'Asterix' earns more gold
Stays atop overseas boxoffice with $18 milThe continuing appeal of broad French comedy in Europe pushed "Asterix at the Olympic Games" to the No. 1 overseas spot for the second consecutive weekend with estimated boxoffice of $18 million from six territories, lifting its total international take to about $56 million.
Oscar-related titles and other international newcomers also commanded weekend attention.
20th Century Fox's "Juno" with its four nominations opened in seven new territories and drew an estimated $8.7 million from 1,138 screens in 15 markets, enough to qualify for fifth place. The film's international total stands at $17.7 million, $135.3 million worldwide. A U.K. bow produced $4 million from 363 spots.
Paramount's "No Country for Old Men," the Coen brothers' crime drama, opened at No. 2 in Spain with $2.2 million from 307 spots for an overall estimate of $5.3 million from 1,352 screens in 15 markets.
Following its Friday bow at the Berlin International Film Festival, Disney premiered another best picture contender, Miramax's "There Will Be Blood," in the U.K. and Australia for a combined $717,000 from two days worth of showings at 93 screens.
Newcomers included Warner Bros.' "Fool's Gold," the action comedy with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. The film, which was the weekend's No. 1 domestic title, opened in Australia and another undisclosed market for an estimated $1.9 million from 250 sites. Universal premiered the father-daughter romantic comedy "Definitely, Maybe" in the U.K. for $1.5 million from 331 situations, enough to rank No. 5 in the territory.
Warners' "L: Change the World" (Death Note 3), the latest in the Japanese-language horror series co-produced by Warner Bros. Japan and commercial broadcaster Nippon TV, had a dominant No. 1 opening in Japan with an estimated $4.9 million from 398 screens.
Decent openings in Italy and Spain offset a 60% drop in "Asterix's" second-frame tally in its home market of France, where it looks headed for an estimated $11 million from about 1,000 situations. The film's opening week in France, the sixth-best-ever for a French film with more than 3 million admissions nationwide, wound up with a gross of about $27 million.
"Asterix" premiered at No. 1 in Spain with an estimated $2.8 million from 366 screens, while the Italy debut provided $1.7 million from 317 situations, enough to qualify for the market's No. 2 position. In Germany, the third installment in the popular "Asterix" series remained solid in its second frame with an estimated $2.3 million from 598 screens, down just 18% from the opening-frame tally. The 11-day Germany cume stands at $6.6 million.
Pathe Distribution is releasing "Asterix" -- a live-action comic-strip adaptation about feisty Gauls outwitting invading Roman invaders -- but not official gross numbers. Returns from the film's runs in Holland, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, Poland and possibly in Russia were not available Sunday and are not included in the film's weekend estimate.
Coming in at No. 2 was Paramount's "Cloverfield," which benefited from 13 openings and drew an estimated $14.3 million overall from 3,849 screens in 46 territories. In France, it premiered second (behind "Asterix") with $3.3 million from 443 spots.
In third place was Disney's "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," which opened at No. 1 in the U.K. with $4.8 million from 550 screens and grabbed an estimated $10.1 million overall from 2,820 screens in 43 markets. The adventure's cume is $183.5 million overseas and $210 million worldwide.
Finishing fourth was Warners' "I Am Legend," drawing an estimated $9 million from about 3,500 screens in 55 territories for an overseas total of $316.6 million.
"Sweeney Todd" from DreamWorks/Warners hoisted its overseas cume to $59 million thanks to an estimated $7.9 million weekend from about 2,200 screens in 31 markets. Taking advantage of the Lunar Holiday, director Stephen Chow's "Cheung Gong 7 Hou" (CJ7) from Sony opened strongly in Malaysia and Singapore, collecting an estimated $6.8 million overall from 480 screens in just seven markets. The cume is $12.3 million.
Solid openings in Germany, Korea and Italy spurred Universal International's "Charlie Wilson's War" to an estimated $6.1 million from 1,618 screens in 34 markets. The drama's overseas cume stands at $26.6 million, with 22 territories to open during the next two months. UI's "American Gangster" lifted its overseas take to $123.3 million thanks to an estimated $4.3 million weekend at 1,914 screens in 40 markets.
Warners' "The Bucket List," with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, grossed an estimated $4.8 million from 1,460 situations in 19 markets, raising the overseas total to $20.5 million. Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks" landed an estimated $3.8 million from 2,573 screens in 30 markets for a cume of $119.2 million.
Disney's "Enchanted" is just past the $300 million mark worldwide thanks to a $3.1 million weekend from 2,261 sites in 37 territories. The family film's overseas cume is $175.7 million, with $125 million domestic. Sony's "Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" grabbed $3.4 million from 1,600 spots in 25 markets for a cume of $15.9 million.
Other overseas cume updates: New Line's "The Golden Compass," $255 million; Universal's "Atonement," $63.8 million; Fox's "Hitman," $50.4 million; Universal's "Die Rote Zora," $3.4 million; Fox's "27 Dresses," $15.3 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Bee Movie," $156.6 million; Universal's "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," $48.9 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Kite Runner," $19.1 million; and Fox's "Meet the Spartans," $2.4 million.