‘Ice’ showing its age

Spoof draws some heat off 'Meltdown'

“Ice Age: The Meltdown” cooled off significantly but still had the heat to win its fourth consecutive weekend at a surprisingly lively international box office with $23 million at 5,486 playdates in 60 markets.

For the first time, Fox Intl.’s toon sequel didn’t dominate as BVI spoof sequel “Scary Movie 4” took in $18 million at 3,000 sites in 17 markets.

With spring vacations ending in most markets, “Meltdown” saw holdover biz fall sharply from its impressive $60 million Easter frame. Best perf by far came from a solid Italian opening with $6.2 million at 640 engagements — far better than launches in South Korea, with $1.8 million at 234, and in Japan, where pic finished fourth with $1.2 million at 464.

The U.K. saw “Meltdown” slide 52% to $3 million in its third weekend, while in its third frame in Brazil, pic held up well with a 16% decline to $2.2 million. Australia also remained decent with a 35% skid to $2 million, but French biz — which had been robust with $28.8 million in its first dozen days — came back to earth with $1.8 million in the third weekend.

“Meltdown” has jolted the international biz back to health with $317 million in foreign markets in less than four weeks. Worldwide box office is near $485 million — already $103 million better than the final worldwide total for 2002’s “Ice Age” and likely to wind up in the same range as “Madagascar,” which grossed more than $525 million worldwide last year.

Meanwhile, “Scary Movie 4” racked up respectable figures in every market it played, led by a German launch of $5.2 million at 600 playdates and an Italian opening of $3.5 million at 350 — both slightly behind “Scary Movie 3.” Mexican launch was the best in the series with $1.6 million at 400, followed by Austria with $635,000 at 70, New Zealand with $352,000 at 40 and Argentina with $324,000 at 40.

“Scary Movie 4” also held over decently in the U.K., with a 45% decline to $1.6 million at 383, and in Oz, with a 52% decline to $1.1 million at 216. Spoof has cumed $34 million overseas and $102 million worldwide in a reflection of the durability of the “Scary” series, which has now topped $750 million worldwide.

Thanks to “Meltdown” and “Scary Movie 4,” frame saw far better overall biz in foreign markets than a typical sesh in late April, when distribs are laying the final groundwork for May’s onslaught of tentpoles. During the same weekend last year, “The Interpreter” led with $12.6 million, followed by “The Pacifier” with $9 million.

UIP’s “Inside Man” finished a distant but decent third place, remaining a solid counterprogrammer with $8.2 million at 2,850 playdates in 43 markets, led by its French soph sesh with $1.5 million at 338, down 40%, and its second Spanish frame with $1.2 million at 248, off just 26%. Pic’s South Korean launch came in third behind a local comedy and “Meltdown” with $1 million at 120.

“Inside Man” has cumed $65 million overseas, led by $12.2 million in the U.K., and $146 million worldwide. Denzel Washington starrer has 10 markets left, including Japan in June.

Warner’s “V for Vendetta” continued to show moderate traction with $6.8 million from 1,900 prints in 54 markets, led by third-place launches in France with $1.77 million at 336 and in Japan with $1.3 million at 253. “Vendetta” has cumed $43.1 million overseas and $110 million worldwide.

BVI’s “The Wild” stayed mild with $4.5 million at 2,747 playdates in 24 territories, representing about 45% of the foreign markets, to lift two-week international cume to $17.5 million. CG toon, aimed at kids 8 and under, performed best in Spain, with $675,000 at 380, down 56% from its opening.

UIP’s “Failure to Launch” performed moderately with $3.1 million at 1,347 sites in 33 markets, led by a third-place Spanish opening with $1.15 million at 221. BVI’s “Eight Below” drew lukewarm numbers, with $2.3 million at 1,509 engagements in 20 markets amid launches in Australia of $820,00 at 200 and in the U.K. of $780,000 at 422.

The U.K. saw day-and-date launches of “Silent Hill” in second behind “Meltdown” and “American Dreamz,” which came in fourth with $1.3 million at 354 sites — a comparatively better showing than its No. 8 finish in the U.S.

BVI’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” chipped in another $1.5 million, mostly from its eighth weekend in Japan, to raise foreign total to $447.5 million and worldwide cume to $739.3 million.

UIP’s “Nanny McPhee” took in $1.2 million at 1,050 playdates to push foreign take to $71.2 million. And Fox’s “The Sentinel” grossed a decent $571,000 at 167 from day-and-date launches in Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.

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