'Seven Pounds' tops overseas boxoffice

'Madagascar 2' drops to No. 5

Opening in at least 11 markets, with No. 1 rankings recorded in four, Sony's "Seven Pounds" grabbed the top spot on the crowded international circuit over the weekend with $20.6 million grossed from a total of 3,505 screens in 27 territories.

The Will Smith vehicle from Italian director Gabriele Muccino premiered No. 1 in Spain ($4.2 million from 352 screens), No. 3 in France ($2.8 million from 344 sites) and No. 2 in the U.K. ($2.3 million from 402 situations). International total stands at $41.6 million.

After a stellar run at the top of the international charts for five of the previous six frames, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" dropped to No. 5 with $8.7 million elicited from 5,495 spots in 45 markets. Foreign gross total now stands at $380 million.

Warner Bros. International released over the weekend its first title in Hindi, the Bollywood-driven martial arts adventure "Chandni Chowk to China," in some 28 overseas markets to the tune of about $7.2 million, most of which was generated in India ($6.8 million from 1,319 screens). The R.S.E. People Tree production drew just $407,000 from 61 U.K. situations.

"Slumdog Millionaire" made noise on the foreign circuit by grabbing $6 million in three markets -- via Pathe in the U.K. and France, and through Icon Distribution in Australia. The multiple Golden Globe winner topped the U.K. in its second market frame by registering $3.9 million from 330 situations, a jump of 41% over its opener, for a market cume of $8.8 million. (Fox is releasing "Slumdog" in Puerto Rico for an estimated $14,500 from 2 screens.)
Director Edward Swick's "Defiance" with Daniel Craig generated $3 million from the U.K., Spain and Australia. The World War II resistance drama ranked No. 7 in its second U.K. weekend with $1.2 million from 328 screens for a market cume of $3.8 million.

Also in the U.K., Optimum Releasing opened "The Wrestler" with Mickey Rourke to $1.19 million from 277 locations, enough to qualify for the market's No. 8 spot.

"Revolutionary Road," director Sam Mendes interpretation of Richard Yates' novel about a suburban Fifties couple, opened overseas in five markets for $2.4 million from 505 spots. In Germany, the DreamWorks/Paramount release was No. 5 in the market with $1.4 million from 348 situations. Paramount also premiered its family comedy "Hotel For Dogs" -- which also opened No. 5 domestically -- in Australia and New Zealand for $795,000 from 232 locations.

No. 2 on the weekend was Summit Int'l.'s vampire hit "Twilight," which opened No. 1 in Germany ($6.8 million from 612 sites) and retained the top market top spot in its second France frame ($3.7 million from 455 spots for a cume of $9.7 million). Overall tally was an estimated $13.2 million from 3,465 locations in 46 territories for an overseas cume of $135 million.

A close No. 3 was WBI's "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey, which registered an estimated $13.1 million from 3,196 screens in 49 territories for an overseas total of $68.1 million. The comedy scored a strong opening in Russian ($3 million from 472 spots).

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

Fox's "Bride Wars" with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway expanded its run to 16 markets for an estimated $6.2 million from 1,110 screens for an overseas cume of $10.2 million . A No. 1 bow in Australia drew $2.2 million from20288 situations.

Disney's 'Bedtime Stories" continues to establish itself as Adam Sandler's biggest overseas hit in many markets with a weekend estimate of $5.4 million from 3,524 locations in 25 territories, for an overseas cume of $68.4 million. Same distrib's animation title, 'Bolt," claimed an estimated $4.4 million from 2,612 situations in 28 markets for a cume of $83 million – with 60% if its overseas run still ahead.
Warner's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with Brad Pitt opened nicely Mexico and scored an estimated $4.4 million on the weekend overall from 1,167 screens in eight markets. Overseas cume stands at $14 million.

Universal's comedy "Role Models" with2040 territories still to play raised its overseas cume to $8.4 million thanks to an estimated $3.4 million weekend at 566 situations in nine markets. Fox's "Marley and Me" hoisted its cume to $12.9 million on the strength of a $2.8 million weekend – including a No. 2 opening in Mexico – from 1,130 screens in 13 markets.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still," the sci-fi remake from Fox, generated $2.6 million from 2,500 spots in 36 territories for a cume of $146.1 million. Clint Eastwood-directed "Changeling" from Universal raised its foreign cume to $42.7 million due to an estimated $2.2 weekend from 1,077 sites in 32 markets.

Weekend action in the U.K. was lively for market newcomers. Mandate Int'l.'s "My Bloody Valentine 3D" , which premiered domestically in the No. 4 spot, opened to an estimated $2 million from 189 locations. Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" resurfaced as No. 6 at 422 locations for an estimated $1.5 million. The comedy's weekend overall produced $3 million from 800 screens in 11 territories for an international cume of $28.2 million.

Top-grossing local language title in France was Mars Distribution's "De l'autre cote du lit" (The Other Side of the Bed), director Pascal Pouzadoux's comedy with Sophie Marceau and Dany Boon, which in its second weekend bagged $2.84 million from 578 sites for a cume of $6.9 million. Newcomer "Et apres" (Afterwards), a drama about a newly divorced lawyer who meets a mysterious doctor (John Malkovich), drew $1.1 million from 249 sites and ranked No. 5 in the Paris area.

In Spain, Universal opened horror title "The Unborn" to $1.6 million from 209 situations, taking the No. 2 market slot. Also in Spain, FocusFeatures/Universal's "Milk" with Sean Penn yielded an estimated $294,000 in its second weekend at 119 sites, for a 10-day20market cume of $876,845. Miramax/Disney's "Doubt" generated $675,000 from 120 screens from five markets.

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