Oscar gives 'Todd' o'seas boost

Three noms lift pic to top in U.K., France and Japan

The boxoffice power of Oscar was demonstrated during the weekend as "Sweeney Todd," fueled by three Academy Award nominations, seized the No. 1 spot internationally, grossing an estimated $18.7 million from 1,760 screens in 11 markets. Its early overseas total stands at $30 million.

Best picture nominees "No Country for Old Men" and "Atonement" either registered gains or held strongly overseas.

Paramount Pictures International's release of the Coen brothers' "No Country" drew an estimated $4.8 million from 671 spots in six markets, four new. The best was France, where the crime drama opened at No. 2 with $2.4 million from 360 situations. Universal International's "Atonement" grossed an estimated $3.5 million from 1,075 screens in 30 territories, lifting its international total to $55.5 million; worldwide, it stands at $93.1 million.

20th Century Fox International's "Juno," with four Oscar nominations, rolled up a lusty $17,889 per-screen average in its Sweden bow, an estimated $161,000 from just nine locations. Thanks to a strong Australia run, the sleeper hit drew $1.5 million for the weekend from 208 screens in three markets for an overseas cume of $4.4 million.

Universal's "Charlie Wilson's War," with 40 territories still to play, pulled in an estimated $3.7 million during the weekend from 1,100 situations in 16 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $15.4 million. Universal's "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" drew an estimated $250,000 from 348 sites in 25 markets for a cume of $48.2 million. Universal's Spain opening of Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" came away with $250,000 from 81 screens, ranking 12th in the market.

The biggest driver for "Todd" was its No. 1 U.K. opening with $8.7 million (including previews) from 436 situations. Distributor Warner Bros. International said the tally represented nearly 50% of the market's top five film grosses. "Todd" also had a muscular bow in France, taking the No. 1 spot with an estimated $4.4 million from 365 locations, and a No. 1 second frame in Japan, where it earned $2.3 million from 400 sites.

Finishing No. 2 for the weekend was Warners' "I Am Legend," which had been No. 1 overseas for the past five frames. The Will Smith vehicle came up with an estimated $15.8 million from about 5,400 sites in 57 markets. Its overseas cume stands at $290 million.

With solid openings in the key markets of Germany, Italy and Mexico, Warners' "The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, debuted internationally with an estimated $4.5 million from about 1,000 screens. The tally in Germany was $1.6 million from 367 locations. Italy provided $1.1 million from 246 locales. The film bows Friday in Spain.

New Line Cinema did not provide a weekend estimate for "The Golden Compass," the recipient of three Oscar nominations. As of Jan. 24, the fantasy adventure had grossed $249.6 million overseas versus $68.5 domestic.

The weekend's No. 3 title, Disney's "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," picked up steam thanks to solid openings in Germany, Brazil, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. The family adventure's weekend tally was an estimated $13 million from 3,929 screens in 35 territories for an overseas total of $159.5 million; worldwide, it stands at $360 million. A No. 1 debut in Germany provided $5.6 million from 600 sites for a $9,333 per-screen average.

"Cloverfield," from Paramount, finished No. 4 by broadening its run by a dozen markets for an estimated $9.2 million from 1,345 screens in 18 territories. A Russia debut garnered $3.5 million from 394 spots, while Korea provided $2.4 million from 265 locations, sufficient for a No. 2 market ranking. Directed by Matt Reeves, the sci-fi outing has tallied $15 million so far overseas and $79.3 million worldwide.

Universal's "American Gangster," which finished No. 5, flew past the $100 million mark internationally thanks to an estimated $7.5 million during the weekend from 1,579 screens in 43 markets. The drama's cume stands at $104.3 million with five more territories to play.

Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks" also crossed the $100 million mark overseas, landing at $105.6 million thanks to an estimated $6.5 million from about 3,000 screens in 39 markets. The same distributor's "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem" grossed $6.1 million from about 3,500 screens in 53 territories for a cume of $79.3 million.

A Thailand opening for Disney's "Enchanted" registered an estimated $375,000 from 40 sites for a per-screen average of $9,375. Overall, the film's weekend tally was $4.1 million from 3,750 screens in 31 markets, good for an overseas cume of $167.2 million.

DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Bee Movie" had a bland Japan opening, grossing an estimated $710,000 from 231 screens. The film's total weekend take was $3.1 million from 2,627 sites for an overseas cume of $152.1 million.

Fox's "27 Dresses" tallied an estimated $2 million from 330 screens in four markets for a cume of $11 million. The biggest contributor was Australia, where the weekend take for the romantic comedy was $1.3 million in its third weekend from 19 screens for a market cume of $9.6 million.

Sony's "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" opened at No. 12 in Australia to an estimated 325,000 from 150 screens, and it ranked 15th in its second weekend in the U.K. with $185,000 from 196 spots. Its overseas cume stands at $1.3 million.

Other overseas cume updates: Fox's "Hitman," $50.1 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Kite Runner," $12.5 million; Sony's "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep," $8.2 million; Fox's "The Darjeeling Limited," $10.9 million; and Universal's "Lust, Caution," $4.1 million (Universal territories only).