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Hot ‘Chocolate’ still a B.O. factory o’seas

'Charlie' remains sweet with international auds

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” staying tasty in overseas markets, dominated a moderate weekend at the foreign box office with $13.7 million from nearly 4,000 prints in 55 markets.

Warner’s family fantasy took in more than double the B.O. of its nearest rival — BVI’s third weekend of “Cinderella Man” with $6.2 million — and lifted its offshore cume to a shade short of $200 million. Worldwide grosses for “Charlie,” which has now won five weekends at the foreign box office, have hit $403 million.

The Tim Burton-Johnny Depp vehicle performed best in Japan, where its third frame increased 12% from the soph sesh to $4.1 million to push that territory’s total to $20.5 million. “Charlie” opened respectably in Italy with $2.8 million at 402 playdates and outperformed “Shrek” by 95%.

Holdover biz elsewhere was impressive for “Charlie” as the Korean soph sesh edged down just 6% to $1.5 million while Australia’s fourth frame declined 36% to $1.2 million and Norway’s second weekend fell 22% to $984,000. It also launched first in Denmark with $333,000 at 64, on par with “Stuart Little.”

“Cinderella Man” continued to fall short of delivering knockout punches as its foreign cume reached $27 million — $1 million short of the final cume for “Seabiscuit” — from 32 territories. BVI’s hoping the offshore total can come close to the $61 million domestic take.

Top “Cinderella Man” performances came from the Italian soph sesh with $525,000, off 39%; the third Brit frame with $465,000, down 38%; and the third Spanish weekend with $435,000, falling 40%. Belgium opened with $253,000 at 35 engagements, similar to launches for “Million Dollar Baby” and “A Beautiful Mind.”

A limited “Cinderella” launch in Australia, home turf for star Russell Crowe, showed some power with $83,000 at eight sites amid the start of school vacations. The Oz release will go wide next weekend, with openings down the road for Greece, Latin America, New Zealand and South Africa.

Overall biz for the late September frame was similar to the same weekend last year as the top two pics took in about $20 million. During the 2004 frame, “The Village” led with $14 million and “The Terminal” took in $8.3 million.

“Pride and Prejudice” and “Wallace and Gromit” — a pair of UIP pics that have launched overseas before U.S. openings — continued to post solid results in their soph seshes. “Pride” easily won the Blighty box office race with $3.5 million and a 27% share, lifting the Brit cume to $11.7 million; “Wallace and Gromit” grossed $1.17 million at 249 locations in Australia, off only 20% for a $3.67 million cume — 53% ahead of “Chicken Run,” also from Aardman Animation.

“Pride” also launched in the Netherlands with $270,000 at 50, on par with “Shakespeare in Love.”

Sony’s “Bewitched” took in $3.7 million at 2,200 screens in 38 markets, with its launch flying to first in France with $2.1 million at 490 engagements. Foreign cume is near $51 million and needs $11 million more to top the Stateside total with openings in Italy and Brazil still to come.

Fox’s “Fantastic Four,” which has played out in most major markets, took in $2.2 million at 549 playdates in its second frame in Italy, down 53%, and $1.3 million at from its soph sesh in Japan. “Four” has cumed about $165 million offshore.

UIP’s “Red Eye” scared up $3.7 million at 2,057 sites in 37 markets as pic launched in Spain with a moderate $850,000 at 215 and in the Netherlands with $400,000 at 59. Distrib’s “Land of the Dead” generated $2 million at 900 in 25 territories.

Family fave “Madagascar” padded its impressive take with $3.1 million at 1,834 sites — about half from its fourth frame in Italy, where the cume has topped $24 million. Foreign total for the toon has hit nearly $321 million.

UIP’s Korean romancer “April Snow” continued to perform well in Japan with $1.6 million at 319 for a nine-day cume of $10 million. Distrib’s “40-Year-Old Virgin” launched in its second offshore market with $300,000 at 81 in Brazil to go along with $10.9 million in the U.K. after four weeks.

Sony’s “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” launched in first in Australia with $1.38 million at 226 sites for an $11.2 million offshore cume. And BVI opened “Flightplan” day-and-date with the domestic release in Malaysia with $175,000 at 30 playdates, 35% better than “Panic Room.”

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