Oscar pics getting o'seas look


The overseas boxoffice kept up a steady pace as "Jumper" weathered moderate drop-offs to hold command for a second weekend. At the same time, entrenched holdovers like "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" and "Sweeney Todd" lifted their growing international cumes, and Oscar contenders blossomed in the weekend that culminated with the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

"Jumper" transported itself to $60.4 million following a $21.7 million weekend from 3,984 screens in 40 markets, highlighted by a No. 3 opening in France ($4.7 million from 586 screens) and at least seven No. 1 debuts topped by Belgium's $642,000 from 75 screens. The Fox International release held on to No. 1 in the U.K. for a second weekend, with $3 million from 42 screens, for a market cume of $11.8 million, and Australia with $1.5 million from 270 for a market gross to date of $5.4 million.

Before the winner was selected at Sunday's Oscar ceremony in Hollywood, the Coen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men" brought in $5 million from 1,453 screens in 28 markets to raise its international cume to $37.1 million.

Unlike the usual screen count for so-called specialty films, Paramount Pictures International, the overseas distributor of the Paramount Vantage/Miramax co-venture, lined up a substantial number of outlets in anticipation of Sunday night's verdict. "We're pretty broad in most markets," PPI president Andrew Cripps said. In the U.K., where "No Country" started out on 150 screens, the number has been increased to 270 for this coming weekend. Spain has 310 working; and France, 364. In Italy, where the Oscar winner opened during the weekend, 270 screens brought in $1.7 million. The international gross to date has reached $37 million, with major markets still coming up. The power of the Oscar may be felt this coming weekend when PPI brings the champ to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia, among other countries. Japan will greet "No Country" on March 15.

"There Will Be Blood," also a Paramount Vantage/Miramax team-up for which Daniel Day Lewis won the best actor award, is making its way overseas via Disney International, which is following a more standard release pattern for a specialty film. It's being booked on a limited number of screens and is depending on word-of-mouth from a more sophisticated audience for long runs or to expand the number of screens. Weekend action delivered $4 million from 801 screens in 29 markets to hoist the cume to $10.2 million. "It declined less than 5% in all holdover markets," Disney International vp sales and distribution David Kornblum said. The Oscar exposure will be tested this coming weekend with openings in France, Holland and Russia.

Fox Searchlight's "Juno," which took the best original screenplay honor for Diablo Cody, pulled in $5.2 million over the weekend from 1,181 screens in 16 markets to reach an international cume of $35.5 million. Australia has delivered $8.6 million in six weeks; the U.K., $13.5 million in three; France, $4.4 million in three; and Spain, $4.5 million in four.

Best picture nominee "Atonement," in the overseas market since early September, registered $2.5 million over the weekend from 1,567 playdates in 38 countries, raising its cume to $69.8 million.

"Michael Clayton," also an early starter overseas via Summit Entertainment, has reached a foreign cume to date of about $34 million.

In the busy holdover market, the indie "Rambo," handled by Sony Pictures Releasing International in the U.K. and Australia, pulled in an estimated $10.2 million from about 2,700 screens in 44 territories, providing an estimated cume to date of $35 million. It opened No. 2 in the U.K. ($2.5 million from 354 screens) and No. 3 in Australia ($1.1 million from 167).

The European co-production "Asterix at the Olympic Games" is estimated to have taken in $9 million from abut 3,400 screens in 27 markets, joining the over-$100 million club with $111 million.    

Disney's "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," out in the overseas market since Dec. 20, earned another $7.6 million from 2,584 screens in 32 markets to reach a cume of $213.1 million.

"Sweeney Todd" grossed an estimated $8.5 million over the weekend from more than 2,700 prints in 52 markets to bring its international cume to $81 million.

"The Bucket List" took in about $5.7 million from 1,955 prints in 23 markets (cume: $34.4 million).

"Charlie Wilson's War" grossed $3.4 million from 1,475 playdates in 32 countries and raised its international total to $36.6 million.

Sony's thriller "Vantage Point" opened on 522 screens in six markets, for a $1.8 million weekend.

Cume updates: "American Gangster," $131.6 million; "Definitely, Maybe," $7.9 million; "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," $48.3 million; "I Am Legend," $325.8 million; "Fool's Gold," $5.6 million; "27 Dresses," $28.3 million; "Alvin and the Chipmunks," $130.5 million; and "The Water Horse," $32.8 million.

"Wild Bunch 5," Disney's Germany-language franchise, got off to a $3.9 million start in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.