Overseas market maintains strong pace
'Legend,' $39.8 mil; 'Treasure,' $15 mil; 'Alien,' $13.6 milContinuing the impressive early start of the overseas market, four films tallied more than $10 million each in the second weekend of 2008, led by "I Am Legend's" $39.8 million from 5,100 screens in 47 territories. The over-$10 million achievers also were "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" ($15 million), "Alien vs. Predator" ($13.6 million) and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" ($10.1 million). "The Golden Compass" and "Enchanted" each earned $8.2 million, "Bee Movie" took $6.6 million and "American Gangster" claimed $6.5 million.
There were no saturation big-budget bookings to compete with the high scorers, but an already crowded overseas market seemed to squeeze in a batch of new entries, mostly specialized features with possible Oscar potential. Golden Globe winner "Atonement" picked up $3.7 million during the weekend from 634 screens in 21 markets to lift its international cume to $42.3 million. "Into the Wild" arrived at No. 1 in France with $2.1 million from 172 screens. "Charlie Wilson's War" opened at No. 3 in the U.K. with $2.6 million from 405 screens for a total weekend take of $3.3 million, with the addition of Greece and Portugal. "The Kite Runner" took in $1.4 million from 442 screens in four markets, including Mexico and the Netherlands. Fox Searchlight's "Juno" will enter the overseas market this weekend in Australia. Other titles just getting started are "No Country for Old Men" ($1.3 million from 559 screens), "Love in the Time of Cholera" ($1 million from 570) and "In the Valley of Elah," which opened in Mexico to $105,000 from 37 screens.
While overall overseas business is holding up well, some markets slipped a bit. France's total weekend take from all pictures in release came to $14.4 million, while the two top films in Germany — "I Am Legend" and the local "Keinohrhasen" — alone accounted for $15.3 million, a 70% market share.
20th Century Fox's romantic comedy "27 Dresses," starring Katherine Heigl, kicked off at No. 1 in Australia with $3.1 million from 240 screens, coming in a week ahead of its U.S. debut.
"I Am Legend," which grossed $10.7 million in Germany, dominated the market with a 60% share of the top five films in release and was hailed by Warner Bros. International as the best opening weekend for a film released in January. The film ranked No 1. in Italy with $8.6 million from 519 screens, cited as having a 48% share of the top five films in the market.
In the U.K., the Will Smith starrer held on to the No. 1 spot for a third weekend, grossing $2.1 million from 672 prints and chalking up a market cume to date of $43.6 million. It also remained No. 1 for a second weekend in Australia, taking in $1.1 million from 86 prints for a market total to date of $16.4 million. The sci-fi actioner has taken in $33.4 million in five weeks in Japan, $25 million for four in France, $17 million for four in Spain and $17 million for five in Korea.
"National Treasure," which still has such markets to go as the U.K., France and Germany, climbed to $126.8 million after taking in $15 million during the weekend from 4,365 screens in 37 territories. Four weeks in Japan has delivered $18.8 million; three in Russia, $12.6 million; four in Spain, $11.2 million; four in Italy, $12.8 million; four in Australia, $10.1 million; and three in Mexico, $8.6 million.
"Alien vs. Predator" advanced to $53.2 million following 10 new openings, including No. 1 openings in Spain ($2.4 million from 348 screens), Brazil ($784,000 from 164) and Russia ($3.8 million from 495).
"Alvin and the Chipmunks" lifted its cume to $80.9 million following openings in Poland, Egypt and Serbia/Montenegro and solid holdovers in the U.K. ($14.4 million after four weekends), Germany ($7.7 million) and Mexico ($9 million).
The Disney fairy tail "Enchanted," still benefiting from school holidays in some territories, moved up to $151.1 million after an $8.2 million weekend led by Korea's opening of $1.4 million on 493 screens and strong holdovers including the U.K.'s $30.3 million in five weeks.
"Compass," which issued a $15 million estimate on Sunday, took in $8.2 million after a final weekend count, raising its international cume to $240.4 million. To date, the U.K. has delivered $50.4 million; France, $23.7 million; South Korea, $22.5 million; Germany, $20.5 million; and Spain, $17.9 million.
"P.S. I Love You," an indie release from Summit Entertainment, registered $4.3 million from 1,009 screens in 12 markets to hoist its international cume to $20.9 million.
Cume updates: "Bee Movie" advanced to $142.2 million; "American Gangster," $81.2 million; "Beowulf," $111.4 million; and "The Water Horse," $4.5 million after a $1.4 million weekend, with $1 million coming from 187 screens in Australia.
Fox's Russian release "Irony of Fate" picked up $3.1 million from 740 screens in Russia, the Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia for a four-week cume of $44.7 million. Sony's Brazilian release "My Name Is Not Johnny" took in $2.9 million in 10 days.