'Madagascar 2' still on top overseas

'Seven Pounds,' 'Yes Man' round out the top three

DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" maintained its No. 1 ranking on the international circuit, snaring an estimated $15.8 million from 6,893 screens in 61 markets for a foreign gross total to date of $366 million.
 
The "Madagascar" sequel has taken the top spot internationally for the fifth frame in six stanzas and for the fourth straight weekend. A Japan bow is due March 14.
 
Frigid, snowy weather in Europe -- causing road closures at many locations -- plus the end of the Christmas holiday season had the combined effect of suppressing theatrical turnout over the weekend.
 
Nonetheless, director Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire," Sunday night’s multiple Golden Globe winner including a best motion picture drama nod, opened over the weekend via Pathe in the U.K. to a solid No. 2 market spot with $2.8 million from 324 situations -- for a nifty $8,642 per-screen average.   
 
A potential challenge for the international top spot from an expanded run of Sony's "Seven Pounds," the Will Smith vehicle from Italian director Gabriele Muccino, came up short with $13.4 million from 2,025 situations in 15 territories, sufficient for a No. 2 ranking. Cume stands at $17 million thus far.
 
Finishing third was Warners' "Yes Man" with an estimated $12.8 million from 2,530 situations in 35 territories, raising its international cume to $51 million. 20th Century Fox International’s "Australia" won the No. 4 spot with an estimated $12.3 million grossed from 4,900 screens in 57 markets, pushing the Baz Lurhmann epic with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman past the $100 million mark overseas (cume of $103.5 million).
 
With a solid $12 million weekend at 2,750 screens in 46 markets -- including a No. 1 debut in France -- Summit Entertainment's vampire hit "Twilight" finished fifth. Its international cume stands at an estimated $117.8 million.
 
Disney's Adam Sandler vehicle "Bedtime Stories" drew an estimated $9.6 million from 3,487 sites in 25 markets, hoisting its overseas cume to $60.2 million. With half its overseas markets yet to play, "Stories" is on track to become the biggest-grossing Sandler feature ever overseas. Fox's sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still" grabbed an estimated $5.8 million from 3,638 screens in 46 markets, for a total foreign cume of $140 million.
 
Warners' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and Universal's "Frost/Nixon," which led the pack for Golden Globe nominations with five each, are off to a slow-to-moderate starts overseas. "Button," starring Brad Pitt, has an overseas cume of $8.7 million thus far (thanks to a $1.6 million weekend from 368 screens situation in three markets). "Frost/Nixon" has tallied so far a total of $1 million over 17 days playing offshore.
 
Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," with Sean Penn, dipped its toes in international waters with an opening in Spain yielding $448,601 from 115 screens. Universal's comedy "Role Models" had a No. 1 bow in the U.K., tallying an estimated $3.5 million from 353 screens.  Fox's "Bride Wars," which opened at No. 2 domestically, began its overseas run in three markets, including the U.K., ensnaring $2.8 million from 433 locations.
 
In France, Warners opened "Che: Part 1," the Steven Soderbergh film biography starring Benicio del Toro, to a solid No. 3 market ranking and $1.6 million from 380 spots. Also, Disney opened Miramax's "Doubt," the John Patrick Shanley drama with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, in Israel at just 10 locations for a take of $65,000.  
 
With 60% of its foreign run still ahead, Disney Animation's "Bolt" grabbed an estimated $5.4 million over the weekend from 2,625 sites in 29 territories, for an overseas cume of $74.4 million. Golden Globe best animated film winner, Pixar/Disney's "WALL-E," grossed an estimated $1.8 million from 523 locations in six markets (including a No. 1 finish in Japan).  International cume now stands at $303.4 million.
 
Clint Eastwood-directed "Changeling" from Universal collected $2.5 million from 959 situations in 23 markets for a cume of $39.5 million. Universal's animation title "The Tale of Despereaux" tallied $2 million from 1,961 screens in 18 territories for a cume of $17.2 million.
 
In Mexico, Universal's Mexican entry, director Carlos Cuaron's "Rudo Y Cursi," a comedy about the antics of soccer-playing brothers, is on track to become the fifth-highest-grossing local-language title ever, accumulating a market total of $7.7 million over 24 days. The film, also playing in Argentina, will open in the rest of Latin America and Spain within two months.
 
Other international cumes: Focus Features' "Burn After Reading," $91.4 million; New Line's "Four Christmases," $39.6 million; MGM/Sony's "Quantum of Solace," $384 million; Fox's "Mirrors," $42.7 million; New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $116.6 million; Sony's "The Spirit," $8.2 million; Mandate International's "Saw V," $46.8 million; Fox's "Marley & Me," $8.7 million; Universal's "Mamma Mia!" $429 million; and New Line's "Appaloosa," $6.3 million.
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