'This Is It' tops overseas boxoffice

Michael Jackson doc stays at No. 1 with another $29.4 million

Despite a 58% drop in its weekend boxoffice on the foreign circuit, Sony's "This Is It" with Michael Jackson held at No. 1 overseas for a second straight stanza, generating $29.4 million from 8,605 screens in 110 markets for a total of $129.1 million.

So far, the Jackson doc's total offshore gross is easily more than twice its domestic boxoffice total of $57 million.
 
Finishing No. 2 on the weekend was director Robert Zemeckis' 3D performance-capture version of Disney's "A Christmas Carol," starring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, which opened to $12.7 million from 2,904 screens in 18 territories for a per-screen average of $4,373.
 
Disney said that "3D was a significant factor, accounting for 62% of our total result from only 37% of the screens." The latest version of Charles Dickens' frequently filmed 1843 novella  opened at No. 1 domestically and has collected a worldwide tally of $43 million.
 
Driving "Christmas Carol" were strong opening numbers in the U.K., where it took the No. 1 market spot with $3.2 million from 446 screens, and in Mexico, where the first-place gross was slightly more than $1.9 million from 177 3D screens and 440 conventional sites.

Disney says that "on a consolidated basis in the same bucket of territories, the $12.7 million take was the best ever achieved by a Robert Zemeckis film." The take was 50% bigger than that of "The Polar Express," Zemeckis' 2004 Christmas season title in 3D.
 
This week, "Christmas Carol" opens in Spain, Japan and Colombia.
 
"This Is It," which finished at No. 2 in the U.S. and Canada on the weekend, opened in just one new territory (Vietnam), indicating that Jackson's posthumously released concert rehearsal film showed decent staying power in holdover markets.
 
No. 1 finishes were recorded in Japan ($4.1 million from 322 locales, down just 28% from the opening weekend), France ($3.2 million from 447 screens) and Australia ($1.7 million from 292 situations). Sony says "This Is It" finished in first place in China, New Zealand and Holland as well, but in sixth place in Italy, fifth in Spain, fourth in Brazil and third in Argentina.
 
The doc's top five markets in terms of cumulative grosses are Japan ($23.6 million), the U.K. ($13.6 million), Germany ($11.3 million), France ($10.8 million) and Australia ($6.8 million).
 
Interestingly, the weekend's No. 3 film in France was "Le Concert," a EuropaCorp. release that opened to $2.8 million from 335 sites. It has nothing to do with the Michael Jackson title, however. It's a French-Russian co-production about a sacked Bolshoi Orchestra conductor who conspires with other discharged friends to mount a concert in Paris. The Weinstein Co. has U.S. release rights.
 
Third on the weekend was Pixar/Disney's "Up," which boosted its international total to $368.2 million -- $46.8 million shy of the total recorded by Pixar/Disney's "Ratatouille" -- thanks to an $8.8 million weekend at 4,278 screens in 26 markets. A Japan opening is set for Dec. 5.
 
No. 4 was Universal's "Couples Retreat," a Vince Vaughn comedy, which lured $5.7 million from 1,596 situations in 18 territories for an overseas cume of $28.8 million. A third-place Germany introduction produced $2.5 million from 338 sites while a No. 1 Austria finish produced $645,624 from just 68 screens.
 
Fifth was Mandate International's horror sequel "Saw VI," which opened in six markets, including France, the U.K. (No. 8), Japan and Brazil for an estimated $4.7 million from 1,700 screens, pushing its overseas cume to $16.8 million.



No. 1 in Germany was Constantin's "Die Papstin" (Pope Joan), an English-language costume drama, which drew $3.3 million from 541 locations for a market cume of $15.1 million over three frames. In France, director Richard Kelly's "The Box," starring Cameron Diaz, opened via Wild Bunch Distribution in the No. 9 market spot with $1.4 million secured from 214 screens.

Universal's release of Michael Mann's period drama "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp resurfaced in Italy. A No. 1 opening there furnished the weekend's total action, $3.5 million from 319 locales, which raised the international cume to $104.3 million. Japan opens Dec. 12.
 
Overture Films' "The Men Who Stare at Goats" opened abroad via Mandate International in the U.K. (where it ranked No. 4), Italy and in Italian-speaking Switzerland. The Iraq war comedy starring George Clooney drew an estimated $3 million from 650 screens.
 
Premiering at No. 1 in Spain was "Celda 211" (Cell 211), a Spanish-language thriller starring Carlos Bardem that was acquired and released by Paramount. Director Daniel Monzon's film version of an F.P. Gandull novel about a prison guard who gets sucked into a prison riot opened to $1.85 million from 222 sites.
 
Opening at No. 8 in France was the latest title from 87-year-old French director Alain Resnais ("Hiroshima Mon Amour," "Last Year in Marienbad"). "Les herbes folles" (Wild Grass), a drama involving a male-female couple and a lost wallet, bowed via Studio Canal to $1.4 million from 196 locations.

Paramount opened Michael Moore's latest title, "Capitalism: A Love Story," in Australia and New Zealand for an anemic $155,991 from 66 locations.
 
Other weekend action and cumes: Disney's "G-Force," $3.9 million from 2,227 screens in 28 markets, cume $154.1.5 million; Disney's "Book of Masters," $2.6 million from 691 sites in Russia (where it ranked No. 1), cume $9.5 million; Sony's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," $2.9 million from 2,097 screens in 35 territories, cume $58 million; and Weinstein/Universal's "Inglourious Basterds," $2.6 million from 1,943 sites in 43 markets, cume $183.7 million over 12 rounds.

Also, Disney's "Surrogates," $3.4 million from 1,812 screens in 38 territories, cume $65.4 million; Sony's "Julie & Julia," $2.3 million from 952 sites in 39 markets, cume $27.7 million; New Line/Warner's "The Final Destination," $2.3 million from 1,540 situations in 39 territories, cume $116.1 million; Fox's "Jennifer's Body," $2.29 million from 885 screens in 22 markets, cume $13.8 million; and Warner's "Micmacs a tire-larigot," $2.3 million from 623 sites in France, market cume, $7.9 million.
 
Other international cumes: Paramount's "An Education," $1.4 million; Sony's "The Ugly Truth," $110.7 million; Fox's "Aliens in the Attic," $34.3 million; Sony and other distributors' "District 9," $86.3 million; Universal's "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," $9.7 million; Fox's "(500) Days of Summer," $21.2 million; and Paramount's "Case 39," $6.6 million.

Also, Wild Bunch Distribution's "Le petit Nicolas," $42.8 million (in France only); Paramount's "Charlie and Boots," $3.3 million; Fox's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," $11.1 million (over three U.K. frames); UGC's "Lucky Luke," $15.3 million over three France frames; Paramount's "Dance Flick," $6.2 million; Sony's "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," $86.1 million; Fox's "Agora," $27.3 million over five frames in Spain only; and Paramount's "Imagine That," $6.5 million.
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