‘Avatar’ Says Farewell

Hanging on for what will be its farewell round atop of the foreign circuit, 20th Century Fox’s “Avatar” on the weekend made it 11 straight stanzas in the No. 1 spot by grossing $36.1 million from 6,535 screens in 70 markets.

Total foreign take by director James Cameron’s 3D blockbuster now stands at $1.844 billion — thus surpassing the $1.843-billion worldwide boxoffice total rolled up by the director’s 1997 former record holder, “Titanic.” “Avatar’s” worldwide cume is $2.550 billion. To date, its foreign gross is more than two-and-a-half times its domestic cume of $707 million.

The biggest “Avatar” market on the weekend was Japan, where the weekend take was $4 million from 514 locations for a Japan cume of $140 million. Top market overall remains France where the Cameron epic has grossed a total of $169 million thus far.

“Avatar’s ” foreign reign will be usurped by the opening this week of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” director Tim Burton’s 3D re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic, starring Johnny Depp, in 41 foreign markets representing about 60% of the total offshore marketplace.

Italy and Sweden kick off on Wednesday, followed by openings in 26 additional territories on Thursday including Australia, German-speaking Europe, Korea and Russia. On Friday, “Alice” will set down in 13 more markets including Mexico, Poland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Handled overseas by Paramount in all markets except Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Russia, director Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” grossed $19 million from 20 territories on the weekend for an early foreign cume of $34 million. It is tied for the No. 2 spot on the weekend.

France led the way with No. 1 bow of $6.8 million from 522 venues, making “Shutter Island’s” opening surge the biggest ever in the market for a Scorsese title. No. 1 openings were also recorded in Belgium, Portugal and Taiwan, plus a No. 1 second-weekend holdover in Spain. In Germany, the drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio about a prisoner disappearance at a remote insane asylum opened No. 2 via Concorde with $3.7 million drawn from 472 screens.

Also grossing $19 million on the weekend — and also tied for No. 2 — was Fox’s adventure fantasy “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” which played 6,350 screens in 65 territories for a foreign cume to date of $95.4 million. Japan led the way with a No. 2 opening with $4.1 million secured from 561 locations.

Garnering $3.4 million in its Russia opening at 440 screens was Universal’s classic horror update “The Wolfman,” which grabbed an estimated $10.8 million overall on the weekend from 5,302 venues in 57 territories. Foreign cume for the Benicio Del Toro-Anthony Hopkins-Emily Blunt vehicle stands at $63.3 million with five more markets to play including Japan on April 22. It ranks No. 3 on the weekend.

A close No. 4 is Warner Bros. romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” which seduced an estimated $10.4 million from about 4,400 screens in 58 markets. International cume stands at $87.4 million.

Finishing fifth was Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” which grossed $7.7 million from 3,203 screens in 36 territories for a foreign cume to date of $143 million. In France the hand-drawn animation title wound the weekend No. 2 with $2.7 million drawn from 700 locations for a France cume of $27 million.

Buoyed by openings in a dozen markets including Spain and Korea, DreamWorks/Paramount’s “The Lovely Bones” garnered $6.3 million on the weekend from a total of 3,328 screens in 34 territories. Foreign cume to date is $35 million. Director Peter Jackson’s fantasy thriller finished No. 3 in its second U.K. weekend with $1.9 million generated from 428 sites for a market cume of $6 million.

Warner’s “Sherlock Homes” upped its foreign cume to $273.7 million thanks to a $5.8 million weekend at 3,000 sites in 42 markets. Same distributor’s “Invictus” from director Clint Eastwood drew $5.6 million from 2,600 screens in 34 markets for a foreign cume to date of $71.1 million.

“The Blind Side,” the surprise hit drama starring Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock as a mentor to a football payer, finally arrived overseas at 319 screens in six markets for a weekend take of $3 million. (Foreign cume stands at $3.8 million.) A No. 1 Australia bow generated $2.5 million from 221 sites.

Paramount’s “The Crazies,” a remake of director George Romero’s 1973 horror cult favorite, premiered No. 2 in the U.K. by generating $1.9 million from 345 sites. Opening No. 18 in the U.K. was Sony’s release of the CBS Films co-production, “Extraordinary Measures,” a medical drama with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. Premier weekend came up with $215,000 from 258 screens.

“It’s Complicated,” Universal’s romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep, pushed its foreign cume within earshot of the $100-million mark ($90.2 million) thanks to a $3.6 million weekend at 1,600 screens in 41 territories. A No. 3 Brazil opening generated an estimated $1 million from 168 sites.

Sony’s durable family-oriented title, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” which has been playing the foreign circuit since Sept. 16, drew another $2.6 million on the weekend from 1,350 screens in 20 markets for an overseas cume of $112.5 million.

Also coming in with a $2.6 million weekend from 1,682 situations in 52 markets was director Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney, which has grossed a total of $68.5 million thus far overseas.

Opening No. 1 in Italy was Filmauro’s “Genitori & Figli: Agitare bene prima dell’uso,” director Giovannie Veronesi’s comedy about generational frictions between parents and offspring. Debut stanza at 397 spots produced an estimated $2.2 million, putting it solidly ahead of Warner’s “Invictus” and Fox’s “Avatar,” the market’s respective No. 2 and No. 3 titles.

A local-language newcomer in France was EuropaCorp. Distribution’s “Coursier” (“Motorcycle Courier”), director Herve Renoh’s comedy about a hard-pressed deliveryman and his girlfriend. Opener at 250 screens generated an estimated $1.1 million and a No. 9 ranking. Third in the market in its second round was “Le Mac” (“The Pimp”), a comedy from director Pascal Bourdiaux, which drew an estimated $2.6 million from 465 locations for a France-only cume of $7.5 million.

Other international cumes: Fox’s “My Name Is Khan,” $29 million; Focus Features/Universal’s “A Serious Man,” $19 million; Sony’s “Did You Hear About the Morgans?,” $48.8 million; Fox’s “Hot Summer Days,” $16.3 million; Lionsgate’s “Brothers,” estimated $9.4 million; Universal’s “Couples Retreat,” $61.2 million; Lionsgate’s “The Spy Next Door,” estimated $13.7; Fox’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” $22.8 million; Showbox’s “The Secret Reunion,” estimated $25 million in South Korea only ; Sony’s “Friendship!,” $14.5 million in Germany and Austria only; Lionsgate’s “Daybreakers,” estimated $11.7 million; and Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” $219 million.

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