B.O. spooked, Bond's big

'Quantum' shatters record with $38 mil

James Bond jolted the international boxoffice during the weekend as Sony/MGM's "Quantum of Solace," the 22nd installment in the 007 franchise launching in only three overseas markets, drew a spectacular $38.6 million from 2,123 screens and claimed the No. 1 spot easily.

Another fresh entry, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," a sequel to 2005's "Madagascar," added voltage with an estimated $17.8 million from 635 screens in Russia and Ukraine, the biggest opening weekend of any title to play only those two markets. It ranked as the weekend's No. 3 attraction overseas.

The biggest by far of the three territories played by the latest Bond movie was the production's home base, the U.K., where "Quantum" dominated with $25.3 million from 1,150 situations for a whopping $22,000 per-screen average. It was the biggest three-day opening for any film in the U.K., surpassing by 35% the market opening of 2006's Bond installment "Casino Royale," according to Mark Zucker, Sony's president of international distribution.

In its No.1 five-day premiere in France, "Quantum" pulled $10.6 million from 824 sites (a per-screen average of $12,864), which Zucker said is a market boxoffice record for the series. In Sweden, "Quantum's" opening figure was $2.7 million from 149 situations (a per-screen average of $18,121), 31% bigger than "Casino's" bow in that market.

Weekend action for the Bond title propelled Sony's international boxoffice for 2008 past the $1 billion mark.

"Quantum" will play in 57 new markets this coming weekend but will not open domestically until Nov. 14. Sony opened "Casino" overseas Nov. 15, 2006, and the film drew $338.3 million before Jan. 1, 2007. Its full offshore run grossed $432.1 million. (partialdiff)