‘Ratatouille’ still hot

Toon tops scare fare for 5th o'seas win

“Ratatouille” continued to feast at the international box office, cooking up its fifth straight weekend victory with $14.5 million at 4,381 playdates in 29 markets.

The frame also saw franchise scare fare remain healthy outside the U.S., with “Resident Evil: Extinction” taking in $10.7 million and “Saw IV” grabbing $8.2 million.

And initial limited foreign debuts of “Bee Movie” and “American Gangster” performed well, with “Bee Movie” flying to $3.2 million at 492 in Russia and the Ukraine while “Gangster” shot up $150,000 at 23 in Bulgaria and the Baltics.

But “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” didn’t conquer the offshore box office, finishing in a tie for first in the U.K. at $2.9 million with the third frame of “Ratatouille” in what’s probably the prime foreign market for the sequel. For the weekend, “The Golden Age” took in respectable rather than blockbuster biz with $4.8 million at 600 in half a dozen territories.

“Ratatouille” took in its top figures from its fifth German frame with $3.7 million — tying the launch of “The Heartbreak Kid” for a close second to the soph sesh of local comedy “Lisi” — and its third Italian weekend with $3.6 million. Along with the U.K. and Italy, it won in China, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

“Ratatouille” has cumed $371.8 million overseas and $577 million worldwide in a performance that’s exceeded expectations — particularly in international markets given that the property carried little initial recognition.

Fifth straight victory at the foreign box office was the first for a film since “Night at the Museum” at the start of 2007.

“Resident Evil: Extinction” scored with solid launches in Japan with $5.1 million and in Spain with $3.4 million to lift international cume to nearly $71 million. That’s in line with expectations as the second outing in the zombie franchise, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” cumed $78 million overseas.

“Saw IV” performed best in Spain, with $1.3 million in its second frame, and lifted its cume to $22 million from 22 markets. The four “Saw” pics have performed decently overseas, combining for more than $213 million outside the U.S.

Paramount’s pair of autumn entries, “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Stardust,” continued to show significantly more traction in foreign markets than domestically. “The Heartbreak Kid” grossed $7.5 million at 1,591 in 20 markets, with half of that coming from its German launch, pushing international cume to $30.3 million at the halfway point of its run — only $5 million short of the U.S. total. “Stardust” conjured up $7.3 million at 2,436, led by $2.7 million in its third U.K. frame. The fantasy’s cumed $73.2 million, or nearly double the domestic total.

Sony’s “Surf’s Up” landed another $5.9 million at 1,980, mostly via $3.6 million in its French soph sesh. Although the toon disappointed domestically with $58 million, foreign cume’s now surpassed $72 million in a demonstration of the international appetite for most animated fare.

Universal’s “The Kingdom” remained a moderate performer with $5.5 million at 1,696 in 32 markets, led by a $2.1 million launch in France. Foreign cume for the Mideast actioner is a modest $26 million.

“The Bourne Ultimatum” continued its successful international run with $5.3 million at 931, mostly from its $4.4 million Italian opening. “Ultimatum” has cumed $191 million overseas — nearly matching the combined international grosses of the two previous “Bourne” pics.

The raunchy comedy hits “Superbad” and “Knocked Up” stayed mostly moderate overseas. “Superbad” took in $3.5 million at 1,485 to lift its foreign cume to $40 million; “Knocked Up” knocked down $1.8 million at 690 to hit $68.6 million internationally.

Next frame should represent a major foreign test for pics with Mideast themes as well as Tom Cruise as Fox goes day-and-date with MGM-UA’s “Lions for Lambs” in most major markets, including the U.K., Germany, Spain, Mexico, Russia and South Korea.

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