'Button' still atop o'seas boxoffice


It might have played second fiddle at the Academy Award ceremonies, but Warner Bros.' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" retains boxoffice strength on the international circuit, grossing an estimated $13.4 million from 5,140 screens in about 60 territories during the weekend.

The Brad Pitt vehicle directed by David Fincher has accumulated foreign boxoffice of $176.2 million since opening overseas Dec. 26. It has also retained its No. 1 foreign spot for the fourth consecutive weekend, albeit in what was an bland stanza overall.

Propelled by its eight Oscar wins, "Slumdog Millionaire" bounced to the No. 1 spot in the U.K. ($2.3 million from 462 sites) after playing seven frames in the market. In a big boost in France, the tally in its seventh frame was $1.6 million from 240 sites — an increase of 40% from the previous weekend — for a cume of $10.5 million.

The estimated weekend take across 26 markets — excluding another 10 territories for which Fox has not obtained boxoffice data (in many territories, the film is being handled by local distributors)— is at least $5 million. The international cume is an estimated $85 million.

The Weinstein Co.'s "The Reader" opened at No. 1 in Germany with $3.2 million from 361 screens. The best actress Oscar vehicle for Kate Winslet has opened via various local distributors in 15 mostly second-tier markets since Jan. 2, the date it bowed in the U.K., where it has accumulated $7.4 million. Its estimated international total stands at $15.5 million.

The best actor vehicle for Sean Penn, Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," got a much-needed jolt over the weekend, grossing $1.5 million from 575 sites in 26 markets, a 34% increase from the previous frame. Overseas cume stands at $11 million since the film about gay activist Harvey Milk began its international run on Jan. 9. Universal's "Frost/Nixon" has rolled up an unprepossessing foreign cume of $7.3 million since its overseas opening on Dec. 26.

No. 2 on the weekend was Warners' "Gran Torino" with Clint Eastwood, which yielded $8.3 million from 1,115 screens in 10 markets for an early foreign cume of $17.3 million. A No. 1 France opening provided $5 million from 424 situations and a torrid per-screen average of nearly $12,000. Warners said it was the highest opening gross in the market for any Eastwood title.

No. 3 was United Artists/Fox's "Valkyrie," which grossed $7.6 million from 4,500 screens in 57 markets for a foreign cume of $93.2 million. Noteworthy wa s a No. 1 opening in China that generated $3.6 million from 800 sites.

The No. 4 title, Disney's "Bolt," grossed $7.2 million from 3,612 screens in 31 markets for an international cume of $166.5 million. France led strong holdover market action with $2.2 million from 690 sites, down a mere 35% from the previous frame, for a cume of $19.4 million. Third weekends in Belgium and the Holland were up 109% and 22%, respectively, thanks to school holiday business.

MGM/Sony's "The Pink Panther 2" with Steve Martin opened in Spain (at No. 2 with $2.4 million from 377 screens), Mexico, South Africa and Poland for a weekend tally of $6.8 million from 3,150 locations in 56 markets. It ranked fifth on the weekend overall. Its cume stands at $22.7 million.

"Confessions of a Shopaholic," the comedy from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney, opened No. 1 in Italy with $2 million from 450 locations (triple the comparable market opening of "Bride Wars," said Disney). Overall, the weekend produced $4.9 million from 1,393 locations in 10 territories for an overseas cume of $17.6 million.

The thriller "The International" opened in the U.K. ($1.1 million from 385 screens, No. 5 in the market) and Korea, Russia, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines for a total of $4.4 million on the weekend from 1,765 situations in 29 territories. The cume is $10.8 million. Sony's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" came in with $4.1 million from 1,180 screens in 36 markets for a cume of $29.4 million.

Universal's horror outing "The Unborn" opened in the U.K. (where it finished No. 2), Australia, Italy and Korea, amassing $4 million overall from 897 loc ations in 14 markets for a cume of $11 million. DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel For Dogs" also registered $4 million from 2,231 situations in 31 markets for a cume of $29 million.

Fox's "Bride Wars" came in at $3.3 million from 2,100 screens in 37 territories for a cume of $48.2 million. New Line's romantic comedy "He's Just Not that Into You" lifted its overseas cume to $39.5 million after a $3.4 million weekend at 2,146 screens in 29 markets. Warners' "Yes Man" grabbed $2.8 million from 1,747 sites in 49 markets for a cume of $124.8 million.

Universal's "Changeling" pushed its cume to $66.7 million thanks to a $2.5 million weekend from 1,137 situations in 43 markets. Also, Universal's "Role Models" opened No. 7 in Germany and No. 5 in Austria, laughing all the way to $2.2 million overall from 912 screens in 21 territories. The cume is $22 million.

Miramax/Disney's "Doubt" nudged its cume to $15 million on the strength of a $1.2 million weekend from 1,036 sites in 35 territories. In Germany, Disney's local-language production "Hexe Lilli, der Drache und das Magische Buch," a family fantasy, grabbed the No. 2 spot with $1.6 million from 470 screens for a market cume of $4.2 million in two frames.

In France, Mars Distribution opened "Cyprien" with Catherine Deneuve. The comedy about a 35-year-old virgin who proves irresistible to women following the use of a magic deodorant sniffed out $1.9 million from 400 sites, ranking No. 5 in the market.

Finishing No. 2 in France was "LOL," a mother-daughter drama with Sophie Marceau, which grab bed $2.4 million from 490 screens for a four-frame cume of $19.3 million. No. 4 was director Daniele Thompson's "Change of Plans," which grossed $2 million in its second weekend at 513 sites for a cume of $7.8 million.

Other international cumes: DreamWorks/Paramount's "Revolutionary Road," $48.6 million; Paramount's "Friday the 13th," $18.7 million; "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," $45.3 million; Universal's "Mamma Mia!" $452.1 million; Fox's "Australia," $151.3 million; Sony's "Seven Pounds," $92.2 million; New Line's "Inkheart," $31 million; Disney's "Bedtime Stories," $92.1 million; New Line's "Four Christmases," $43 million; Fox's "Taken," $70.1 million; Focus/Universal's "Coraline," $6.3 million; New Line's "Pride and Glory," $14 million; Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $30.4 million; Focus' "Burn After Reading," $94.6 million; New Line's "Appaloosa," $7.4 million; New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $128 million; and Fox's "Marley & Me, " $24.2 million.