'Madagascar' keeps dancing atop int'l b.o.


For the fourth time in five stanzas, "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" won the No. 1 overseas boxoffice spot during the first weekend of 2009 thanks to an estimated $32.2 million from 6,771 screens in 60 territories.

The overseas gross for the DreamWorks Animation/ Paramount title is $340 million, which puts its foreign cume about $2 million ahead of that tallied over its entire run by the original in the series about the adventures of four New York Zoo escapees, 2005's "Madagascar."

A close No. 2 on the weekend was Fox International's "Australia," which drew an estimated $21.7 million from 5,000 screens in 51 territories for an international cume of $82.7 million. In third was "Bedtime Stories," the family feature starring Adam Sandler, which registered $21.2 million from 2,870 sites in 22 markets for an overseas cume of $44 million and $129.4 mllion worldwide.

Tied for the fourth spot were Fox's "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and Warner Bros.' "Yes Man," with each drawing an estimated $12 million. The sci-fi remake played 5,900 situations in 63 territories for an international cume of $128.6 million. Meanwhile, the latest Jim Carrey comedy visited 1,800 screens in 21 markets for an overseas total of $34 million, good for $113.4 million worldwide.

Disney Animation's "Bolt" finished at No. 5 with $11.9 million from 2,877 spots in 25 territories for an overseas cume of $64 million. The animation title about a dog actor (voiced by John Travolta) opened No. 3 in Australia ($1.7 million from 230 sites). In Korea, the take was $2.4 million from 125 screens, which including previews makes the "Bolt" bow the biggest market opening ever for a Disney animation title.