Pachyderms lead Easter parade

Warners' mammoths tops again with $28.2 mil; 'Horton' 2nd

A parade of new holiday offerings, along with appealing mainstream holdovers, kept the overseas boxoffice humming during the Easter weekend.

Because of the Monday Easter holiday in many key markets, with industry offices closed in most of Europe, full figures of weekend activity were not fully available. Available estimates indicate that the prehistoric epic "10,000 BC" lorded over the overseas boxoffice for the third week in a row, taking in an estimated $28.2 million from about 7,400 sites in 62 territories for an international gross to date of about $118.1 million.

Family weekend celebrants flocked to 20th Century Fox's animated "Horton Hears a Who!," the Dr. Seuss story with voiceovers by Jim Carrey, Steve Carell and Carol Burnett, which brought in $24.5 million from 6,067 screens in 49 markets for a cume to date of $50 million.

The French comedy "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis," a local view of the inhabitants of a northern rural area, maintained a record hold and appears entrenched to become the Gallic industry's highest-grossing film ever. Boxoffice dropped an estimated 30% in its third weekend, providing about $19 million from native fans and French-speaking neighbors Belgium and Switzerland. The cume has reached an estimated $136 million.

Paramount/Nickelodeon's "The Spiderwick Chronicles," hailed as a trusty kid-appeal entry, found an estimated $15.6 million worth of happy faces on 3,642 screens in 29 territories, lifting its cume to about $30.1 million.

Teens out for holiday fun enjoyed the dance movie "Step Up 2 the Streets," which bounced to an estimated $11.4 million from 1,893 screens in 26 markets for an early cume of $34.8 million.

"Vantage Point," the political thriller about a presidential assassination attempt, tallied $8 million from 3,050 screens in 35 markets to hoist its foreign gross to $52.1 million.

Perhaps the best way to look at international weekend holiday business is to review the busy turnstiles in the U.K. Though "Step Up 2," the Summit Entertainment/Touchstone production released overseas on a territorial basis, officially came in at No. 1 through Universal Pictures International release in the U.K. ($4.7 million from 340), previews enabled "Horton Hears a Who!" to go to the top with $5.9 million from 502 screens, and for "Spiderwick" to latch on to second place with $5 million from 476 locations.

School holidays in Japan helped Disney's "Enchanted" reach an overseas cume of $195.8 million, with expectations of crossing the $200 million mark by next weekend. The modern fairy tale held the No. 1 position in Japan for a second weekend, taking in $2.3 million from 528 screens for a market cume to date of $12.3 million.

Also showing holiday charisma is Disney's "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert," a 3-D concert film of the 2007 Montana/Cyrus tour. The film scored well in Australia, where on only 19 screens it tallied $419,000 for a $22,100 per-screen average. In New Zealand, it took in $63,000 from two theaters, while the second weekend in the U.K. delivered $224,000 from 65 screens for a market cume of $900,000.

Disney's "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" is winding up its world journey in China, collecting $2.1 million from 488 screens over the weekend and $4.2 million since it took off on Monday. The China opening is hailed by Disney as its fourth-biggest ever in the market. Its weekend take of $2.7 million from 1,509 screens in 23 markets boosted its international cume to $230.4 million.

At the same time, Warner Bros. International — though without figures at this time — says that pre-weekend estimates project the opening of "10,000 B.C." in China at No. 1 with $5.6 million from 537 digital screens and 463 35mm sites, saluted as "the widest digital release outside the U.S. and the widest opening in China ever."

To date, the Roland Emmerich-directed film that follows a hunter's journey in prehistoric times has collected $7.4 million in Germany, $5.5 million in the U.K., $5.4 million in Italy, $10.7 million in Spain, $13.4 million in Mexico and $5.4 million in Korea.

Paramount opened the Owen Wilson comedy "Drillbit Taylor" day-and-date with an estimated $1.8 million from 538 screens in Australia, Mexico and New Zealand, making for an early foreign cume of $12 million.

Fox International opened the Mexican film "Misma Luna" at No. 3 with $1.6 million from 350 screens, called the biggest local opening so far this year.

"Juno" opened in Germany at No. 1, bringing in $2 million from 350 screens as part of a $3.3 million weekend from 616 screens in 17 markets, giving Fox an international cume of $52.3 million.

More weekend activity: "Meet the Spartans," $3.4 million from 877 screens (cume: $25.2 million); "27 Dresses," $3.5 million from 1,005 (cume: $49.4 million); "Jumper," $2.4 million from 901 (cume: $110.8 million); and "The Other Boleyn Girl," $4.2 million from 1,153 (cume: $19.7 million).
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