'Alice' is No. 1 int'l hit for fourth week

'Dragon' is No. 2 globally, followed by 'Shutter Island'

Do you realize that just two films have dominated the No. 1 boxoffice spot on the foreign theatrical circuit over the entire first quarter of 2010?

Overseas hunger for spectacle in 3D propelled 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" to the top spot for eight consecutive weeks this year, through Feb. 28.

Then audiences shifted to Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," which has rounded out the rest of the quarter with its fourth straight No. 1 finish.

By contrast, at the end of March 2009, eight films ranging from DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" to Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" took turns in the lofty No. 1 slot overseas.

Director Tim Burton's 3D version of "Alice" drew a weekend tally of $50.5 million -- $4.5 million more than projected on Sunday -- from 8,364 screens in 51 markets for an offshore cume of $367.7 million. The worldwide gross total stands at $660 million.

"Alice" was challenged by Paramount's release of DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon," which drew $31.2 million from 5,280 locations in 35 markets, of which 32 are new. (Last weekend's debuts were in Russia, the Ukraine and Romania.)

Overseas cume for the 3D animation about a lonely Viking teenager who befriends a giant dragon stands at $42.3 million. The worldwide tally is $85.6 million. Although "Dragon" opened No. 1 domestically, it finished in the No. 2 spot behind "Alice" on the foreign circuit.

The biggest boost for "Alice" were openings in France (generating $15.2 million from 745 screens) and in China ($9.6 million from 1,477 locations). "Alice's" France debut was the third biggest in history for any Disney title in the market, and the China opening set a record for any Disney film.

"Dragon," which opened at No. 1 in Brazil, Mexico and Spain, did best in its second weekend in Russia ($6.4 million for a market cume of $16.7 million), as per Paramount.

For its part, "Avatar" drew another $6.9 million on the weekend from 2,553 situations in 63 markets, pushing its overseas gross total to an unprecedented $1.950 billion.

Director James Cameron's blockbuster ranks No. 5 on the weekend, two notches behind the No. 3 title, director Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," which grossed $10 million from 46 territories handled by Paramount and other distributors.

The Paramount portion of "Shutter Island's" run accounted for $8.1 million from 2,524 screens. The period drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio has grossed a total of $125.6 million overseas to date.

No. 4 on the weekend was Warner Bros.' "The Blind Side" starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, which openedat  No. 3 in the U.K. ($1.96 million from 371 sites) for a total of $7 million from 1,870 screens in 30 markets for a foreign cume to date of $22.7 million.

Director Andy Tennant's "The Bounty Hunter," Sony's romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, laughed all the way to $6.28 million from 1,680 screens in 31 markets. Total overseas take after 10 days on the foreign circuit is $17 million, while the worldwide gross stands at $55.4 million.

Opening in Korea was "Green Zone," which grossed $1.9 million in the market (via Sierra Pictures) from 282 situations. Overall on the weekend, Universal's Iraq War drama starring Matt Damon tallied $5.7 million from 1,772 sites in 24 territories for an international cume of $28.4 million.

Topping the U.K. market on the weekend was Universal's release of Working Title Films' sequel "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," which generated $3.8 million from 512 locations, about even with the opening boxoffice figure compiled in the market by the original 2005 "Nanny McPhee."

The family romp starring Emma Thompson as a benign governess with magical powers also played dates in Ireland, Iceland and the Netherlands, and grossed overall $4 million from 613 sites.

Summit International's "Remember Me," a romantic melodrama starring Robert Pattison, drew an estimated $4 million from 1,944 screens in 29 markets. Foreign cume stands at $9.9 million.

Scattered returns for director Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning best picture, "The Hurt Locker," show it to be still plugging overseas via various local distributors after from six to eight weeks of playtime. The Iraq War film grossed $1 million on the weekend from 249 situations across four markets -- Japan, Australia, Chile and Argentina – and has gathered to date a total of $10.45 million from the four territories.

Finishing in second place in France was Universal's local-language co-production "L'arnacoeur" ("Heartbreakers"), which grossed in its second round an estimated $4.4 million from 436 situations. The romantic comedy, which opened a strong No. 1 last round, has generated a 12-day market cume of $15 million.

Opening at No. 5 in France was Pathe's "Tout ce qui brille" (All that Glitters), a family comedy co-directed by actress Geraldine Nakache and Herve Mimram about the adventures of two young women on the town in Paris. Debut tally was an estimated $2.8 million from 294 screens.

At the opposite end of the content spectrum is "L'immortel" ("22 Bullets"), a crime caper reuniting producer Luc Besson and actor Jean Reno, who plays an ex-mobster whose attempt to go straight is interrupted by his attempted assassination. The EuropaCorp. Distribution release finished No. 3 with $3.6 million drawn from 500 sites.

Finishing fourth in France was Gaumont's "La Rafle" (The Roundup), a historical drama about French police collaboration with the Nazis, which grossed $3 million in its third stanza at 707 locations for a market cume so far of $18.9 million.

Other international cumes: Warner Bros.' "Valentine's Day," $104.3 million; Universal's "It's Complicated," $105.2 million; Lionsgate's "Brothers," $10.2 million; Paramount's "Up in the Air," $78 million; Sony's "The Book of Eli," $46.3 million; Warner Bros.' "Invictus," $87 million; Lionsgate's "Daybreakers," $17.5 million; Paramount's "Celda 211," $18.8 million in Spain only; Focus Features/Universal's "A Serious Man," $21.3 million; Paramount's "Case 39," $13.6 million; Lionsgate/Sony's "Men Who Stare at Goats," $31.7 million; Paramount's "The Crazies," $5 million in U.K. only; Focus Features' "Love Happens," $12.1 million; and Universal's "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," $19.8 million.

Also, Fox's "Crazy Heart," $ 5.48 million; Lionsgate's "The Men Who Stare at Goats," $31 million; Sony's "Have You Seen the Morgans?," $53.7 million ($83.3 million worldwide); Universal's "The Wolfman," $75.8 million; Universal's "Die Teufelskicker," $2.2 million in 18 days in German-speaking Europe plus Belgium; Lionsgate's "The Spy Next Door," $18 million; Fox's "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," $133.8 million; Lionsgate/Sony's "Dear John," $10.5 million; Fox's "Tooth Fairy," $42.1 million; Warner Bros.' "Sherlock Holmes," $305.2 million after a $2.1 million weekend from 1,100 screens in 19 markets); Paramount's "Tension sexual no resuelta," $1.7 million in Spain only; Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $223.8 million; Toho's "Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Mermaid Legend," $21.8 million over four frames in Japan only; and Fox's "My Name Is Khan," $32.6 million.