'Valkyrie,' 'Slumdog' strong overseas

'Seven Pounds,' 'Raaz 2' also solid this weekend

Tom Cruise is back on top -- at least overseas -- while a brace of Oscar-related titles, particularly "Slumdog Millionaire," performed offshore over the weekend in outstanding fashion.

Finishing No. 1 on the international boxoffice circuit was MGM/UA's "Valkyrie," which premiered in major overseas territories to $13.5 million from 2,072 screens in 12 markets.

The historical drama, which stars Cruise as a man who tries to assassinate Hitler, opened No. 1 in Germany, Australia and Holland, with Germany leading with $3.7 million from 689 sites for a per-screen average of $5,311. No. 2 bows were recorded in the U.K., Austria and South Korea, according to overseas distributor 20th Century Fox International.

Placing second was Sony's "Seven Pounds," which played strictly holdover dates and registered $12.7 million from 3,315 screens in 25 territories. The overseas cume stands at $60.2 million. The Will Smith vehicle took the No. 1 spot in its second weekend in Spain with $2.6 million from 335 sites for a market total of $8.3 million.

No. 1 for the third consecutive weekend in the U.K. is "Slumdog," which collected 10 Oscar nominations. The Danny Boyle film about a Mumbai boy who wins on India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" drew $3.9 million from about 379 sites for a per-screen average of $10,368. U.K. cume stands at $14.3 million. "Slumdog" bagged another $1.3 million from 156 locations in its second France round, and also opened in India (via Fox) collecting $2.1 million from 351 screens.

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Revolutionary Road," which earned three Oscar nominations Thursday, grabbed $8.6 million on the weekend from 1,704 screens in 18 markets, with a strong No. 2 opening in France with $2.69 million from 300 locations. "Revolutionary" hits the road in 25 new markets this coming weekend.

Opening No. 1 in India was Sony's "Raaz 2: The Mystery Continues" wit h Emraan Hashim. The Hindi horror thriller sequel grabbed an estimated $3.2 million from 918 screens. In Australia, "Gran Torino" with Clint Eastwood opened to $1.3 million (including previews) from 149 screens, the biggest opening market gross for any Eastwood film, according to distributor Warner Bros. International.

Warners' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with Brad Pitt gathered $6.6 million from 1,430 situations in 187 markets. Bedecked by 13 Oscar nominations, the film lifted its overseas total to $22.8 million. It opened No. 1 Greece with $1.2 million from 80 sites, and finished No. 1 in Mexico for the second straight weekend ($1.3 million from 343 spots for a cume of $3.6 million).

Disney's "Bolt," which copped a best animated film Oscar nomination, jumped nicely on the weekend to $6.3 million from 2,523 screens in 35 markets. Notable was a solid Germany bow ($2.6 million from 450 sites) and a No. 1 premiere in Austria. The film's international cume stands at $92.1 million.

Pixar/Disney's "WALL-E," which also drew a best animated film nod, is winding down its two-month foreign run with $700,000 from 312 screens in its seventh Japan frame, where it has drawn $41 million from the market. It's earned $307.4 million internationally.

"Changeling," for which Angelina Jolie won a best actress nomination, generated a solid $3 million from 1,317 situations in 35 markets, pushing its international gross to $46.9 million. The Eastwood film has yet to play 20 territories over the coming three months.

Miramax/Disney's "Doubt," with five nominations including a best actress bid from Meryl Streep, has pulled $1.4 million overseas from eight smaller market runs so far. Italy and Spain openings are due this weekend.

Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," despite its eight nominations, continues so-so overseas with a $2.9 million foreign total generated in over a fortnight. The weekend produced $1.7 million from 459 screens in seven markets. The Gus Van Sant film opens Jan. 29 in Australia.

Universal's "Frost/Nixon," which drew five Oscar nominations, has grossed $2.4 million over nearly a month on the international circuit, of which $995,000 was tallied over the weekend from 427 situations in eight markets. An opening in the U.K. generated $828,000 from 307 screens, taking the No. 9 market slot.

No. 3 on the weekend overall was Warners' "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey, which drew $10.7 million from 3,300 screens in 55 markets, pushing its overseas cume to $83.6 million. No. 4 was Sony's Russian release, which it identifies as "The Best Movie Ever 2," yielding $9.5 million from 948 screens in the Russia, which the distributor describes as the second-best market launch after the original "Best Movie Ever."

Finishing No. 5 was Summit International's "Twilight," which continues very strongly in Germany ($3.6 million in its second frame from 612 spots). The teen favorite registered $9.5 million on the weekend from 3,517 screens in 55 markets, and its international gross stands at $150.9 million. In its third France frame,"Twilight" topped the market with $2.7 million from 457 locales.

Fox's "Australia" came in with $6.7 million from 3,596 screens in 51 markets for a cume of $130 million. Disney's "Bedtime Stories" with Adam Sandler moved its foreign cume to $75 million thanks to a $4.3 million weekend at 2,800 screens in 32 markets, while Fox's comedy "Bride Wars" landed $4.5 million from 1,322 sites in 23 territories for a cume of $17.4 million.

The big noise in Japan was MGM/Sony's No. 1 debut of "Quantum of Solace," which drew an estimated $6.6 million including previews from 345 sites for a whopping per-screen average of $19,101. It was the best Japan opening ever for a James Bond title. The weekend produced $6.7 million from 627 screens in 32 markets for an international cume of $391.6 million -- about $41 million shy of predecessor "Casino Roy ale's" record-setting overseas tally for a 007 film.

Sony also released Screen Gems' "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" -- the vampires vs. werewolves horror fantasy that opened No. 2 domestically -- in Australia plus 21 other foreign markets for an estimated $4.9 million from 808 screens.

In France, the top local-language title was No. 4-ranked "De l'autre cote du lit," a comedy with Sophie Marceau, which grossed $1.9 million from 578 screens for a cume of $9.4 million. Newcomers were Europa's No. 6-ranked comedy "Envoyes tes speciaux" ($1.8 million from 493 sites) and "Daimant 13," a crime thriller with Gerard Depardieu ($550,000 from 300 dates). "Un homme et son chien," with 75-year-old Jean-Paul Belmondo, sank in its second frame to No. 15 with $300,000 from 279 situations for a market cume of $1.2 million.

Other international cumes: Fox's "The Battle of Red Cliff 2," $2.4 million (Taiwan only); Universal's "Role Models," $11.8 million; New Line's "Inkheart," $18.4 million; Fox's "Marley & Me," $16.5 million; Universal's "Mamma Mia!" $429 million with a final overseas bow in Japan due Friday; Focus Features' "Burn After Reading," $93.8 million; Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," $32.2 million; New Line's "Four Christmases," $41.5 million; Mandate International's "Saw V," $51.6 million; Focus Features' "In Bruges," $25.1 million; Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $21.2 million; Fox's "The Day the Earth Stood Still," $149 million; New Line's "Appaloosa," $7 million; Universal's "The Unborn," $4 million; and New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $122.8 million.
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