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‘Geisha,’ cowboys draw o’seas

BVI's 'Narnia' has cumed $342.6 million offshore

Showing solid staying power, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” won its fifth straight weekend at the international box office with $13.3 million at 7,067 playdates in 48 markets.

BVI’s “Narnia” has cumed $342.6 million offshore, making it the 30th biggest international grosser of all time.

Unlike the previous four weekends, in which “King Kong” came in second, “Memoirs of a Geisha” drew the No. 2 slot with an impressive $10.6 million at only 1,550 engagements as the drama expanded from 10 to 22 territories.

And “Brokeback Mountain” continued to benefit from awards buzz, rustling up $1.5 million at 152 in Spain to finish second to “Geisha,” and leading in Taiwan with $638,000 at 95. In its third U.K. frame, “Mountain” was neck-and-neck for second with “Geisha” with $1.95 million at 275, lifting that market’s cume to $8.55 million.

“Narnia” saw its best numbers in its fifth French frame with $1.8 million at 820, in its seventh Brit weekend with $1.7 million at 467 and in its fourth Australian run with $1.1 million at 286. British cume has topped $73 million, while French grosses are at $31.6 million.

Underlining the power of family-friendly films, worldwide “Narnia” gross is nearing $614 million, placing it 27th on the all-time list. With an opening next weekend in Hong Kong plus March launches in Japan and China, “Narnia” still has plenty of gas in its box office tank.

“Geisha,” which has turned in a moderate performance Stateside with $51 million, led in its Spanish launch with $2.5 million at 208 and in Australia with $2 million at 198, in Singapore with $550,000 at 36 and in Malaysia with $255,000 at 33. It finished second to “Fun With Dick and Jane” in its U.K. soph sesh with $1.9 million at 241 — a 6% decline — and second to “Prime” in Germany with $1.3 million at 206.

Spyglass, which owns foreign “Geisha” rights and is licensing distribution through a variety of shingles, reported foreign cume as $34.5 million, including $12 million from its six-week Japanese run. Partner Gary Barber told Daily Variety the pic is well-positioned for a gradual foreign expansion over the next five frames and expressed confidence the offshore total will easily top domestic.

Overall biz for the weekend appeared comparable with the same frame of 2005, when “Ocean’s Twelve” led with $14.4 million followed by “Closer” with $12.9 million.

Sony’s “Fun With Dick and Jane” edged “King Kong” for the third spot with $8.6 million at 2,165 playdates in 31 markets, led by a U.K. opening of $3.5 million at 430 and a Mexican soph sesh of $1.3 million. “Fun” also led in Brazil with a launch of $830,000 at 180 and in New Zealand with $240,000 at 51. Foreign cume has hit $28.7 million and worldwide take has crossed $130 million.

In its sixth outing, UIP’s “King Kong” grabbed $8.5 million at 5,055 engagements in 54 markets to raised its foreign take to $310 million and worldwide gross to $520 million. Best figure came from the U.K., with $1.2 million at 340; Blighty cume is $50.7 million.

UIP’s “Jarhead” took fifth place with $5.5 million at 2,172 sites in 34 territories, led by $2 million at 390 in its second frame in the U.K. And Warner’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” conjured up $4.1 million at 3,600 screens in 56 markets to lift its foreign cume to $589.5 million and its worldwide total to $874 million.

UIP’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ “ saw decent launches in the U.K., with $1.5 million at 250, and in Australia, with $700,000 at 115; its German soph sesh slid 50% to $700,000.

Sony saw respectable returns from its day-and-date launch of “Underworld: Evolution” in Australia with $1.5 million at 158, or $9,600 per screen.

BVI’s durable “Chicken Little” chipped in $2 million at 2,102 sites to lift foreign cume to $117.7 million, while UIP’s “Nanny McPhee” grossed $1.6 million at 400 to raise foreign take to $33.4 million.

Fox’s “The Family Stone” added $1.5 million at 631 to hit $25.8 million, and UIP’s “Pride & Prejudice” grossed $1.4 million at 600 to reach $50 million internationally.

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