'Robin Hood' holds on to No. 1 overseas

12:28 PM PST 05/23/2010 by Frank Segers, AP

'Shrek,' 'Persia,' 'Iron Man 2,' 'Dragon' round out top five films

Universal's "Robin Hood" braved a generally soft weekend on the foreign theatrical circuit, narrowly holding on to the No. 1 overseas spot for the second consecutive stanza.

Unseasonably warm weather in key Western European markets suppressed attendance by as much as half in Scandinavia to a third in Spain and the U.K., according to Disney calculations. Paramount described the situation as a "heat wave across Europe which kept grosses down for all films."

Dropping 60% from its opening launch, Universal's "Robin Hood" fought its way to $30 million in its second round on the foreign circuit, playing 7,064 sites in 59 markets. So far, director Ridley Scott's re-imagining of the Crusades-era outlaw costarring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett has grossed a total of $125 million overseas.

"Robin Hood" finished No. 2 in the U.K. and Germany but logged strong No. 1 second round finishes in France ($2.7 million from 648 locations for a 12-day market cume of $10.9 million) and in Australia ($2.98 million from 461 situations for a cume of $9.2 million). The film has six more markets to play including China in June.

Paramount premiered DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek Forever After" in 3D in just nine overseas territories, collecting $25.8 million from 1,623 venues and finishing No. 2 on the weekend.

The fourth and presumably final installment of the "Shrek" franchise -- that has grossed $1.166 billion overseas to date -- opened massively in Russia where the weekend provided a whopping $20 million from 700 locations. Paramount says that is the biggest opening gross ever for any film playing the market. Strong weekends were also recorded in the Ukraine, the Philippines and Singapore.

The amiable green giant in 3D will open in Australia on June 17.

Disney opened "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," producer Jerry Bruckheimer's video-game-inspired adventure fantasy, on the foreign circuit for weekend tally of $18 million from 3,552 screens. The Gemma Arterton-Jake Gyllenhaal-Ben Kingsley vehicle, which opens in the U.S. this week (May 28), finished No. 1 in 18 of its 19 debut territories. It ranks No. 3 on the weekend.

Despite attendance declines in Europe, said Disney, "Prince's" overall weekend gross was 5% above the comparable opening figure compiled by 2004's "National Treasure," which grossed a total of $173.1 million overseas. Strongest market was Spain, which provided a No. 1 tally of $3 million from 560 spots.

In the U.K., "Prince" finished No. 2 with $2 million from 468 spots. The adventure fantasy opens this week in 30 territories including such key markets as France, Korea, Russia, China, Japan and Mexico.

Fourth was Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 2," which continues to show real legs on the foreign circuit, collecting $13.5 million in its fourth weekend at 7,099 screens in 46 territories. Overseas cume stands at $260.8 million of which $258.6 million comes from Paramount markets. "Iron Man 2" opens in Japan on June 11.

A solid first place finish in Korea via C.J. Entertainment ($6.2 million from 584 locations) propelled DreamWorks Animation's "How To Train Your Dragon" to a $10.6 million weekend at 3,673 situations in 37 territories. Cume for the 3D animation handled overseas largely by Paramount is $234.9 million. It ranked No. 5 on the weekend.

Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D is now the fifth most popular overseas release ever (with a foreign cume of $663.8 million) and ranks No. 6 on the all-time chart for all films (with a worldwide cume of $995 million).

The Tim Burton reworking of the Lewis Carroll classic drew $7.3 million over its 12th weekend overseas from 2,624 screens in 26 markets. It remains No. 1 in Japan in its 6th round there with a $4.2 million tally from 841 sites and a huge market cume of $112.3 million.

Warner Bros. reported Monday that it passed the $1 billion-mark in overseas boxoffice action this year in less than five months, the fastest that the company has ever reached this milestone. Biggest contributors were "Sherlock Holmes ($262 million this year) and "Clash of the Titans" in 3D ($313 million). This is the 10th consecutive year that Warners has surpassed the $1-billion mark in foreign boxoffice.

Warner Bros./New Line's "A Nightmare on Elm Street" logged $7.3 million on the weekend at 2,670 sites in 37 markets, raising the horror sequel's international cume to $27.5 million. The same distributor's "Clash of the The Titans" in 3D drew $6.6 million weekend at 4,015 sites in 53 territories. A powerful Brazil opening bagged $4.4 million from 451 situations, with 59% of the total coming from 3D venues.

"The Back-Up Plan," the CBS-Films-produced romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, held steady overseas, grossing an estimated $4.5 million on the weekend, most of which came from 1,540 screens in 35 territories handled by Sony. Total overseas cume via all distributors stands at an estimated $19.5 million. "Back-Up Plan's" No. 4 Australia bow furnished $1.1 million from 205 situations.

Opening a resounding No. 1 in the U.K. was Vertigo Films release of "StreetDance 3D" from the UK Film Council and BBC Films, a drama starring Charlotte Rampling and featuring U.K. dance acts Diversity, George Sampson, and Flawless.

Directed by Dania Pasquini and Max Giwa, "StreetDance 3D" -- about a group of street dancers' encounter with the Royal Ballet -- drew $3.6 million in its debut at 412 screens. It also finished No. 3 in its Paris-area premier via Metropolitan at 32 locations.

Also in the U.K., India's Reliance Big Pictures' release of "Kites" opened at No. 5 with $395,754 drawn from 70 locations. The Bollywood romantic drama directed by Anurag Basu also was released on 1,800 screens in India. An edited version supervised by director Brett Ratner is set to play the U.S.

20th Century Fox's "Date Night" has drawn $50.9 million overseas boxoffice so far on the strength of a $1.7 million weekend at 1,500 situations in 33 markets. The marital action comedy costarring Steve Carell grossed about $2.8 million of its foreign total in France.

Cannes playoff lent scant opening boxoffice help in France to Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's' "Copie Conforme" (Certified Copy), which played in the Festival's main competition section and Jean-Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme," which played in the "Un Certain Regard" section.

The Kiarostami drama starring Juliette Binoche drew a No. 9 market ranking with an estimated $300,000 drawn from 180 locations. Total market gross for "Socialisme" was not available on Sunday, but Godard's latest opened at No. 21 in the Paris area.

A bigger beneficiary of main competition playoff at Cannes was Korean director Im Sang-Soo's "The Housemaid," which placed No. 2 in its second Korea weekend via Sidus FNH at 523 locations with a tally of $3 million. Market cume after only two rounds stands at a lusty $10.7 million.

Other international cumes: Fox's "Avatar," $1.984 billion; Focus Features/Universal's "A Serious Man," $21.8 million; Summit Int'l.'s "Letters to Juliet," $3.1 million (after a $1.2 million weekend at 547 screens in five markets); Pathe's "Camping 2," $26 million over five rounds in France only; Universal's "Green Zone," $57.7 million; Lionsgate/Universal's "Kick-Ass," $25.9 million (Universal territories only); MGM/Fox's "Hot Tub Machine," $8 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "She's ut of My league," $10.7 million; and UGC Distribution's "Imogene McCarthery," $3.3 million over three rounds in France only.

Also, Fox's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," $25 million; Disney's "The Last Song," $21.2 million; Paramount and other distributors' "Shutter Island," $125.6 million (Paramount territories only); Focus Features' "Love Happens," $12.8 million; Universal's "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," $54.4 million; Studio Canal's "L'amour c'est mieux a deux," $5.7 million over three frames in France only; Universal's "L'arnacoeur" (Heartbreaker), $26.5 million over 10 frames in France only; and Paramount's "Kings of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2," No. 2 ranking and $1.5 million from its Australia opening at 203 spots.
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