide. The studio also pointed out that "B.C.'s" only No. 2 showing was in Turkey, where it came in second to a local hit.

"Jumper," in its fourth overseas weekend, is approaching the $100 million mark after it reached $96 million following a $12.2 million weekend from 3,633 playdates in 50 markets. The Doug Liman-directed sci-fi thriller opened at No. 1 in nine key cities in Japan, ending up with $5.2 million from 552 screens nationwide and No. 2 on the boxoffice chart behind the bow of local title "Doraemon the Movie 2008."

The Pete Travis-directed political thriller "Vantage Point" pulled in $10.2 million from 2,820 screens in 31 markets to lift its cume to $27.3 million. The story about an attempted presidential assassination arrived at No. 1 in the U.K. with $2.9 million from 350 screens but could do no better than No. 5 in Japan, where it registered $1.5 million from 276. Second-weekend holdovers in-cluded $1.4 million from Korea for a market cume of $5.2 million and $1.1 million from Germany for a market cume of $3.5 million.

The cume for best-picture Oscar winner "No Country Old Men" went up to $60 million after a weekend tally of $6.4 million from 1,837 screens in 42 markets. Top cumes to date include Spain, $9 million after four weeks; Australia, $5 million after 10; and the U.K., $12.8 million after seven.

Oscar nominee "Juno" reached an international gross of $46.5 million after a weekend take of $2.6 million from 1,115 screens in 15 countries. "There Will Be Blood," also carrying Oscar laurels, registered $3.4 million over the weekend from 1,052 screens in 39 markets to lift its cume to $23.3 million. Five weeks in the U.K. has delivered $6.7 million and four in Italy has provided $2 million. France advanced to $2.7 million at its second weekend after chalking up $924,000 from 120 screens.

Oscar nominee "Atonement, still playing in 25 territories, has reached a cume of $73.8 million.

"The Game Plan," a family comedy Disney is bringing in for the spring holidays, opened to $1.6 million in four markets, with almost all coming from the U.K.

In France, Gallic films held seven of the top 10 places on the local boxoffice chart, with TFM Distribution's "Les Femmes de L'Ombre" opening second to "Ch'tis" with $2.2 million from 469 screens. Mars Distribution's "Paris," at No. 3, totaled $12.2 million in three sessions. Europacorp's "Taken," which landed in the fourth slot, has taken in $4.2 million in four. Pathe's "Asterix at the Olympic Games" landed at No. 6 with $61.1 million in six sessions. Europacorp's "Soyez Sympas, Rembobinez" landed at No. 7, opening to $1.1 million; and MK2's "L'Heure D'ete" bowed at No. 8 with $1.1 million. Disney's "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" was No. 5 with $16.1 million after four weeks; Fox's "Jumper" was No. 9, with $9.2 million after three weeks; and Disney's "There Will Be Blood" took the No. 10 slot, after two weeks.

Weekend tallies included "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep," $5.4 million (cume: $46.1 million); "Meet the Spartans," $2.6 million (cume: $18.3 million); "27 Dresses," $4.3 million (cume: $39.6 million); "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," $2.2 million (cume: $222.8 million); "The Spiderwick Chronicles," $2 million (cume: $6.5 million); "Charlie Wilson's War," $1.2 million (cume: $43.3 million); "The Other Boleyn Girl," $4.3 million (cume: $6.6 million); "Step Up 2," $4.8 million (cume: $11.2 million); "Untraceable," $1.1 million (cume: $2.9 million); "The Bucket List," $3.3 million (cume: $46.9 million); and "Sweeney Todd," $2.5 million (cume: $93.8 million).

Cume updates: "I Am Legend," $26.9 million; "Alvin and the Chipmunks," $136.3 million; "Saw IV," $69.2 million; "American Gangster," $124.5 million; "Cloverfield," $77.3 million; "The Kite Runner," $26.3 million; and "Bee Movie," $155.5 million.
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