Comedy sees big business in the U.K.
While James Bond continues to dominate the international box office, the Coen brothers are also reaping some solace from the solid overseas perf of “Burn After Reading.”Pic is showing long legs with $67.5 million to date in foreign territories. Dark comedy is now nearing the international performance for the Coens’ previous outing, “No Country for Old Men.” Over the Nov. 14-16 weekend, “Burn” grossed $2.5 million from 1,367 playdates in its ninth week in release. Toplining Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, pic has seen its biggest biz in the U.K. with $11.9 million. The U.K. is one of a handful of hotspots for Coen fare; the others are Spain, Germany, France and Australia. Moody Western “No Country” cumed $86.7 million at the international box office and $74.3 million domestically for a worldwide total of $161 million. “Burn After Reading’s” worldwide total to date is $127.4 million. Pic has yet to open in France. If there’s one title truly burning up the foreign box office, however, it’s “Quantum of Solace,” which grossed $54.9 million from 10,465 playdates for a whopping cume of $50.7 million in only its third weekend. Sony and MGM decided to open “Solace” overseas ahead of its Nov. 14 domestic bow — a move that certainly paid off. Through Nov. 16, Bond’s worldwide cume was $318.2 million. “Quantum” held top spots in major territories Germany, France and the U.K. In Italy, Agent 007 was nudged out of first place by “La Fidanzata di Papa” (Father’s Girlfriend). In Spain — where the Bond pic has yet to open — auds had to make do with fare including horror sequel “Saw V.” “Solace” dipped only 44% in the U.K. in its third weekend to $7.8 million at 549 screens for a running cume of $60.5 million. Among openers in the U.K., the hit of the weekend was Bollywood film “Dostana,” from Yash Rau. Film starring Abhishek Bachchan grossed $513,118 from 43 for a boffo per-location average of $11,928. “Solace” declined 45% in Spain to a boffo $8.1 million. Movie has become the “must see” film, according to one local exhib. Bond pic slipped a bit more in Italy, dropping 51% in its second frame to $1.9 million from 456 runs for a running cume of $7 million. Italian auds and critics agreed over Clint Eastwood’s Angelina Jolie starrer “Changeling,” which grossed $1.6 million from 299 runs for a respectable $5,402 per-location average.More than one option(Tv) Changeling (Film) The Changeling “Changeling” got off to a slow start in France — where Eastwood is something of a national hero — but made up for it. In its first five days, pic earned $2.8 million from 417. After “Quantum,” Disney sensation “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” came in No. 2 overall overseas, declining 41% to $8.6 million from 4,642 runs in its fourth week for a foreign cume of $123 million. Worldwide total through Nov. 16 was a weighty $207.2 million. “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” was No. 3, grossing $6.3 million from 990 playdates for a cume of $48.2 million. Sequel is still early in its run. Worldwide total through Nov. 16 was $165.1 million. “Saw V” opened at No. 5 on the international box office chart, grossing $4.4 million from 699 runs. Horror pic had its biggest payday in Spain, where it was distributed by BVI. Film outshone exhibitors’ expectations and shrugged off poor reviews to easily outdo the competition, grossing $2.8 million from 300 for a boffo screen average of $9,472. (Michael Day in Milan, David Hayhurst in Paris, Emilio Mayorga in Madrid, Dave McNary in Hollywood and Ed Meza in Berlin contributed to this report.)