'Solace' still going strong overseas

Bond sequel remains No. 1 on the foreign circuit

Sony/MGM's "Quantum of Solace" extended its winning streak to four weeks as the No. 1 title on the foreign circuit, grossing $40.6 million from 10,400 screens in 72 markets during the weekend to hoist its total overseas boxoffice to $309 million.

The 22nd installment in the James Bond series opened in Australia, where it tallied $7.9 million from 476 screens, which is 44% more than the opening-frame gross of 2006's "Casino Royale," the top overseas grosser of the 007 series.

A Spain opening provided $5.1 million from 509 sites, 36% more than "Casino's" opening in the market. Openings in South Africa and Peru substantially beat "Casino's" respective debut numbers in each territory.

So far, "Quantum" has generated $71.4 million from the U.K., $32.3 million from Germany, $28.8 million from France, $18.7 million from China, $9.5 million from Korea and $8.1 million from Switzerland, making it that market's highest-grossing title this year.

Sony said that as of Thursday, "Quantum" surpassed the total foreign gross of the second-biggest overseas grosser of the Bond series, 2002's "Die Another Day," with Pierce Brosnan, which tallied $271.1 million. "Casino's" total foreign tally was $432.1 million.

The Bond series regularly generates significantly more foreign boxoffice than in North America. "Quantum" grossed $27.4 million on the weekend domestically and has a North America cume of $109.5 million.

At No. 2 overall overseas was Warner Bros.' "Body of Lies," the espionage drama with Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. It opened at No. 2 in the U.K., grossing $10 million on the weekend from 2,900 locations in 34 markets. Its cume is $32.1 million.

Finishing in third place was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," which opened at No. 1 in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark and collected $9 million overall from 1,233 spots in 12 markets. Its overseas cume stands at $59 million.

In fourth was Summit International's "Twilight," with Kristen Stewart as a teenager smitten with a vampire; it premiered at 1,282 screens in five markets for an estimated $8.1 million. Notable were No. 1 openings in Italy ($4.35 million from 601 sites) and Mexico ($2.65 million from 382 situations).

At No. 5 was Disney's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," which jacked its overseas cume to $129.3 million (vs. $85 million domestic) thanks to a $4.5 million weekend from 4,700 locations in 35 territories. Fox's "Max Payne" opened in six key markets, bagging $4.4 million from the weekend overall from 2,136 screens in 27 territories. The biggest of its new markets was Germany, where the action title garnered $1.3 million from 400 sites.

Director Clint Eastwood's "Changeling" -- No. 3 in the Paris market -- collected $3 million from 699 screens in four markets for an early overseas cume of $8.6 million. The next major opening for the Warners release, a period drama with Angelina Jolie, is Friday in the U.K.

In other weekend action, Mandate International's "Saw V" made $2.1 million from 1,900 screens (cume: $33 million); Focus Features/Universal's "Burn After Reading," $1.7 million from 1,190 dates ($71 million); Universal's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," $1.3 million from 930 locations ($81.1 million); and Warners' "Nights in Rodanthe," $1.3 million from 1,288 screens ($30.4 million).

France had a busy weekend for Hollywood as well as local-language productions. At No. 2 in the Paris area was "Two Lovers," director James Gray's romantic drama with Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow, which French distributor Wild Bunch opened to an estimated $1.3 million from 225 locations from the market as a whole.

Disney opened "J' irai dormir a Hollywood," French TV host Antoine de Maximy's film account of his transcoastal U.S. road trip, to $700,000 from 175 locations. Warners released director Jean-Michel Ribes' comedy "Musee haut, musee bas" to $1.2 million from 350 screens.

On the local-language front, No. 1 in France was "Mesrine: L'ennemi public No. 1," starring Vincent Cassel as notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine; Pathe opened it to $5.2 million from 490 dates. It is the follow-up to "Mesrine: L'instinct de mort," also starring Cassel as Mesrine, which Pathe released late last month; it finished No. 8 this round in Paris in its fifth week, collecting $900,000 from 400 situations throughout France.

Other international cumes: Universal's "Mamma Mia!" $ 422.7 million; Disney's "WALL-E," $264.4 million; Fox's "Babylon A.D.," $17.6 million; Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," $20 million; Fox's "Choke," $387,330; Miramax/Disney's "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," $21.8 million; Fox's "Krabat," $10.3 million; Disney's "The Accidental Husband," $2.5 million (from Germany and Austria); Fox's 'Mirrors," $37.5 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Tropic Thunder," $75 million; and Fox's "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," $46.7 million.
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