'Gran Torino' wins at overseas boxoffice

Clint Eastwood pic edges out 'Marley & Me' with $9.7 mil

In generally mild boxoffice action across most overseas markets, Warner Bros.' "Gran Torino" eked out a first-place win on the international circuit, grossing $9.7 million from 2,500 screens in 38 markets and besting 20th Century Fox’s “Marley & Me” by just $760,000.

Preliminary figures issued earlier had both titles finishing in a dead heat at $8.8 million each.  But “Gran Torino,” which made its debut in the No. 1 position, “pulled in higher grosses than projected on Sunday,” Warners said.

The Clint Eastwood vehicle opened in Brazil, where it produced $409,000 from 104 screens, which the distributor describes as the biggest market opening for an Eastwood title. "Torino" held at No. 2 in France and in Italy and at No. 1 in Spain. Overseas cume stands at $60.9 million.

"Marley & Me," which claimed the No. 1 spot the previous weekend, also played in 38 markets but at 3,011 locations for a weekend tally of $8.94 million. The David Frankel-helmed family drama about an obstreperous dog opened in seven markets, notably finishing at No. 1 for a second straight stanza in the U.K. with $3.1 million from 476 screens. Cume stands at $62 million.
The top figure for “Torino” was the lowest No. 1 weekend international gross so far this year and paled significantly on a per-market basis with the No. 1 boxoffice recorded by local-language films in France and in Germany.
Powered by Fete du Cinema festivities in France, the market experienced an exceptionally strong weekend.
Opening at No. 1 was Studio Canal's "Coco," a comedy starring Morocco-born stand-up comedian Gad Elmaleh, who also makes his debut as a director. Described as "a comedy about money," the title character is an arriviste planning a lavish bar mitzvah for his son. Debut gross was a huge $11 million from 871 sites, or more than $12,500 per screen, representing about half the total market action.
With a smash No. 1 opening in Germany was Constantin Film's "Mannersache," a comedy about two childhood friends co-scripted by and co-starring Martio Barth and Dieter Tappert, which tallied $6.7 million from 637 sites. (The Weinstein Co.'s "The Reader," starring Oscar winner Kate Winslet, rolled up a Germany cume of $13.7 million after a No. 3 weekend gross of $1.4 million from 490 situations in the market.)
A notable Hollywood studio newcomer was Universal's "Duplicity," the caper film with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen portraying corporate spies pulling a con on their employers. Opening in 10 overseas markets day-and-date with its No. 3 domestic premiere, "Duplicity" grossed $4 million from 1,014 screens. Up this week are openings in nine markets, including France and Russia.

The No. 3 title, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens," made its overseas debut in Russian and the Ukraine a week before to its domestic bow. The 3-D animated film finished at No. 1 in both markets, registering a total of $6.2 million from 644 spots.
The 115 3-D screens played in Russia produced a $17,000 per-screen average, "well ahead of the $6,700 average for conventional 2-D screens," Paramount said. All "Monsters vs. Aliens" showings at three Imax venues were sold out. In all, 32% of the total business came from 3-D venues, which comprised only 15% of the total prints.

Finishing at No. 4 on the weekend was Paramount's Watchmen," from director Zack Snyder, which raised its overseas gross total to $60.1 million in its third stanza overseas thanks to a $6.1 million weekend from 4,453 spots in 58 territories.

"Slumdog Millionaire" continues to pile up the grosses overseas, accumulating  $145 million from playdates in 50 markets since its Italy bow in December. A No. 2 Germany debut produced $2.4 million from 187 screens.
The biggest market for "Slumdog" has been the U.K., where it has accumulated about $44.2 million over 11 frames. In India, the cume so far is $7.2 million since Jan. 23. In France, a 10th weekend produced a No. 4 finish with $1.1 million from 344 locations for a market cume of $16.6 million.

Other “Slumdog” market cumes: Australia, $12.9 million; Spain, $11.4 million; Mexico, $4.2 million; New Zealand (where it ranks No. 1), $2.2 million; and Argentina, $1.2 million. A China opening at about 2,000 screens via Hong Kong distributor Edko Film is due this week. Worldwide "Slumdog" total stands at  $277.3 million.
The weekend’s fifth place went to Disney's "Confessions of a Shopaholic," which registered $4.4 million from 1,935 screens in 26 markets, raising its international gross total to $38.3 million. The comedy produced by Jerry Bruckheimer opened solidly in Belgium and Sweden and held its No. 1 spots in Australia and Holland. Openings in Spain, Korea, Singapore, Venezuela and Norway are due this week.
"Paul Blart: Mall Cop," the Kevin James comedy from Sony, opened at No. 2 in the U.K. and Australia, garnering $3.6 million overall on its second weekend out overseas from 957 screens in eight markets. Overseas cume stands at $5.2 million. Disney's "Race to Witch Mountain," starring Dwayne Johnson, claimed $1 million in its second weekend overseas at 281 locations in six markets for an early cume of $3.1 million.
Fox's "Dragonball Evolution," a live-action title based on a famous Japanese manga series, drew $3.8 million from 2,053 screens in eight Far East markets, the biggest of which was Japan (finishing No. 8 in the market with $1 million from 539 spots for a cume of $6.2 million).
Disney's "Bedtime Stories," on track to become Adam Sandler's biggest-grossing title overseas, added $2.1 million on the weekend from 1,118 screens in 17 markets. Cume stands at $102 million. A Japan opening produced a No. 10 ranking with $718,000 drawn from 267 screens.
Universal's horror title "The Unborn" nabbed $2.6 million from 1,397 screens in 29 markets for a cume of $23.7 million. The distributor's Italian comedy "Diverso Da Chi" opened at No. 3 in Italy with $1.2 million from 251 screens. Sony's "The International," also co-starring Owen, pushed its cume to $20.1 million after a $2 million weekend from 1,244 screens in 42 territories.

In Japan, United Artists’ “Valkyrie” with Tom Cruise opened via local distributor Toho-Towa at No. 2 in the market, generating $2.6 million from 324 screens. Foreign boxoffice cume stands at $106 million. Passing the $200 million worldwide gross mark was Fox’s “Taken,” a thriller with Liam Neeson. Of the global cume of $200.4 million, $72.1 was generated overseas.
DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel for Dogs" generated $1.2 million from 2,395 spots in 39 markets for a cume of $37.1 million. Finishing at No. 3 in its second weekend in France was "Welcome," from director Philippe Lioret, which bagged $1.7 million from 309 locations for a market cume of $3.9 million.
Other international cumes: Focus Features/Universal’s “Milk,” $18.3 million ($50 million worldwide); MGM/Sony's "The Pink Panther 2," $33.2 million; Universal's "Changeling," $75.2 million; Disney Animation's "Bolt," $177 million; Fox's "Bride Wars," $53.3 million; Warners' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," $199.5 million; Fox's "Australia," $156.9 million; New Line's "He's Just Not That Into You," $53.2 million; DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Revolutionary Road,” $51 million’ Universal’s “Mamma Mia!” $458 million (602.3 million worldwide); New Line’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” $129 million; Universal’s “Role Models,” $24 million; New Line’s “Appaloosa,” $7.3 million; and Sony’s “Seven Pounds,” $97.7 million.
More international cumes: Sony's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans," $31.5 million; Fox's "Notorious," $5.1 million; New Line's "Inkheart," $33.5 million; Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $33 million; New Line's "Four Christmases," $42.9 million; Universal's "Coraline," $8 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," $406.9 million; New Line's "Pride and Glory," $14.4 million; Paramount's "Friday the 13th," $23 million; and Fox's "Se Eu Fosse Voce 2," $20.7 million.