'G.I. Joe' tops overseas boxoffice

'Harry Potter,' 'Ice Age' round out the top three

Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," the summer's last big franchise title, battled its way to the No. 1 spot on the foreign circuit over the weekend, commandeering $43 million from 6,117 screens in 35 territories.

The expensive, live-action theatrical feature based on the Hasbro action figure toy line took first place in at least 13 territories, although its per-screen average overall was a relatively tame $7,030.

"Cobra" drew $5.6 million from 428 sites in Korea and a No. 1 China ranking with $4.8 million from 900 locations. In Russia, "Cobra" also finished No. 1 with 4.6 million from 537 spots while its No. 5 Japan bow produced $1.8 million from 385 screens.

The No. 2 France tally was $3.2 million from 514 locations, while in the U.K., the film grossed $2.8 million from 442 spots. Its No. 1 North American debut produced $56.2 million, so "Cobra's" worldwide total should easily surpass the $100-million mark on Monday. The film has 28 overseas territories including Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia still to play.

After three weekends as the foreign circuit's No. 1 entry, Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" slipped to second place with an estimated $22.6 million from 10,800 screens in 64 markets. Its international total stands at $542.2 million, almost double its domestic tally. Worldwide, the sixth "Harry Potter" has grossed $816 million, making "Prince" the 20th biggest grosser in history.

No. 3 was Pixar Disney's animated title "Up," which began its run May 29 and will conclude it in Japan on Dec. 5. Weekend action sparked by a No. 1 finish in France ($5.2 million from 718 locations) and a second place finish in Spain ($2.3 million from 442 screens) came to a total of $17 million from 2,271 locations in 15 territories.

Foreign cume has passed the $100-million mark ($107.8 million), putting "Up" ahead of of the pace established by 2008's "WALL-E" (total overseas gross of $310 million) and 2007's "Ratatouille" ($415 million), said Disney.

Fourth on the weekend was 20th Century Fox's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," which garnered $14.7 million from 7,833 screens in 66 markets. Its overseas tally is $579.7 million, making the threequel this year's biggest foreign grosser to date, besting the latest "Harry Potter" by $37.5 million. A Korea run begins Wednesday.

At No. 5 was Universal's "Public Enemies," which opened in four markets and finished No. 3 in Germany and Austria bows. Director Michael Mann's period crime drama with Johnny Depp drew $7.7 million from 2,655 locations in 43 markets, pushing its overseas cume to $63.5 million.

Disney's comedy "The Proposal," with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, drew $6.4 million from 2,340 screens in 34 territories for an overseas cume of $91.9 million. Openings in Denmark, Norway and Venezuela are due this week.

Notable was Sony's "The Ugly Truth," a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl, which opened No. 1 in the U.K. ($3.3 million over five days from 400 screens) and No. 1 in Australia ($2.8 million from 283 spots).

"The Hangover," Warner Bros.' sleeper hit comedy, was booked at 2,190 screens in 44 markets, and drew $6.8 million, upping its international cume to $124.6 million. "G-Force," producer Jerry Bruckheimer's big-budget digital animation title from Disney, played 1,980 screens in 17 markets for a weekend tally of $6.5 million and a cume of $27.5 million.

Sony's "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," co-starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, moved its overseas cume to $27.3 million thanks to $4.7 million from 1,624 screens in 27 territories this weekend. DreamWorks/Paramount's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" enlarged its cume to $425.1 million thanks to $998,615 drawn from 1,321 screens in 55 markets.

In Germany, Constantin's "Maria, Ihm Schmeckt's Nicht!" (Maria, It's Not Tasty), directed by Neele Vollmar and based on German writer Jan Weiler's 2003 novel, was the only local-language title to finish in the market's top five, grossing $1.9 million in its opener at 308 screens.

In France, "Joueuse" (Queen To Play) from Studiocanal, had a shaky start. Director Caroline Bottaro's French-English drama costarring Kevin Kline, Sandrine Bonnaire and Jennifer Beals, about a maid turned chess champ, drew $518,434 from 170 screens. Meanwhile, The Weinstein Co.'s "The Reader" has grossed $4.7 million in France over four stanzas.

Grand Army Ent.'s "Hachiko: A Dog's Story," Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom's reworking of the Japanese tale about a professor and his superfaithful dog, opened No. 3 in Japan. The film, based largely on Shochiku's 1987 Japanese production "Hachiko monogatari,"costars Richard Gere and Joan Allen. Opening weekend via Shochiku release was $2.3 million from 349 screens. Premiering No. 1 in Japan and grossing $4.9 million in its opener at 345 sites was Toei's release of "Masked Rider Decade/Sinkenger," another feature based on a classic Japanese tv series.

Other international cumes: Universal's "Funny People," $850,000 (in two Russia frames); "Bruno" (co-distributed by Universal, Sony and Mandate Int'l.), $74 million; Disney's "Bolt," $191.8 million; Sony's "Angels & Demons," $350 million; Universal's "State of Play," $49.5 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Coraline," $41.5 million; Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," $185 million; Universal's "Adrift," $281,520 (in Brazil only); Sony's "Terminator Salvation," $244.1 million; Universal's "Limits of Control," $58,803 (Australia only); Disney's "Hannah Montana: The Movie," $71.3 million; Universal's "Land of the Lost," $11.4 million; Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $213.7 million; Pathe/Fox's "Slumdog Millionaire," $221 million; and Fox's "Aliens in the Attic," $1.3 million.