'Pounds' has most heft o'seas


Opening in at least 11 markets and recording No. 1 rankings in four, Sony's "Seven Pounds" grabbed the top spot on the international boxoffice circuit during the weekend with an estimated gross of $19.8 million from 3,502 screens in 25 territories.

The Will Smith vehicle from Italian director Gabriele Muccino premiered at No. 1 in Spain ($4.2 million from 308 screens) and at No. 2 in France ($3 million from 343 sites) and the U.K. ($2.4 million from 405 situations). Its international cume is $40.8 million.

After a stellar run atop the international chart for five of the previous six frames, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" dropped to No. 5 with $8.3 million from 6,054 spots in 61 markets. Its foreign cume stands at $380 million.

Also during the weekend, Warner Bros. International released its first Hindi-language title, the Bollywood-driven "Chandni Chowk to China," in about 35 markets but did not release gross data. "We are still consolidating figures from India and around the world," the distributor said. Full figures for the film are expected today.

"Revolutionary Road," director Sam Mendes' interpretation of Richard Yates' novel about a suburban 1950s couple, opened in five markets and earned $2.4 million from 513 spots. The DreamWorks/ Paramount release tallied $1.4 million from 349 situations in Germany. Paramount also premiered the family comedy "Hotel for Dogs" in Australia and New Zealand, where it earned $790,000 from 231 locations.

Placing at No. 2 overseas on the weekend was Summit International's vampire hit "Twilight," which opened at No. 1 in Germany and retained the top spot during its second frame in France. Overall, the film grossed $13.1 million from 3,465 locations in 46 territories and raised its overseas cume to $135 million.

At No. 3 was Warners' Jim Carrey starrer "Yes Man," which registered $12 million from 3,200 screens in 48 territories for an overseas cume of $67 million. The comedy opened at No. 1 in Russia, where it earned $2.7 million from 472 spots.

20th Century Fox International's "Australia" placed fourth and held respectably in overseas engagements, grossing an estimated $10.3 million from 4,750 sites in 56 territories, down 16% from the previous weekend. An Italy opening produced $2.8 million from 535 screens. Overseas cume for the Baz Luhrmann epic, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, stands at $118.5 million.

Fox's "Bride Wars," starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, expanded its run to 16 markets and drew an estimated $6.2 million from 1,110 screens, raising its overseas cume to $10.2 million. A No. 1 bow in Australia drew $2.2 million from 288 situations.

Disney's "Bedtime Stories" continues to establish itself as Adam Sandler's biggest overseas hit in many markets with a weekend estimate of $4.5 million from 3,524 locations in 25 territories, raising its overseas cume to $68 million. The same distributor's animated title "Bolt," with 60% if its overseas run still ahead, claimed $3.7 million from 2,612 situations in 28 markets and upped its foreign cume to $82.6 million.

Warners' Brad Pitt starrer "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" opened at No. 1 in Mexico and scored $4.4 million from 1,100 screens in eight markets. Its overseas cume stands at $14 million.

Universal's comedy "Role Models," with 40 territories still to play, raised its overseas cume to $8.4 million thanks to a $3.4 million weekend from 566 situations in nine markets. Fox's "Marley & Me" hoisted its overseas cume to $12.9 million on the strength of $2.8 million from 1,130 screens in 13 markets, including a No. 2 opening in Mexico.

Fox's sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still" generated $2.6 million from 2,500 spots in 36 territories, raising its overseas cume to $146.1 million. Universal's Clint Eastwood-helmed "Changeling" raised its foreign cume to $42.7 million after earning $2.2 million from 1,077 sites in 32 markets.

Weekend action in the U.K. was lively for market newcomers. Mandate International's "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" opened to an estimated $2 million from 187 locations, and Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" resurfaced at 350 locations for an estimated $1.4 million. "Chihuahua's" weekend produced $3 million from 800 screens in 11 territories, raising its international cume to $28.2 million.

Topping the U.K. market was Pathe's multiple Golden Globe winner "Slumdog Millionaire," which grossed $2.7 million. The film also bagged $2.8 million in its France opener, ranking No. 3 in the Paris area. In addition, Fox released "Slumdog" in Puerto Rico, where it earned $14,500 from two screens.

The top-grossing local-language title in France was Mars Distribution's "The Other Side of the Bed," Pascale Pouzadoux's comedy starring Sophie Marceau and Dany Boon, which during its second weekend bagged $2.7 million from 578 sites for a cume of $6.8 million. The newcomer "Afterwards," Gilles Bourdos' drama about a newly divorced lawyer who meets a mysterious doctor (John Malkovich), drew $1.1 million from 278 sites and ranked No. 5 in the Paris area.

In Spain, Universal opened its horror title "The Unborn" to $1.7 million from 209 situations, taking the No. 2 market slot. Also in Spain, Focus Features/Universal's Sean Penn starrer "Milk" yielded $280,000 from 118 sites during its second weekend for a 10-day market cume of $850,000.

Also during the weekend, Miramax/Disney's "Doubt" generated $675,000 from 120 screens in five markets.

Other international cumes include Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $20 million; Mandate's "Saw V," $49.8 million; Universal's "Rudo y Cursi," $8.8 million from Mexico and Argentina; and Universal's "Frost/Nixon," $1.3 million from Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.