Monday, March 17, 2008

'BC' tops international box office

Caveman adventure "10,000 BC" hunted down plenty of foreign coin as it dominated the weekend at the international box office with $38 million from 6,900 playdates in 30 markets.

International markets also saw "Horton Hears a Who!" launch day-and-date with a solid rather than spectacular $14.2 million at 4,885 in 29 territories, though only in four of the top-10 markets.

And French hit "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" underlined the power of local titles as it continued to mint money in its fourth frame with $19 million in France, Belgium and Switzerland. Though it's gone past $100 million overall, "Ch'tis" has plenty of gas still in the tank with a decline of only 35%.

The perf by Warner's "10,000 BC" represents the biggest offshore weekend haul this year by a Hollywood pic, eclipsing the $36 million take during a mid-January frame by "I Am Legend." With $73 million already banked from international markets, the actioner should remain a major player for several more weeks -- though it probably won't approach the $245 million final foreign take for "300" that the studio racked up a year ago.

"10,000 BC" turned in its top perfs in openings in the U.K. and Russia with $3.8 million each, in France with $3.4 million and in South Korea with $3.3 million. The actioner showed decent traction in Mexico with a 30% decline in its second frame to $2.9 million, and came in second in its Italian bow with $2.6 million, finishing behind the second frame of local hit "Grande, Grosso e Verdone."

"Horton" took in its best figures in Germany with $2.7 million, followed by Spain with $2.1 million and Mexico with $1.9 million. Opening numbers matched the launch of the original "Ice Age" and were in line with Fox's expectations, given the relative lack of overseas awareness about Dr. Seuss' big-hearted pachyderm.

Animated fare aimed at families has a strong recent track record, with "Shrek the Third," "Ratatouille" and "The Simpsons Movie" combining last year for $1.1 billion overseas. With school holidays now starting in many markets, "Horton" should stay as a major player for several sessions; it opens next weekend in the U.K., Australia and 18 other markets.

Sony's actioner "Vantage Point" continued to see respectable numbers with $8 million at 2,865 in 35 markets, including a first-place $1 million launch in Australia. "Point," which opens next weekend in France, has topped $40 million internationally and nearly $100 million when combined with its domestic total.

Disney's Japanese launch of "Enchanted" charmed its way to $5.4 million at 323 on the heels of Patrick Dempsey tubthumping in that market. The fantasy romancer's exceeded Mouse House forecasts and shown plenty of overseas traction with nearly $189 million internationally, better than $60 million ahead of the Stateside total.

Par's "No Country for Old Men" remained a player thanks to its four Oscars, with $4.7 million at 1,699, including a Japanese launch of $492,000 at 41. "No Country" has hit $68 million overseas -- $7 million behind "Atonement," the top foreign grosser among best picture nominees.

"There Will Be Blood" and "Juno" also continued to benefit from awards season, with "Blood" drawing $2.1 million at 1,015 for a foreign cume of $26.3 million while "Juno" took in $1.5 million for a $48 million offshore total. This year's set of niche pics has paled in comparison with last year's, which included "The Departed" raking in $155 million internationally.

Fox's sci-fier "Jumper" maintained a moderate presence with $4.7 million at 2,700, a month after its impressive launches. Foreign cume has hit nearly $105 million, giving the Fox pic worldwide box office of $180 million.

Two other pics early in their foreign runs topped $4 million -- Par's "The Spiderwick Chronicles" conjured up $4.6 million at 1,565 in 22 markets as it began its school holiday launch; and U's "The Other Boleyn Girl" found $4 million at 1,127, led by a Brit second frame of $1.4 million, down only 27%.

Disney's "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus" launched impressively in the U.K. with $510,000 at 65 3D playdates.


ByDave Mcnary


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