'Australia' can't top Bond o'seas


It's Bond again on the overseas circuit as Sony/MGM's "Quantum of Solace" dominated for the fifth consecutive weekend, tallying $20.1 million from 8,755 screens in 73 markets and raising its foreign gross to $340.1 million.

A significant weekend launch was Fox's No. 1 Down Under opening of director Baz Luhrmann's "Australia" simultaneous to its North American debut. It made $5 million from 645 dates.

The $130 million epic, showcasing Luhrmann's native Australia and co- starring fellow Aussies Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, also played Jamaica and Trinidad and tallied an estimated $5.1 million overall. Worldwide, its cume stands at $25.1 million.

Disney premiered Pixar's "Bolt" in Russia, Italy and Poland for an estimated $6.6 million from 1,070 screens, sufficient to rank No. 5 for the weekend.

The weekend's No. 1 domestic title, New Line's "Four Christmases," opened via local distributor Entertainment in the No. 1 spot in the U.K. with an estimated $2.1 million.

"Quantum" is $92 million away from overtaking 2006's "Casino Royale" as the biggest foreign grosser of the 22-title Bond series. ("Casino's" offshore cume was $432.1 million.) "Quantum's" foreign cume is nearly 21/2 times its $141.1 million domestic total.

At No. 2 on the weekend was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," which busted loose in 12 new territories, finishing No. 1 in Spain ($5.7 million from 603 screens), Portugal and Colombia. Its overall tally was $12.5 million from 2,364 dates in 24 markets. The overseas cume for the animation title is $71.5 million.