'Smithsonian' on top overseas

'Angels' finishes a close second over the weekend

Pixar/Disney's "Up" dipped its animated toes in international waters during the weekend, but it was Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" that claimed the top spot overseas for the first time with $38.3 million from 8,908screens in 100 markets.

The family comedy, a sequel to 2006's "Night at the Museum," opened at No. 1 in China, grossing $7.4 million from 818 screens. The Ben Stiller starrer also finished first in at least 11 other territories, propelling its overseas gross past the $100 million mark ($106.8 million).

Its worldwide gross to date is $212.1 million.

After two stanzas atop the international circuit, Sony's "Angels & Demons" finished a close No. 2 this round, grossing $33.1million from 10,326 screens in 101 territories.

The follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code" ranked No. 1 in at least 14 markets, including Germany, where it tallied $4.8 for the weekend, and Japan ($3.2 million from 723 screens). Its overseas cume is $252 million. Worldwide total so far is $356.9 million.

Like DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens" before it, "Up," the 10th title from Pixar/Disney, opened in Russia ahead of its domestic bow largely because of piracy concerns. It drew an animated $4.2 million from 427 screens, ranking No. 1 and marking the biggest weekend opening of a Pixar/Disney title in the territory.

Openings in Ukraine, Mexico and in South America are due this weekend.

Unlike other summer blockbusters this season, Disney -- as with its previous Pixar titles -- adopted a more deliberate overseas-release campaign for the 3-D animation saga about a septuagenarian (voiced by Ed Asner) whose house is lifted by multiple balloons to the wilds of South America.

"Up's" foreign exposure began May 13 at the Festival de Cannes, where it became the first animation title to kick off that event. After the delayed Mexico opening "Up" is set for an Argentina premier on June 11. The next month brings debuts in France (July 29), Korea and Spain (both July 30). Rollouts continue in other key foreign markets throughout the fall, capped by a Japan bow Dec. 5.

Opening overseas simultaneously with its domestic release was Mandate Pictures' "Drag Me to Hell." It screamed all the way to $4.2 million from a combined 700 screens in the U.K., Israel and France, said Mandate International, which is sharing overseas distribution with Universal. The tongue-in-cheek horror title from Sam Raimi finished No. 2 in the U.K. and ranked No. 1 in the Paris area.

No. 3 during the weekend was "Terminator Salvation," which drew an action-packed $13 million from mostly Middle East and Asian markets. Sony, which is sharing overseas distribution with local distributors, said "Salvation" drew $8.9 million from 650 screens, finishing No. 1 in the seven markets it handled. The international total so far for the fourth "Terminator" title stands at $23.1 million; its worldwide gross is $114.1 million.

Fourth overall was Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which finished a month on the foreign circuit with an international cume of $170.3 million after an $8.1 million weekend from 5,241 screens in 68 markets. A delayed Mexico opening produced a decisive No. 1 market ranking with $4 million from 458 screens.

At No. 5 was Paramount's rejuvenated "Star Trek," which rocketed past the $100 million overseas mark ($101.4 million) thanks to an $7.6 million weekend from 4,069 situations in 49 markets. A Japan bow produced $1.6 million from 275 locations. "Star Trek's" worldwide tally is $311 million.

Opening in 14 markets including a No. 3 bow in Australia ($1.6 million from 242 sites) was Universal's "State of Play," a journalism saga starring Russell Crowe, which tallied $2.5 million for the weekend overall from 924 locations in 24 territories. Its international cume to date is $24.2 million.

Propelled by openings in Poland, Singapore and Malaysia, the 3-D animated "Monsters vs. Aliens" also drew $2.5 million during the weekend from 816 locations in 24 markets. Its foreign cume is $166.1 million.

Disney's "Hannah Montana: The Movie" drew $2.6 million from 2,174 sites in 23 territories, raising its international cume to $35.5 million. Disney's "Jonas Brothers 3D" raised its cume to $3 million from strictly 3-D situations.

In Japan, DreamWorks/Universal's "The Soloist" commenced a modest run at just seven locations. The opening gross for the journalist-homeless violinist (played by Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx) saga was also modest, $50,565, about half of which came from a single screen, the sleek Tokyo arthouse, Chanter Cinema.

Other international cumes: Warner Bros.' "Gran Torino," $115.1 million; Universal's "The Unborn," $31.5 million; Disney's "Confessions of a Shopaholic," $60.5 million; Universal's "Fast & Furious," $193.2 million; New Line's "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," $12.2 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Coraline," $23.8 million; New Line's "17 Again," $56.1 million; Disney's "Race To Witch Mountain," $37.6 million; Universal's "Duplicity," $34.4 million; New Line's "He's Just Not That Into You," $71.9 million; Universal's "Fighting," $4.2 million; Fox's "12 Rounds," $4.1 million; Universal's "The Last House on the Left," $3 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Uninvited," $6.9 million; and Universal's "The Boat That Rocked," $22.6 million.
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