'Madagascar' knocks off Bond overseas

Animated sequel draws $52.2 million from 35 markets

A batch of Central Park zoo animals returning to their jungle habitat ended James Bond's five-week domination of the international boxoffice.

Paramount/DreamWorks' "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," which began a record-busting rollout in late October in Eastern Europe, hit the jackpot during the weekend, roaring to an estimated $52.2 million from 5,129 locations in 35 territories. The film's foreign gross soared to $125 million, thanks to openings in key European markets plus strong holdovers.

And it's still early in the film's run, according to distributor Paramount Pictures International.

"'Madagascar 2' continued its record-breaking run this weekend with outstanding performances around the world," PPI president Andrew Cripps said. "With holidays to come, it is shaping up to be one of the strongest films of this year."

In the U.K., the zoo brigade charged in at No. 1 to $9.5 million from 517 screens. The animated entry also was No. 1 in Germany ($11 million from 820 screens), France ($9.8 million from 779), Mexico ($4.2 million from 438), Belgium ($1.6 million from 115), Argentina ($1.2 million from 102) and Austria ($1.1 million from 101), with Peru ($1.1 million from 101) completing the over-$1 million scorers.

A solid $10.8 million from 6,350 screens in 72 markets greeted "Quantum of Solace" as it slid to second place during its seventh week of international release. The film's sole new opening saw Venezuela bring in $415,000 from 75 screens, hailed by Sony as 98% bigger than the comparable bow for 2006's "Casino Royale." "Quantum's" international cume stands at $357.8 million. Market grosses include $77.4 million in the U.K., $30.8 million in France and $37.1 million in Germany.

Summit Entertainment's "Twilight" grabbed third place overseas with $9.8 million from 2,169 screens in 18 markets, raising its cume to $33 million. The film opened No. 1 in Spain with $4.2 million from 492 screens.

Disney Animation's "Bolt," the TV dog superhero, took fourth place with a noticeable $9.5 million from 1,700 screens in nine markets. A three-day opening in Spain delivered $1.9 million from 325 screens, and Russia was off only 30% for the film during its second weekend there, with $3.2 million from 525 screens for a market cume of $9 million.

Disney/Pixar's long-running "WALL-E," thanks to a $5.5 million No. 1 debut in Japan, lifted its foreign gross to $271 million and took fifth place in the overseas weekend standings.

Warner Bros.' "Body of Lies," which took in $5 million from 3,000 screens in 57 markets, hoisted its foreign gross to $52.5 million.

Disney's "High School Musical: Senior Year" moved up to a cume of $140.4 million after a $4.5 million weekend from 3,900 screens in 40 markets. The film's weekend takes saw Australia bring in $2.6 million from 255 screens and New Zealand bring in $350,000 from 80.

Universal's "Changeling" tallied $3.3 million from 1,012 dates in nine territories for an early international total of $19.1 million.

According to Fox International, "Australia" held up strong during its second weekend in its native Oz, taking in $2.4 million from 641 screens. Baz Luhrmann's Western epic has reached an international cume of $9.6 million, mainly from Australia.

More weekend estimates include "Burn After Reading," $1.1 million ($74.5 million cume); "Saw V," $2 million ($40.7 million cume); and "Max Payne," $1 million ($42.4 million cume).

The weekend top five in the U.K. were, in order, "Madagascar 2," "Four Christmases," "Transporter 3," "Quantum" and "Changeling." Boxoffice results for New Line's "Christmases" and the indie "Transporter 3" were not available Sunday.
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