Overseas boxoffice still on 'Up'

Disney/Pixar film scores $27.9 million in 24 countries

Solid first-place openings in Italy and four medium-sized markets and a decisive, front-of-the-pack second weekend in the U.K. pushed Pixar/Disney's "Up" to another No. 1 finish on the overseas circuit during the weekend, when it bagged $27.9 million from 4,500 screens in 24 territories.

The action hoisted the 3D animation title's foreign total after almost five months of offshore release to $295 million and $588 million worldwide.

The foreign tally is $120 million less than the companies' total foreign boxoffice for 2007's "Ratatouille" and $15 million behind last year's "WALL-E." Those titles had similarly lengthy, measured international release patterns, and Disney is keen to see that "Up's" final take exceeds both.

The studio expects "Up" to overtake "WALL-E's" foreign cume by week's end. Disney is banking on continued strong business in holdover markets and a run in animation-friendly Japan beginning June 5 to push "Up's" foreign tally beyond "Ratatouille's."

The latest weekend finish for "Up" marks the fourth time this year it has finished atop the international heap.

Besides taking No. 1 in its five new markets including Hungary, Turkey, Poland and Sweden, "Up" claimed first place in five holdover territories, notably in the U.K. where the second weekend dominated market boxoffice with $8.4 million from 535 screens for a market cume of $22.7 million.

"Up's" weekend U.K. number beat the combined gross of the market's No. 2 through No. 9 films.

The biggest finish among the new territories was Italy, where the weekend opening take was an estimated $7 million from 456 situations. Disney said the general weekend action has made "Up" the studio's sixth-biggest overseas grosser to date.

Finishing second on the weekend was "G-Force," another Disney title, which bagged $12.3 million from 3,255 screens in 44 markets for a cume of $127.5 million. The animation title from producer Jerry Bruckheimer opened No. 2 in France with $2.8 million from 498 situations; drew $4.1 million from 521 screens in its No. 1 Germany bow; and grossed $636,347 from 71 screens in its No 1 Austria debut.

Disney's four international titles grossed a combined $45.2 million during the weekend.

Thanks to a No. 2 Spain debut, Sony's romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" finished third overall with $8.6 million drawn from 2,260 screens in 63 territories for a foreign cume of $93.8 million. Spain produced $2.7 million from 359 sites, and a No. 1 introduction in Hong Kong generated an $11,034 per-screen average at 28 sites.

The fourth- and fifth-ranked titles for the weekend were released by Universal, which said it crossed the $1 billion overseas boxoffice mark for 2009 on Saturday; the studio's year-to-date tally stands at $1.005 billion.

Universal's "Couples Retreat," grossed $6.8 million from 938 screens in five territories for an early international cume of $10.8 million. A No. 2 start in the U.K. provided $3 million from 381 locations.

The Weinstein Co./Universal's "Inglourious Basterds" drew $6.4 million from 2,430 sites in 45 territories, pushing its international cume to $166 million and worldwide take to $285.2 million. The World War II drama has eight more territories to play.

The sci-fi drama "District 9" pushed its overseas cume to $76.3 million from all territories, including those handled by Sony, thanks to $5.9 million weekend take. A No. 1 Korea opening produced $2 million from 315 situations.

Opening in only its 3D version and claiming No. 1 in Australia ($1.9 million from 90 locations) was New Line/Warner Bros.' "The Final Destination." Overall weekend take was generated $5.4 million from 1,715 screens in 50 territories, pushing its overseas cume to $103 million.

Dominating the France market for the past three frames is "Le petit Nicolas," a Wild Bunch Distribution release of a live-action film based on a popular French children's book. The film's No. 1 weekend tally was $5.3 million from 605 screens for a market cume of $24.7 million.

Another solo-market sensation was "Agora," Fox's pickup in Spain. The second weekend of director Alejandro Amenabar's $70 million costume epic co-starring Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella produced $4.9 million from 494 locations for a $17 million market cume.

Disney's "Surrogates," starring Bruce Willis, pushed its foreign cume to $47.2 million thanks to a $3.5 million weekend on 2,715 screens in 31 territories. Sony's animation comedy "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" registered $3.7 million from 1,700 situations in 35 markets for an international cume of $35.3 million.

No. 1 in Japan for the second straight weekend was Toho's release of "Kaiji: jinsei gyakuten gemu," a manga-based film about a gambling wastrel trying to clear a substantial debt. The Nippon Television Network co-production won $2.6 million from 306 locations for a market cume of $11 million. Another manga based title, Toho's "20th Century Boys," which finished No. 10 on the weekend, has accumulated $47 million from Japan alone over eight frames.

It was a busy weekend in France with quartet of new openings in the top 10, including Pathe's No. 5-ranked "The Descent: Part 2," the English-language sequel to a 2005 horror title about the survivor of a grisly, all-female cave expedition. Its weekend tally was $1.1 million from 134 situations.

New local-language titles included Rezo Films' "Madamoiselle Chambon," director Stephane Brize's adaptation of an Eric Holder novel about a husband who falls for his son's primary-school teacher. Its opening tally was $1.2 million from 193 screens for a No. 4 market ranking.

Premiering at No. 6 was Studio Canal's "Divorces" from director/co-screenwriter Valerie Guignabodet, which nabbed $729,536 from 333 sites. Clocking in at No. 9 was EuropaCorp. Distribution's "Rose et noir," actor-director Gerard Jugnot's period comedy, which took in $588,295 from 377 situations.

Other international cumes: Disney's "The Proposal," $149 million; Pathe's "L'Affaire Farewell," $5.7 million (in four frames in France only); Sony's "Julie & Julia," $16.2 million; Fox's "(500) Days of Summer," $15.5 million; Universal's "Fast & Furious," $202.5 million; Sony's "Zombieland," $6.9 million; Fox's "Jennifer's Body," $5.2 million; Universal's "The Invention of Lying," $7.7 million (in 17 days in the U.K. and Ireland only); Fox's "Aliens in the Attic," $32.5 million; Universal's "De Storm," $4.5 million (from the Netherlands and Belgium only); and Fox's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," $686.1 million; Sony's "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," $80.6 million; Universal's "Public Enemies," $100.7 million; DreamWorks/Universal's "The Soloist," $3.9 million; Focus Features' "Love Happens," $4.2 million; Paramount's "G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra," $150.7 million; Universal's "Funny People," $17.8 million; Focus Features' "A Serious Man," $206,326; and Paramount's Imagine That," $5.7 million.