Overseas crowds take in 'Solace'

Bond sequel finished No. 1 in each of the 60 markets it played

It was all Bond on the international circuit as "Quantum of Solace" played 9,870 screens in 60 markets for a blazing $106.5 million, by far the No. 1 foreign boxoffice champ for the second consecutive weekend.

The saturation release of the 22nd James Bond installment obliterated its offshore competition, rolling up an action-packed $10,790 per-screen average.

"Quantum" finished No. 1 in every market it played.

The weekend tally defied distributor expectations. "I thought we were headed toward $80 million, but clearly I was wrong," said Mark Zucker, Sony's president of international distribution. "Saturday (business) was just beyond anything, just gangbusters everywhere."

Overall, the weekend action overseas was the 11th-biggest ever, said Zucker, and the second-biggest international opening frame of 2008 after the $146.5 million registered by Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." (The industry record for a foreign opening-weekend gross is $231 million, tallied last year by Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.")

Among its records, "Quantum" was the biggest-grossing weekend opener ever in Switzerland ($3.8 million from 172 sites), Finland ($1.7 million from 64 screens) and the United Arab Emirates ($1 million from 37 spots). In addition, it was the second biggest non-Chinese opening in China ($9.1 million from 1,251 situations) and the second biggest non-Indian title bow in India ($3.5 million from 570 screens).

The biggest of its 57 new markets was Germany, where "Quantum" drew $15.1 million from 1,109 sites for a per-screen average of $13,616. The top holdover territory was the production's home base of the U.K., where the second weekend produced $15.1 million from 1,178 sites for a market cume of $50.3 million.

The second-weekend cumes in France and Sweden are $20.4 million and $5.3 million, respectively. Openings this weekend are set for Mexico, Hungary and Vietnam.

With five days left before its domestic opening Friday, the Sony/MGM release already has accumulated $160.3 million overseas. "Quantum" is tracking well ahead of in all markets its predecessor "Casino Royale," which opened Nov. 15, 2006, and grossed $338.3 million before the end of that year. "Royale's" total overseas tally was $432.1 million.

A distant No. 2 for the weekend overseas was Disney's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," which scored $13.6 million from 4,748 screens in 32 territories for an international cume of $109.4 million. The latest in Disney's franchise is the distributor's fifth title to gross more than $100 million overseas this year.  Its global tally is $185.1 million.

Finishing third was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," which ranked No. 1 domestically. The animation sequel to 2005's "Madagascar" drew $9.2 million from 770 sites (a nearly $12,000-per-screen average) in four markets, raising its 10-day overseas cume to $40.2 million.

At No. 4 was Warner Bros.' espionage thriller "Body of Lies" thanks to solid openings in France, where it ranked No. 2 in the market with $2.4 million from 428 sites; and in Spain, where it finished No. 1 with $2.1 million from 302 screens. Overall, the weekend produced $5.2 million from 1,200 spots in 13 territories for an overseas cume of $16.4 million.

Finishing at No. 5 was Mandate International's horror sequel "Saw V," which drew $5.1 million from 2,000 sites in 30 markets for a cume of $23 million. "Burn After Reading," the Coen brothers' espionage spoof, garnered $3.5 million from 1,800 screens in 21 markets. Its foreign cume is $62 million with 19 more territories to play.

Warners' romantic drama "Nights in Rodanthe" lifted its international cume to $25.2 million via a $2.4 weekend at 1,300 screens in 32 markets. Fox's action title "Max Payne" pulled $2.2 million from 1,800 screens in 45 territories for a cume of $27.4 million. With each title grossing $1.7 million, DreamWorks/Paramount's "Eagle Eye" and Universal's "Mamma Mia!" tied; the former played 1,678 screens in 54 markets for a cume of $70.2 million, while the smash hit musical played 2,000 dates in 42 markets for a cume of $418 million.

On the solo-market front, Fox's "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" debuted in Japan at 254 sites, good for $897,137. In its third weekend in the U.K., the comedy "Ghost Town" drew $1.1 million from 335 spots, upping the market cume to $7.2 million.

In France, Pathe's "Public Enemy Number One" finished its third weekend in the No. 4 spot with $1.7 million from 400 screens for a market cume of $11.5 million. Oliver Stone's "W." dropped to No. 14 in its second weekend with $165,000 from 245 spots for a France cume of $1 million.

Other international cumes: Disney's "WALL-E," $262 million (eighth-biggest overseas cume in 2008); DreamWorks/Paramount's Tropic Thunder," $73.2 million; Universal's "Death Race," $29.5 million; Miramax/Disney's "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," $20.7 million (from U.K. and Spain); Universal's 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army," $78.5 million; Fox's "Mirrors," $35.9 million; New Line's "Appaloosa," $3.8 million; Fox's "Krabat," $9 million; and Warners' "RocknRolla," $11.2 million.
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