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'Sex' scores No. 1 during World Cup kickoff

Sequel gets another $23 million; 'Prince,' 'A-Team' in top 3

Reinforcing conventional wisdom that only comedies, films appealing to women and animation withstand the World Cup's adverse boxoffice fallout, "Sex and the City 2" narrowly maintained its No. 1 ranking on the foreign theatrical circuit for a second straight weekend.
 
The Warner Bros./New Line from drew $23 million from about 8,000 screens in 58 markets, just enough to keep the top spot for the second consecutive weekend. International gross total stands at $131.1 million in 16 days.
 
After just 12 days on the foreign circuit, the sequel to 2008's original based on the long-running HBO TV series flew past the $100 million mark. Research from previous World Cup years shows that from 75% to 85% of a title's overall foreign boxoffice usually is grossed within the first three-week period of a film's run before the soccer competition begins.
 
"Sex and the City 2" – still lagging $132.3 million behind the $263.4 million overseas gross total of its 2008 original -- is betting on its counterprogramming appeal to female moviegoers to demonstrate sufficient legs to weather World Cup distractions.

In the all-important markets of the U.K., France and Germany, "Sex 2" maintained its No. 1 market positions. The U.K. tally was $2.2 million from 542 sites for a cume of $25.7 million.

Braving Friday's opening of the monthlong soccer tournament -- the world's most widely watched sports event siphoning off large chunks of male-dominated audiences of action movies -- "The A-Team" fought its way to the weekend's No. 3 spot on the foreign theatrical circuit with a disappointing $14.4 million ($600,000 less than was reported Sunday) drawn from 3,924 screens in 34 markets.
 
The quadrennial WC soccer tournament, held this year in South Africa, certainly dented boxoffice action for director Joe Carnahan's action-packed redo -- co-starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copely and Jessica Biel -- of the popular and cartoonishly violent 1980s NBC TV series.

"A-Team" finished No.1 in just four smaller markets: Taiwan, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and United Arab Emirates. Top territory was Australia where 324 locations provided $2.9 million. The numbers should improve this coming weekend when distributor 20th Century Fox opens "The A-Team" in 14 more overseas markets, including France and Italy.
 
Finishing No. 2 on the weekend was Disney's "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," the sword-and-sandals epic from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, which showed real boxoffice durability by generating $19.7 million in its fourth weekend on the foreign circuit at 10,212 screens in 50 markets. Overseas cume is nudging the $200 million mark ($191.1 million).
 
Prodded by openings in China ($1.5 million from 1,545 locales), India and Chile, the weekend's No. 4 title, Universal's "Robin Hood," began its fifth round on the international circuit with a $7.2 million weekend at 5,933 screens in 51 markets. Offshore gross total to date is $183.6 million.
 
Skipping key European markets altogether during World Cup is Sony's "The Karate Kid," director Harald Zwart's update of director John Avildsen's 1984 original co-starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita.

The new version, the weekend's first-place title in the U.S. and Canada, is co-produced by Jerry Weintraub and Will Smith, and moves the action from California to China with the actor's son, Jaden Smith, and Jackie Chan taking the leads.

The weekend's No. 5 title overseas, "Kid" premiered in 10 Asian and Caribbean territories, including India, grossing $6.4 million from a total of 817 screens. Leading market was Malaysia where "Kid" grossed $1.3 million from 121 sites for s per-screen average of $10,787.
 
Another title pitched to female audiences is Summit International's "Letters to Juliet," which opened No. 2 in the U.K. via E1 Films, generating $1.2 million from 440 screens.
 


Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 2" pushed its international gross total to nearly $300 million ($295 million) thanks to a $5.3 million weekend, most of which came from the 5,260 screens in 62 markets handled by Paramount. A No. 2 Japan debut provided a three-day tally of $2.9 million from 414 sites.
 
The two DreamWorks animation titles released by Paramount continue to generate solid numbers offshore. "Shrek Forever After" in 3D pulled $3.4 million from 1,728 locations in 18 markets for a cume of $73.5 million. "How to Train Your Dragon," also in 3D, drew $2.7 million from 1,802 spots in 28 territories. Foreign gross cume stands at $257.9 million.

Holding firmly to the No. 1 rank in Japan is Toho's release of "Kokuhaku" ("Confessions"), a drama about a middle school teacher avenging the murder of your four-year-old daughter. Second stanza at 266 situations produced $3.1 million for a market gross total of $9.7 million.

In Korea, the No. 1 title for the second weekend in a row is CJ Entertainment's release of "The Servant," a period comedy, which tallied $2.4 million from 620 screens for a market cume of $10 million.

Still plugging on most cylinders in the U.K., France, Germany and Austria is the U.K. Film Council/BBC Films' co-production of "StreetDance 3D" starring Charlotte Rampling and U.K. dance acts Diversity, George Sampson and Flawless. Weekend tally from a combined 968 screens in the four markets generated $2.74 million for a cume of $23 million so far.

Biggest-grossing local-language newcomer in France is No. 4-ranked "Les meilleurs amis du monde" ("Best Friends in the World"), Gaumont's release of Julien Rambaldi's directoral debut. An acerbic comedy about a gathering of long-standing pals, "Best Friends" drew an estimated $1.6 million from 330 locales.
 
Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D elicited $1.8 million on the weekend, shoving its total foreign gross to $683.9 million, $4.3 million shy of the tally of the fourth biggest offshore release of all time, Fox's "Ice Age 3." Director Timothy Burton's "Alice" has grossed $1.017 billion to date worldwide.
 
Other international cumes: Fox's "Marmaduke," $8.5 million (thanks to a $2.26 million weekend at 1,454 screens in 21 markets); Warners' "Clash of the Titans," $326.2 million; Sony's "The Back-Up Plan," $30.6 million; Fox's "Tooth Fairy," $52 million; Universal's "Get Him to the Greek," $1.5 million in two rounds; Studio Canal's "La tete en friche" ("Head in the Wasteland"), $5 million thanks to a No. 3 second weekend in France with $2 million from 564 spots; Focus features/Universal's "Greenberg," $172,765 via its No. 11 opening in the U.K. at 64 screens; Fox's "My Name is Khan," $34.2 million; Paramount's "Kings of Mykonois: Wog Boy 2," $3.8 million in Australia only; and Focus Features' "Love Happens," $12.8 million.

Also, Sony's "The Back-Up Plan," $30.8 million; Fox's "Date Night," $53.5 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "She's Out of My league," $13.4 million; Universal's "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," $58.2 million; Studio Canal's "L'amour c'est mieux a deux," $7.2 million in six stanzas in France; Sony's "Death at a Funeral," $2.9 million; Fox's "Crazy Heart," $6.7 million; Focus Features/Universal's "A Serious Man," $21.9 million; Universal's "Green Zone," $62 million; Lionsgate/Universal's "Kick-Ass," $47.9 million; and Universal's "L'arnacoeur" ("Heartbreaker"), $27.3 million.