Pixar pic's foreign cume at $318.5 million

The post-holiday foreign box office generated solid but not spectacular business as 2005 launched with respectable perfs from “The Incredibles,” “Meet the Fockers,” “National Treasure,” “The Aviator,” “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” “Kung Fu Hustle” and “Alexander.”

“The Incredibles” remained potent overseas with $17 million at 6,981 playdates in 58 territories, pushing its foreign cume to $318.5 million. As in the past few frames, the Disney/Pixar toon and Warner’s “Ocean’s Twelve” were expected to compete for weekend honors; figures for “Ocean’s” weren’t available Sunday.

Still, the final numbers will be a far cry from the same frame of 2004, when the fourth session of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” grossed $35.3 million in 51 territories, followed closely by “The Last Samurai” with $32.3 million in 13 markets.

“The Incredibles” continued to live up to its name, becoming the fourth animated pic to generate over $300 million in overseas grosses as it joined “Finding Nemo,” “The Lion King” and “Shrek 2.” “Incredibles” is also the fifth BVI title to go past $300 million foreign along with “Nemo,” “The Lion King,” “Armageddon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.”

The Disney/Pixar CGI toon showed strong legs in Australia with $2.3 million, down 34% in its third weekend; in Germany with $2 million, off 3% in its fifth weekend; and in the U.K. with $2 million, down 18% in its ninth weekend. Respective cumes are $14 million in Oz, $22.1 million in Germany and $57.5 million in the U.K., besting the take from “Monsters Inc.”

“The Incredibles” also showed staying power in Spain in its seventh weekend with $900,000 to lift the cume to $24.5 million. The fourth Mexican frame took in $1 million to push the total to $13.5 million.

‘Treasure’ respectable draw

“National Treasure” continued to rack up respectable return with $14.2 million at 3,900 screens in 34 countries, lifting its total overseas to $103.2 million. The actioner became the 41st BVI title to cross the $100 million mark in foreign grosses since the imprint was launched a dozen years ago; it’s also the ninth pic produced by Jerry Bruckheimer to achieve that distinction.

“Treasure” took in $2.1 million in Blighty, off 9% from the soph sesh, for an $11.2 million cume in that market. Mexican takings totaled $1.5 million for a 10-day cume of $4.6 million. It opened with $1.5 million in Russia and with $875,000 in Belgium to lead the latter market.

In its first wide foreign foray, “The Aviator” took in $2.3 million at 300 U.K. playdates following a two-week platform that had brought in $700,000. Given its three-hour running time, the weekend perf compared favorably with launches for “The English Patient” with $1.9 million and “Casino” with $1.7 million.

“White Noise” led the U.K. market with $2.7 million but was viewed by rivals as likely follow the pattern of other horror pics and fall off noticeably in coming weeks.

“Alexander” continued its overseas campaign with better perfs than Stateside, posting a decent opening in Spain in first place with $5.4 million at 420 playdates in its first five days following its Wednesday launch. Its U.K. opening wasn’t as lofty with $1.9 million for the weekend, leaving the Oliver Stone epic in fourth behind “White Noise,” “National Treasure” and “The Incredibles.”

‘Ray’ solid in Germany

“Ray” made its first foreign foray with $890,000 at 106 German playdates for a solid $8,396 per-screen, leaving it 28% ahead of last year’s debut of “Lost in Translation” in the Teuton market. “Ray” will launch next frame in Austria, followed by the U.K. and Italy on Jan. 21 and Japan on Jan. 29.

“Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason” remained a respectable draw overseas with $7 million at 1,973 playdates in 25 territories as its opening led in Italy with $4.3 million at 376 sites, 107% ahead of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” in U.S. dollars and 30% ahead in euros. Sequel’s foreign cume has hit $188 million with $66.7 million in Blighty.

Domestic comedy hit “Meet the Fockers” met with solid foreign perfs with $5.1 million at 578 engagements. Its soph sesh of $3 million at 259 led in Oz, down 29%, and its Mexican debut was No. 1 with $1.85 million at 272, 68% ahead of “Meet the Parents.”

Chinese-language action-comedy “Kung Fu Hustle” remained a potent player in eight Asian markets with $5.5 million at 1,092 sites for a $47 million cume. It took in $1.9 million in its third weekend in Japan plus a $260,000 opening at 30 playdates in the Philippines.

Sony Classics will launch “Kung Fu Hustle” domestically in March.

‘Snicket’ sees moderate response

“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” continued to post moderate returns with $4.5 million, lifting the offshore cume to $42 million. It finished sixth in its fourth weekend in the U.K. with $1.78 million, pushing that market’s total to $22.75 million.

“SpongeBob SquarePants” took in $3.8 million offshore, opening in Oz with $1.25 million at 240 playdates, 33% ahead of “Rugrats;” New Zealand’s launch took in $440,000 at 63, double the “Rugrats” debut. German moviegoers kicked in $1.1 million for a cume of $6.4 million.

Family comedy “Racing Stripes,” opening offshore a week ahead of its Stateside debut, racked up a solid start with $1.1 million at 227 in Australia’s four-day weekend, comparable to last year’s opening of “Scooby-Doo 2.”

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