Overseas boxoffice picks 'Up'

Animated title takes top spot for first time during its run

"Up's" marathon foreign rollout suddenly turned into a sprint over the weekend as the Pixar/Disney animation title in 3D took the No. 1 spot for the first time this year with a boxoffice tally of $14.7 million from 3,151 locations in 23 countries.

Although in offshore release since May 29, "Up" had mostly ranked towards the middle of the pack each round thanks to its graduated foreign distribution pattern spaced over seven months in order to capitalize on school holidays and other local factors worldwide.

"Up's" total overseas take stands at nearly $200 million ($197.4 million) with a slew of key foreign markets -- including Italy, the U.K., all of Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Turkey and Poland -- to play before its foreign run ends Dec. 5 in Japan. These territories are expected to add at least another 40% to 50% of the current take in foreign boxoffice.

Disney has said that "Up" on a local currency basis is so far on track to exceed the final foreign tallies of Pixar predecessors "Wall-E" (total overseas box office of $310 million) and "Ratatouille" ($415 million). "Up" has generated cumes of $36.3 million from France, $6.7 million from Brazil, $8.3 million from Australia and, says Disney, $32.4 million from Spain -- making it that market's biggest animation release of all time.

Opening overseas at 1,155 screens in 15 markets, Sony's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" in 3D got off to an unimpressive start with a total boxoffice gross of $5.6 million. Premiering overseas simultaneously with its No. 1 domestic bow, the family-oriented animation outing, based on Ron and Judi Barrett's book about a scientific experiment causing food to rain from the sky, premiered No. 1 in the U.K. with $2.8 million from 537 sites.

Sony's "Julie & Julia" with Meryl Streep as French cooking guru Julia Child opened No. 7 in France with $1 million lured from 274 screens. Overall, the weekend take was $2.2 million from 1,065 sites in seven markets for a cume so far of $6.4 million. Focus Features/Universal's "Love Happens" starring Jennifer Aniston opened overseas at 31 screens in Greece for $113,592.

No. 2 on the weekend was the Weinstein Co./Universal's "Inglourious Basterds," which drew $12 million from 2,850 locations in 37 territories, pushing its international total to $116.6 million and making it director Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing title overseas. His previous best was 2003's "Kill Bill: Volume 1" ($111.4 million). A No. 1 Spain opening drew $4.3 million from 407 sites.

Third was "The Final Destination," the fourth title in New Line/Warner's horror-thriller franchise, which had reigned for the previous two stanzas as the top overseas champ. Its weekend tally was $10.6 million from 2,740 locations in 37 territories, pushing the overseas cume to $71.8 million. A No. 1 Hong Kong bow produced $778,000 from just 60 sites for a hefty $12,967 per-screen average.

No. 4 was Sony's romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth," starring Katherine Heigl, which opened in eight fresh markets and finished No. 1 in two (Ukraine and Singapore). Its total weekend tally was $9.5 million from 2,191 screens in 41 territories for an overseas cume of $45 million.

Fifth was Sony's special-effects-laden drama "District 9," which elicited $8.5 million (from all territories including those not handled by Sony) for a foreign cume of $47.4 million. It opened No. 1 in France with $3.7 million from 447 locations.

Thanks to lusty action in Italy, where its was No. 1 for the fourth consecutive weekend, 20th Century Fox's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" drew $4.3 million on the weekend from 2,211 screens in 28 markets for a cume of $677.4 million.

In Germany, where sunny weekend weather suppressed attendance somewhat, Constantin/Fil Verleih's "Wickie und die stakrne Manner" remained No. 1 for the second consecutive weekend. Director Michael Herbig's family adventure about a timid Viking youth taking to the sea grossed an estimated $5.9 million from 751 screens for a market cume of $18 million. A No. 1 finish in its second Austria round produced an additional $1.2 million from 97 locations for a cume of $4.9 million.

Sony's subway thriller "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" pulled $3.8 million from 1,848 screens in 41 markets for a cume of $62.4 million. Disney's "G-Force" pushed its cume to $84.5 million thanks to a $3.2 million weekend from 2,269 locations in 30 territories.

In France, Studio Canal's "L'Armee du crime" (Army of Crime), director Robert Guediguian's World War II drama set in occupied Paris, opened No. 7 with an estimated $1.1 million from 250 locations. UGC's release of director Jacques Audiard's prison drama "A Prophet," which won the grand prize at this year's Cannes festival and will represent France in the foreign-language Oscar sweepstakes, finished No. 6 with $1.1 million from 350 sites for a market cume of $8 million over four rounds.

The most popular local language title was TFM's comedy "Neuilly sa mere," which jumped to the No. 2 market spot with $1.7 million from 469 screens for a France cume of $17.7 million over six rounds. Mars Distribution's "Le coach," another comedy, dropped two places to rank No. 4 on the weekend with $1.4 million from 345 locations for a two-stanza cume of $3.9 million.

Other international cumes: Disney's "The Proposal," $135.4 million; Fox's "(500) Days of Summer," $6.6 million; Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," $147.7 million; Fox's "Aliens in the Attic," $25.8 million; Warner's "The Hangover," $179 million; Universal's "Funny People," $12 million; Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," $190.3 million; Universal's "Public Enemies," $98.1 million; and Focus Features/Universal's "9," $9.5 million; "Bruno (handled by three distributors), $60.1 million; Warner's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $625.6 million; and Fox's "High Security Vacation," $17.2 million (from Russia only).