'Prada' still a runway success

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A big surprise at a typically slow period at the overseas boxoffice has been the ability of "The Devil Wears Prada," the over-25 themed film about a fashion magazine, to dominate the international market for a third week in a row. The 20th Century Fox release starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway took in a hefty $18.6 million from 4,182 screens in 43 markets to hurdle the offshore benchmark of $100 million.

Its closest competitor was Sony Pictures Animation's "Open Season," which racked up $7.8 million from 2,615 screens in 24 countries, thanks partly to October half-term school holidays in the U.K.

Placing animated films close to choice holidays has become a real challenge to the major studios, which are faced this year with the largest array of family cartoons in recent memory. In the U.K. alone, "Open Season" met up with Paramount/Nickelodeon's "Barnyard," which bowed in third place ($1.9 million from 444 screens), just ahead of "Season's" second-week, fourth-place finish of $1.9 million from 447 screens (market cume: $5.9 million). Holding 10th place was the Weinstein Co.'s "Hoodwinked," which has accumulated $7.9 million in four weeks at 462 U.K. locations. "Barnyard's" total weekend overseas score came to $2.5 million from 1,143 screens in 10 markets (cume to date: $9 million).

Ready for major exposure leading to the end-of-the-year holiday season are DreamWorks/Aardman's "Flushed Away" and Warner Bros.' "Happy Feet."

The first triumph of the animated season was Fox's "Ice Age: The Meltdown," which ended up with a cume of $451.2 million. On its heels was Disney/Pixar's "Cars," with $212 million; DreamWorks' "Over the Hedge," with $165.5 million; and Fox's "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties," with $109.6 million. Other animated totals include Sony's "Monster House" with $60.1 million and Warners' "The Ant Bully" with $25.4 million.

As part of the weekend action at overseas moviehouses, Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" continued to appeal to the over-25 crowd, racking up $6.8 million from 2,857 screens in 38 countries to lift its international gross to $69.9 million. Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" raked in an estimated $5 million from some 1,200 prints in 14 countries for an international cume of $25 million. "The Guardian," the Kevin Costner-Ashton Kutcher Coast Guard actioner, also delivered $5 million during the weekend, coming from 2,100 screens in 16 markets.

Adam Sandler's "Click" rose to $87.7 million following a weekend take of $3.5 million from 2,555 screens in 46 territories. The Sony release has completed its international journey except for South Korea, where it will open in February. "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," the German-made thriller from Constantin Film/Summit Entertainment, grossed an estimated $3.8 million during the weekend from 1,686 screens. In six weeks in Germany, the drama with Dustin Hoffman, Ben Whishaw and Alan Rickman has contributed $42.8 million to its $71.5 million cume.

Sophia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette," for which Sony has limited overseas distribution rights, entered the U.K. with $535,000 from 179 screens and came to Portugal with $125,000 from 16. Following the film's exposure at the Cannes Film Festival, "Antoinette" opened in France, Belgium and Holland, bringing the international cume to $8.5 million following Sony's weekend tally of $660,000.

Warner Bros. opened "The Prestige" in three Asian markets -- Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia -- to an estimated $942,000 from 110 prints. At the same time, "Pan's Labyrinth," the Spanish-language film acquired by Warners, grossed an estimated $2 million from more than 500 screens in two markets: It bowed No. 3 in Mexico with $714,000 from 200 prints and held a strong No. 1 spot in Spain for a second weekend with $1.3 million and a market cume of $4.9 million.

And as the majors gear up for the year-end holiday season, Buena Vista International, the Disney overseas arm, is set to release a 3-D reissue of "Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas" on about 50 screens in seven countries -- Japan, the U.K., Germany, Australia, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore. In a day-and-date opening with the U.S. over the weekend, the specialized "Nightmare" release earned $66,000 from one theater in Japan.

More overseas boxoffice activity: "Grudge 2" opened No. 4 in the U.K. with $1.5 million from 330 screens; "Step-Up" tallied $1.4 from 776 screens for a gross of $15.9 million; "Children of Men" hit $11.6 million after a $2.9 million weekend; "An Inconvenient Truth" took in $1.2 million for a cume of $7.6 million; "The Black Dahlia" opened No. 2 in Spain to $1.2 million from 244 screens; "Little Miss Sunshine" had a $2 million weekend from 630 screens in 15 countries (cume: $14.8 million); "The History Boys," in the second weekend of its U.K. bow, earned $1.1 million for a market cume of $3.7 million; and Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" reached an overseas total of $62.1 million, of which $23.3 million came from markets handled by Focus Features International.

Cume updates: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," $638.2 million; "Miami Vice," $94.6 million; "United 93," $39.3 million; "You, Me and Dupree," $46.4 million; "Little Man," $39.9 million; "The Lake House," $61.5 million; and "Lady in the Water," $29.7 million.
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