'Horton' hears cheers overseas

Tops int'l b.o. with $11.7 mil; 'Spiderwick' sticks in 2nd

Dr. Seuss provided spark to an otherwise quiet weekend on the international circuit as "Horton Hears A Who!" finished a dominant No. 1 at the boxoffice with an estimated $11.7 million from 5,783 screens in 54 markets.

Bowing internationally via Universal/Summit Entertainment International was the weekend's No. 3 domestic title, Walden Media's "Nim's Island," with Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin and Gerard Butler. The family adventure premiered in Australia to an estimated $570,000 from 95 screens — about half its staggered Aussie run to capitalize on rotating school holidays. The overall take from both distributors was $710,000 from 141 sites in four markets.

Universal also opened in Ukraine the George Clooney period football comedy "Leatherheads," the second-ranked domestic opener during the weekend. The distributor said it expects a No. 1 market ranking, but substantiating figures were not provided Sunday.

The top-ranked title internationally for the second consecutive weekend, "Horton" drew the biggest chunk of its weekend action from France, where it premiered to an estimated $3.4 million from 708 screens. The animated 20th Century Fox International release has accumulated an international gross of $91.5 million. Its worldwide tally is $222.6 million.

Finishing No. 2 overall was the family-oriented "The Spiderwick Chronicles," which lifted its overseas cume to $58.6 million thanks to an estimated $7 million weekend at 3,477 screens in 57 territories. An Australia bow provided $1.9 million from 261 sites, enough to qualify for a No. 2 market slot.

Coming in at No. 3 was the smash comedy of manners "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis," with an estimated tally of $6 million from France alone at about 825 screens. The market cume stands at $158 million. Likely leading the France market will be Studio Canal's opening of Fabien Onteniente's "Disco," starring Emmanuelle Beart and Gerard Depardieu.

Roland Emmerich's "10,000 BC" dropped 55% from last weekend to an estimated $5.6 million from about 4,900 situations in 62 markets, enough to claim the fourth spot overall. Overseas the prehistoric epic has rolled up a cume of $153.4 million according to Warner Bros. International.

No. 5 was Universal/Summit's "Step Up 2 the Streets," which claimed $4.4 million from 1,580 screens in 29 territories for a cume of $61 million.

Sony's political thriller "Vantage Point" drew an estimated $4.3 million from 2,225 screens in 44 markets for a cume of $67.8 million. Weekend action included No. 1 openings in Portugal, Venezuela and Turkey.

Fox International had an especially busy weekend as a quartet of its releases finished strongly outside the top five. The action-fantasy "Jumper" came in with $3.2 million from 1,502 screens in 24 markets, while "27 Dresses" rolled up $2.9 million from 956 sites in 16 territories. The cume for "Jumper is $124.3 million, while "Dresses" has made $65.2 million to date.

Fox also had "Juno," which lifted its overseas cume to $74 million thanks to a $2.7 million weekend at 1,121 situations in 13 markets. The same distributor's "Meet the Spartans" made $2.7 million from 709 screens in 15 territories; its cume is $35.9 million.

Disney's "The Game Plan" hoisted its international total to $42.6 million thanks to a $2.7 million weekend at 746 screens in a dozen markets. Meanwhile, Disney's "Enchanted" continued strongly in Japan with a fourth-weekend estimate of $1.7 million from 534 screens, enough to claim the No. 2 market spot. The international cume for the musical fantasy is $206.8 million vs. $127.7 million domestic.

Summit's "Never Back Down" opened No. 4 in the U.K. and pulled $2.4 million overall from 530 screens in four territories. The cume for the teen martial arts drama stands at $3.4 million.