O’seas B.O. in toon with ‘Incredibles’

Pixar toon dominates overseas auds

“The Incredibles” continued to live up to its name overseas, dominating with $37 million at 4,398 sites in two dozen countries to keep business solid during an otherwise mild session.

The Pixar toon, distribbed by BVI, more than doubled the takings of UIP’s “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” which grossed a still-solid $16.4 million at 3,200 playdates in 33 territories. “The Incredibles” and the “Bridget” sequel became the 22nd and 23rd pics to cross the $100 million mark this year.

“The Incredibles” has cumed $105 million overseas, the sixth BVI pic to top the century mark in overseas grosses this year after “King Arthur” ($149 million), “Brother Bear” ($146 million), “The Village” ($142 million), “Haunted Mansion” ($104 million) and “Finding Nemo” ($100 million). BVI is the only distrib to have managed the distinction previously, having achieved it in 1997.

“The Incredibles” led in every market except Japan, where its debut finished a close second to the third weekend of local animated sensation “Howl’s Moving Castle,” which took in $9.3 million. “The Incredibles” grossed $7.6 million at 700 locations — the second largest opening for a U.S. animated film after “Finding Nemo,” which scored $8.3 million.

“The Incredibles” dominated a quintet of key European markets in its soph sesh, led by $8.2 million in the U.K., off 33% for an 11-day cume of $30 million, and in France with $6.4 million, also down 33%, for a $15 million total. Italo takings stayed solid with $4.6 million, off 20%, for an $11.9 million cume, as did Spanish results with $4.1 million, down 25%, for a $10.6 million total. In Belgium, the second weekend totaled $785,000, off 29%.

Pic also opened in Argentina with $610,000, a record for BVI, and 10 times the takings of the No. 2 pic, “The Forgotten.” Next weekend’s openings include Austria, Germany and Brazil.

Germans love ‘Bridget’

The opening of “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” led in Germany with $4.5 million at 726 playdates, along with No. 1 debuts in German-speaking Switzerland, Brazil, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The Renee Zellweger starrer remains impressive in Blighty with $3.3 million in its fourth sesh at 477 sites. Pic’s 24-day cume is $57.1 million — more than the final cume of “Notting Hill” in the U.K. and $20 million ahead of the sequel’s U.S. cume to date.

Warners reported lukewarm results from “The Polar Express” with $10.7 million at 4,400 screens in 25 markets (foreign cume: $24 million). Key European debuts appeared to be muted by “The Incredibles,” with $1.6 million in the French and Italo markets and $1.1 million in Spain; distrib, however, pointed to this bit of good news: German biz dropped only 6% from its opening to $1.5 million at 775 screens.

Warners also announced “excellent” returns from its Mexican debut of “Alexander” with $1.34 million at 400 playdates and 27% market share. Oliver Stone epic, which has underperformed in the U.S. but hasn’t yet hit key offshore markets, generated $404,000 for Fox in its soph sesh in Taiwan, where cume is $1.7 million.

BVI also found a moderate amount of gold with “National Treasure,” taking $4.7 million at 1,337 sites in seven territories for a $15.5 million offshore cume. Nicolas Cage starrer finished second in Germany to “Bridget Jones” with $2.7 million in its soph sesh, down 39%, for an $8.1 million territory cume.

“Treasure” led in Australia with $1 million, down 37% from its opening, for a $3.1 million total; it also held well in Austria with $300,000.

‘Kranks’ a tough sell

Sony’s “Christmas With the Kranks” found tough sledding in its second weekend with $3.8 million at 1,465 locations, lifting pic’s offshore cume to $5.1 million. Distrib’s aiming for the Tim Allen vehicle to maintain a foothold during the run-up to the holidays.

“Kranks” opened in third in Blighty behind “The Incredibles” and “Bridget Jones” with $1.54 million at 370 sites. As in the U.S., it’s a tricky period for new pics since school holidays won’t start in the U.K. until Dec. 17.

“Kranks” opened with $700,000 in Oz, 10% off the debut for “Elf” at the same point last year, and with $240,000 at 150 sites in Brazil, where school vacations start Friday.

Sony’s “Forgotten” remained mildly memorable with $4.1 million at 1,660 locations, pushing cume to $32 million after a month. Best perf for the Julianne Moore starrer came in the U.K., with $1 million from 302 prints in its second weekend repping a respectable 17% decline from its opening sesh.

“Forgotten” opened with $850,000 at 238 locations in France and a solid $700,000 at 82 Korean sites.

UIP reported sturdy openings for puppet pic “Team America” in Oz with $950,000 at 145 playdates and for “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” in Mexico with $960,000 at 322 engagements.

“Shall We Dance” remained a player with $2.2 million for the weekend to hike overall overseas grosses past $50 million, including $39 million in BVI territories.

German spoof “Seven Dwarfs” finished third in the Teutonic market with $1.4 million at 687 playdates, pushing the 39-day cume to $43.8 million. It’s passed “American Pie 2” to become Universal’s No. 2 grosser in Germany.

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