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The generally listless pre-holiday season overseas wound down over the weekend with Pixar/Disney’s “Up” claiming the No. 1 spot on the foreign circuit for the fifth stanza this year with the relatively modest tally of $20.2 million drawn from 4,789 screens in 26 territories.
Offshore boxoffice action overall is certain to surge this week as “This Is It,” the film cobbled together from footage of Michael Jackson rehearsing for his planned comeback tour, rolls out via Sony at 108 overseas territories.
Pre-Halloween arrivals were Mandate International’s “Saw VI,” which grossed an estimated $5 million from 800 screens in eight territories including the U.K., where the latest in the horror-thriller franchise opened at No. 2 in the market, and Universal’s “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” premiering in three markets (including a No. 2 Russia bow) for $2.9 million overall from 685 locations.
In its solo-market bow in the U.K., 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” drew $2.5 million from 481 locations, sufficient for a No. 3 market ranking. The animation comedy from director Wes Anderson, based on a Roald Dahl novel, commenced its commercial run after opening the London Film Festival. Among those voicing various characters are George Clooney, Bill Murray and Meryl Streep.
Playing strictly holdover engagements, “Up” took the No. 1 spot in seven territories including the U.K. for a third straight weekend with $6.2 million from 549 screens for a market cume of $32 million. Italy also produced a first-place ranking as did the Benelux, Poland, Sweden and Denmark.
With an international cume of $324.9 million, the latest Pixar animation title in 3D sprinted past the $309 million international gross total racked up by its predecessor, 2008’s “WALL-E.” “Up,” with Japan still to play in early December, still lags by $90.1 million the international total accumulated in 2007 by Pixar’s “Ratatouille.”
“Up’s” worldwide gross stands at $617 million.
No. 2 on the weekend was “G-Force,” Disney’s animation title produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, which grabbed $8.3 million from 3,013 situations in 35 territories for a foreign cume of $138.5 million. Its worldwide tally stands at $256.8 million.
Third was Sony’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” yet another animation outing, which grossed $7.9 million from 2,850 screens in 50 markets for a cume of $44.3 million. Sony said the opened at No. 1 in Russia with $3.4 million collected from 441 sites.
At No. 4 was UGC Distribution’s solo-market entry “Lucky Luke,” which made its No. 1 France debut at 687 dates for $5.9 million. The film is a Western, a live-action adaptation of a French comic book character, a gunslinger (portrayed by Jean Dujardin) charged with cleaning up a small town.
Coming in fifth was Sony’s “The Ugly Truth,” which registered $5.4 million from 1,823 sites in 64 markets. The romantic comedy co-starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler surpassed the $100 million-gross market overseas on the weekend, and its cume stands at $101.8 million.
The Weinstein Co./Universal’s “Inglourious Basterds” opened at No. 1 in South Africa and drew $4.5 million on the weekend from 2,640 screens in 50 markets. Overseas total is $173.5 million. In France, “Le Petit Nicolas,” Wild Bunch Distribution’s release of a live-action film based on a French children’s book, held a strong No. 2 in its fourth round with $4.5 million drawn from 628 screens for a market cume of $30 million.
No. 1 in Germany is Constantin’s “Die Papstin” (Pope Joan), a pan-European co-production based on Donna Woolfolk’s novel about a ninth-century woman who disguises herself as a man to rise within Vatican ranks. The English-language costume drama, with John Goodman cast as Pope Sergius, opened at 465 locations for an estimated $4.4 million.
Universal’s “Couples Retreat,” which finished at No. 5 domestically, drew $3.9 million from 950 locations in seven territories for an early international cume of $17.2 million. Disney’s “Surrogates,” with Bruce Willis, upped its cume to $52.6 million thanks to a $3.9 million weekend at 2,244 situations in 31 markets.
Sony’s “Julie & Julia,” with Streep as Julia Child, opened in four markets, including a No. 1 New Zealand bow for a total of $3.2 million on the weekend from 1,108 screens in 40 territories and a cume of $20.8 million. Sci-fi drama “District 9,” from Sony and other distributors, grossed $3.1 million and lifted its cume to $81.2 million, of which $63.8 million derives from markets handled by Sony.
In Spain, “Agora,” Fox’s acquisition of director Alejandro Amenabar’s English-language costume epic, drew $3.4 million in its third weekend from 478 sites for a market cume of $21.7 million. Sony’s subway drama “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” opened in China to $1.1 million from 1,190 screens, for an overall weekend tally of $2.5 million from 1,935 screens. The Denzel Washington-John Travolta vehicle’s overseas cume stands at $83.5 million.
In Japan, local-language titles via Toho took the top two market spots. No. 1 was Nippon Television Network’s production of “I Give My First Love to You,” a romantic melodrama about a young girl in love with a terminally ill young man. Opening weekend took $3 million from 302 situations.
No. 2 was Kadokawa Pictures’ “The Unbroken,” a three-hours-plus drama starring Ken Watanabe about Japan’s go-go years from the ’60s through the ’80s, including the nation’s worst air crash (killing 520) in 1985. Debut weekend tally was $2.7 million from 403 locations.
Other international cumes: Sony’s “Zombieland,” $8.9 million; Fox’s “Aliens in the Attic,” $33.1 million; Universal’s “Fast & Furious,” $204.2 million; Fox’s “All About Steve,” $963,553; Focus Features/Universal’s “9,” $12.4 million (Focus Features territories only); Universal’s “The Invention of Lying,” $8.9 million (from the U.K. and Ireland only); Fox’s “(500) Days of Summer,” $17.6 million; Rezo Film’s “Mademoiselle Chambon,” $2.5 million; Focus Features’ “Love Happens,” $4.7 million; Fox’s “Jennifer’s Body,” $7.4 million; Focus Features’ “A Serious Man,” $296,228 (over three rounds at 10 screens in Denmark); Disney’s “The Proposal,” $150.7 million; New Line/Warners’ “The Final Destination,” $105.7 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s “The Uninvited,” $13.6 million; and Paramount’s “Imagine That,” $5.9 million.
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