'Inception' tops int'l b.o. for second week

DiCaprio drama gains $47.8 mil; 'Step Up 3D' opens at No. 5

Holding strong on the foreign theatrical circuit -- down just 13% on the weekend -- Warner Bros.' "Inception" claimed the top spot for the second consecutive stanza, grossing $47.8 million from 8,144 screens in 61 markets.
 
Over a period of a month, director Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio has drawn a total foreign boxoffice take of $251.2 million, with the U.K. (market cume $41 million), Korea ($25.5 million), Japan ($23.7 million), France ($21.4 million) and Australia ($20.6 million) throwing off most of the action.

Newcomer "Step Up 3D," the third installment of the urban dance franchise released offshore by Summit International and Universal, played at 1,606 sites in 11 markets for an estimated opening gross of $12.3 million. It ranks No. 5 on the weekend.
 
Universal handled the "Step Up 3D" premiers in the U.K. (No. 4 with $3.2 million from 400 locations), Australia ($2.9 million from 316 spots, the biggest market opening of the three-film franchise) and New Zealand ($322,051 from 54 sites, also the biggest opening for the franchise).
 
Overall, 2010 offshore continues strongly. While July boxoffice on the foreign theatrical circuit slowed somewhat relative to last year -- due in large measure to the huge entertainment distraction known as the June 11-July 11 World Cup soccer tournament -- 2010 remains significantly ahead of 2009's overseas boxoffice pace.
 
According to studio figures, the big six Hollywood majors – 20th Century Fox, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal and Sony -- have collected combined foreign boxoffice of $7.926 billion, 32% ahead of last year's January through July figure of $5.978 billion.
 
At the half-year mark, overseas boxoffice for the American majors was a mighty 43% above 2009's January through June figure. Full calendar year 2009 finished with record foreign boxoffice for the major studios of $10.7 billion.
 
Fox leads the pack through July with foreign boxoffice of $2.206 billion followed by Disney ($1.719 billion), Warner Bros. ($1.450 billion), Paramount ($1.330 billion), Universal ($726 million) and Sony ($494.5 million).
 
The year's dominant boxoffice film, "Avatar," is to be re-released by Fox in seven overseas markets on Aug. 26, via a "special edition." The James Cameron epic should easily surpass the $2 billion foreign gross mark by month's end. "Avatar's" current offshore cume stands at a record $1.996.5 billion.
 
"Shrek Forever After" in 3D is Paramount's top-grossing title through July, and is still playing. Latest stanza overseas generated $10.4 million from 4,252 venues in 37 markets, shoving the DreamWorks Animation title's foreign cume to $428 million.
 
Meanwhile, the weekend's No. 2 title, Pixar/Disney's "Toy Story 3" in 3D, drew $29.2 million in its latest round overseas at 7,626 screens in 46 markets, pushing its total foreign gross to close to the half-billion dollar mark ($497.9 million). It is now the third largest-grossing animation title ever released on the foreign circuit.
 
The animation threequel with its $7.45 million weekend and its $82 million market cume is the biggest-grossing animation title ever released in the U.K. In Japan, "Toy Story 3" etched its fifth consecutive No. 1 weekend with $4.9 million from 516 venues for a market cume of $78 million. A No. 3 Korea bow generated $4.6 million from 426 locations.
 
No. 3 on the weekend, Sony's "Salt," opened No. 1 in Thailand and the Philippines, and drew $17.1 million at 3,428 screens in 39 markets. The Cold War thriller starring Angelina Jolie has grossed a total of $62.8 million since its foreign opening on July 21.
 
Landing in the No.2 spot in Germany, Sony's "Grown Ups" came up with $13.5 million on the weekend at 2,276 screens in 30 markets. Total foreign gross for the Adam Sandler comedy is $34.3 million. It ranks No. 4 on the weekend.

A strong Spain debut plus a No. 1 opening in Malaysia helped propel Paramount's "The Last Airbender" to a weekend tally of $12 million from a total of 2,454 locations in 24 markets. Overseas cume so far for director M. Night Shyamalan's fantasy adventure stands at $54.5 million. Openings in seven markets including the U.K. are on for this week.
 
Fox's "Knight and Day" has rolled up $127.7 million in total foreign boxoffice thanks to a $11.3 million weekend at 4,459 screens in 47 territories. A No. 2 U.K. bow for the action comedy costarring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz generated $3.8 million from 434 spots.
 
Opening in four markets, including a No. 1 bow in Brazil ($3.2 million from 278 locations, distributor Universal's biggest market debut ever), "Despicable Me" took in $10 million overall from 2,077 venues in 24 territories. With 40 markets yet to play, including key openings in Australia and Europe, Universal's family-oriented, 3D animation title featuring the voice of Steve Carell has collected a foreign gross so far of $43.7 million. The film opens in Venezuela this week.
 
Since its June 9 foreign opening, Sony's "The Karate Kid" update costarring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith has rolled up a foreign gross of nearly $100 million ($94.5 million). Latest weekend at 2,394 screens in 34 territories captured $7 million.
 
Warner's family oriented "Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" played 2,245 screens in 16 markets and came up with $6.6 million on the weekend, including a No. 5 opening in the U.K. ($2.5 million from 408 spots) and a $1-million France debut at 453 screens. Overseas cume stands at $10.8 million.

Capturing the No. 1 spot in Korea is C.J. Entertainment's release of Cinema Service's production of "The Man From Nowhere." The crime thriller from director-scripter Jeong-beom Lee, about an ex-con getting sucked back into the drug trade, generated a mighty $6.4 million from 561 locations.
 
Disney's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from producer Jerry Bruckheimer lifted its offshore boxoffice to $54 million thanks to a $5.8 million weekend at 2,308 screens in 34 markets, which the distributor calculates is about 35% of the international marketplace. Openings this week include bows in Brazil, France, Japan and the U.K.
 
Summit International's "The Twilight Sage: Eclipse" made off with $372.8 million in foreign boxoffice after a weekend gross of $5.1 million generated at an unspecified number of screens in 68 territories. The film ranked No. 4 in Germany (market cume $30 million) and No. 6 in Australia (cume $28.8 million).
 
Top local-language newcomer in France was Studio Canal's release of "Insoupconnable" ("Above Suspicion"), director-coscripter Gabriel Le Bomin's second feature costarring Canadian actor Marc-Andre Grondin and French actress Laura Smet. The thriller based on Yanguy Viel's novel about lovers trying to fleece an older man drew $498,455 from 196 situations, opening in the No. 10 spot.
 
Finishing in the No. 8 in France was Mars Distribution's release of "L'age de raison" ("The Age of Reason"), a comedy fantasy starring Sophie Marceau. Second round at 476 sites collected an estimated $743,185 for a market cume of $2.4 million.

In the Netherlands, Universal opened "Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage," a global-warming-themed Belgian animation feature in 3D and in English voiced by, among others, Tim Curry, Melanie Griffith, Jenny McCarthy and Kathy Griffin. Opening round drew $448,753 from 93 screens, finishing No. 6 in the market.
 
Other international cumes: Fox's "Predators," $59.2 million (thanks to a $3 million weekend at 1,950 screens in 48 territories); Universal's "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," $61.9 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "How to Train Your Dragon," $266.1 million (thanks to a No. 8 Japan opening with $1.4 million from 441 locations); Universal's "Heartbreaker," $28.3 million from France and Russian only; Fox's "Marmaduke," $29.5 million; and Universal's "Get Him to the Greek," $22.3 million.

Also, Fox's "The A-Team," $75.4 million (after a $2.75 million weekend at 950 screens in six markets); Universal's "Robin Hood," $205.4 million; Sony's "The Back-Up Plan," $39.7 million; Universal's "Hanni und Nanni," $5.29 million from Germany and Austria only; Fuji TV/Toho's "Bayside Shakedown 3: Set The Guys Loose," $67 million over six frames in Japan only; and Universal's "Fatal," $8.8 million in France only.
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