'Quantum of Solace' bows big overseas

Bond sequel brings in $38.6 million from 2,123 screens

James Bond jolted the international boxoffice during the weekend as Sony/MGM's "Quantum of Solace," the 22nd installment in the 007 franchise launching in only three overseas markets, drew a spectacular $38.6 million from 2,123 screens and claimed the No. 1 spot easily.

Another fresh entry, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," a sequel to 2005's "Madagascar," added voltage with an estimated $17.8 million from 635 screens in Russia and Ukraine, the biggest opening weekend of any title to play only those two markets. It ranked as the weekend's No. 3 attraction overseas.

Biggest by far of the three territories played by the latest Bond movie was the production's home base, the U.K., where "Quantum" dominated with $25.3 million from 1,150 situations for a whopping $22,000 per-screen average. It was the biggest three-day opening for any film in the U.K., surpassing by 35% the market opening of 2006's Bond installment "Casino Royale," according to Mark Zucker, Sony's president of international distribution.

In its No.1 five-day premiere in France, "Quantum" pulled $10.6 million from 824 sites (a per-screen average of $12,864), which Zucker said is a market boxoffice record for the series. In Sweden, "Quantum's" opening figure was $2.7 million from 149 situations (a per-screen average of $18,121), 31% bigger than "Casino's" bow in that market.

Referring to the $38.6 million weekend figure accumulated in "Quantum's" three markets, Zucker said, "No other international release in 2008 has grossed more (playing in) fewer than 27 territories."

Weekend action for the Bond title propelled Sony's international boxoffice for 2008 past the $1 billion mark.

"Quantum" will play in 57 new markets this coming weekend and will not open domestically until Nov. 14. Sony opened "Casino" overseas Nov. 15, 2006, and the film drew $338.3 million before Jan. 1, 2007. Its full offshore run grossed $432.1 million.

"High School Musical 3: Senior Year," Disney's comparatively low-budget, made-for-cable-TV franchise entry, placed second on the weekend overseas with an estimated $25.9 million from 3,805 situations, drawing a $6,807 per-screen average in 32 markets. The film's overseas cume is $85 million, and it has grossed $146.8 million worldwide.

"HSM3," produced for a reported $13 million, finished No. 1 in each of the nine new territories it played and in 24 markets overall. Italy led the pack with $4.9 million from 250 sites, a per-screen average of nearly $20,000.

Fourth on the weekend overseas was the Coen brothers' espionage spoof "Burn After Reading," which garnered $6.7 million from 1,705 screens in 20 markets and upped its international cume to $58 million. At No. 5 was "Saw V," the latest chapter in Lionsgate/Mandate International's grisly horror franchise, which tallied $5.8 million from 26 markets, raising its overseas cume to $14.3 million and its worldwide total to $60.1 million.

In France, "W.," Oliver Stone's version of the rise of President Bush, premiered at No. 8 in Paris and its suburbs, taking $750,000 from 200 screens in the market overall. Universal's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" opened at No. 4 in Paris and its suburbs, grossing $2.4 million from 410 sites in France and $3.8 million on the weekend from 1,428 dates in 26 territories. The film's overseas cume is $76.5 million.

In its fourth weekend in France, Warner Bros.' release of Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" ranked No. 5 in Paris and its environs, winding up with $1.4 million from 430 sites on the weekend and upping its overseas cume to $12.1 million. The top local-language title in France remains "Mesrine: L'instinct de mort," a violent biopic of gangster Jacques Mesrine starring Vincent Cassel, who won a best actor nod at the recent Tokyo International Film Festival for his performance.

"Mesrine," a Pathe release, finished No. 2 in Paris and its suburbs and made off with $3.3 million from 489 dates during its second weekend -- down 25% from its opening frame -- raising its market cume to $8 million.

Other weekend tallies, plus international cumes, include: Fox's "Max Payne, $2.9 million from 2,400 screens, $23.4 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Eagle Eye," $4.5 million from 2,267 screens, $65.5 million; Universal's "Mamma Mia!" $3.4 million from 2,700 sites, $414.8 million (third-highest foreign grosser this year); DreamWorks/Paramount's "Tropic Thunder," $3.3 million from 1,306 situations, $71.2 million; Pixar/Disney's "WALL-E," $3 million from 2,005 screens, $258.8 million; Warners' "Nights in Rodanthe," $2.7 million from 1,274 dates, $22 million; Warners' "Body of Lies," $1.1 million from 594 screens, $10.8 million; and Universal's "Death Race," $1.7 million from 2,309 dates, $27.9 million.

Other international cumes include: Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," $16.6 million; New Line's "Appaloosa," $3.6 million; Paramount's "Ghost Town," $4.6 million (U.K. only); Fox's "The Admiral," $36.6 million (Russia and Ukraine only); Sony's "Step Brothers," $25.9 million; Miramax/Disney's "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas," $20 million (U.K. and Spain only); New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $97 million; Warners' Get Smart," $100.2 million; Sony's "The House Bunny," $19.1 million; and Fox's "Mirrors," $34.5 million.
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