Prehistoric pic edges out 'Horton'

The cavemen of “10,000 BC” hunted down the top spot at the international box office during a robust Easter weekend with $28.2 million at 7,400 playdates in 62 markets.

Pic edged out “Horton Hears a Who’s” $25.2 million at 6,600.

An impressive $5.6 million Chinese launch — including 537 digital screens and 463 conventional locations — lifted “10,000 BC” into first place. Warner Bros. said the debut represented the largest digital release outside the United States and the widest opening in China.

The frame, bracketed by spring vacations in many markets, also saw a strong holdover perf of $17.6 million at about 970 from French hit “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” and a respectable expansion for “The Spiderwick Chronicles” with $15.6 million at 3,642. “Ch’tis” remains a powerful draw in France, Belgium and Switzerland with grosses nearing $140 million after a month.

And in Mexico, immigrant drama “La Misma luna” launched impressively with $1.7 million at 350 for the biggest launch of a local pic this year — mirroring its solid debut in U.S. theaters with $3.3 million since Wednesday.

Action fans gave “10,000 BC” decent holdover biz with a 47% decline in the U.K. to $2.1 million in its soph sesh and a 55% slide in Russia to $1.8 million. Spanish biz held well with a 14% dip to $1.8 million in its third frame as did Latin American markets with a 36% decline.

It was the second straight weekend win on the foreign front for “10,000 BC,” which has now cumed $118 million overseas — $42 million more than the U.S. total. Pic should remain a major international player throughout the spring break period and may show enough traction to hit the $200 million mark.

“Horton” won its launch frame in the U.K. with $6.1 million (including $2.2 million in previews) over launches for “Spiderwick” and “Step Up 2 the Streets.” The German soph sesh declined only 9% to $2.9 million while the Spanish frame rose an impressive 38% to $2.6 million. And in Australia, the toon edged out “Step Up” with $2.5 million for the top slot.

Fox execs believe “Horton,” with $50 million in offshore coin, is showing signs of holding well throughout the spring vacations in foreign markets. The international family demo has strongly supported recent animated fare such as “Shrek the Third,” “Ratatouille” and “Bee Movie.”

“Spiderwick,” also aimed at families, conjured up its top figures in the U.K. with $5.4 million (including $1.2 million in previews) and in its Spanish soph sesh with a 13% hike to $1.3 million. Launches were quieter in Germany and Italy with $1.1 million each.

The “Step Up” sequel showed excellent foreign traction with $8 million at only 594 — better than $13,500 per location — in four Universal territories, led by $4.9 million in the U.K. and $2.4 million in Oz. With Summit territories, “Step Up 2 the Streets” took in $11 million at 1,864 in 23 markets for a $34.6 million foreign cume.

Sony’s “Vantage Point” saw $8 million at 2,825 in 38 markets, led by a moderate $1.8 million French launch. The political thriller’s foreign total has topped $52 million, in line with studio expectations.

In Germany, the second frame of local drama “Die Welle” (The Wave) — which asks whether Germany could again fall under a dictatorship — performed well with more than $3 million, topping “Horton.” Fox’s “Juno” launched solidly in third with $2.3 million at 350, lifting the comedy’s foreign cume to nearly $53 million.

Oscar winner “No Country for Old Men” took in $3.3 million at 1,358 to push the international total to $74 million — just $1.4 million short of the foreign cume for “Atonement,” which has the highest offshore gross of the five best picture nominees.

Four other pics topped $3 million — U’s “The Other Boleyn Girl” with $4.2 million at 1,153 for a $19.7 million foreign cume; Fox’s “Meet the Spartans” with $3.4 million at 1,200 for a $25 million total; Fox’s “27 Dresses” with $3.3 million at 1,400 for $49.4 million offshore; and Disney’s “Enchanted” with $3 million at 531 in its second Japanese frame, good enough for first place and a $195.5 million foreign cume.

Disney’s Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert film warbled its way to $1 million at 110 3D locations — about half of that from its Oz launch from only 19 screens.

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