'Prince Caspian' opens above predictions

“Iron Man” stayed golden in its third frame at the foreign box office with $25.6 million at more than 5,000 playdates, while “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” debuted powerfully with $20.7 million at 2,000 in a dozen markets.

As “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” waits in the wings, international multiplexes also saw solid overall biz from “What Happens in Vegas,” which continued to grab counterprogramming coin with $20 million at 4,200, declining only 20% in its soph sesh. But “Speed Racer” remained an underperfomer, falling 44% from its subpar launch to $7 million at 4,700.

With three films topping $20 million, the overseas market appears primed to see “Crystal Skull” deliver monstrous offshore grosses this weekend — possibly even challenging the $251 million launch record set a year ago by “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

The success of “Iron Man” — handled by Par in most overseas territories — has already underlined the appetite for mega-franchise action fare in foreign markets. It’s become the year’s top Hollywood title with $206 million internationally and $428 million worldwide.

“Iron Man” posted impressive holdover biz with a decline of only 34% from its second frame. In the U.K., cooler temps helped as grosses slipped just 5% to $3.7 million, lifting the Brit cume past $25 million. Australian biz also held well, off 30% to $2.2 million, while South Korea declined 56% to $2 million for a $21.9 million cume.

Disney’s “Prince Caspian,” which won’t move into many markets until June, showed solid traction as it launched 33% above comparable markets for predecessor “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which wound up with an impressive $453 million offshore. “Prince Caspian” also delivered well compared with “Iron Man,” topping those launches by 14% in the same markets.

“Prince Caspian” posted its biggest grosses in Mexico with $7.5 million, 36% above the original, and in the booming Russian market with $5.6 million, 53% higher. South Korea matched the original with $3.5 million, while India jumped 57% to $935,000 and Malaysia rose 18% to $924,000.

Fox’s second frame of “What Happens in Vegas” showed impressive legs as U.K. grosses rose 22% to $3 million, German biz bounced up 36% to $2.6 million and Spanish biz declined 33% to $2.3 million while staying in first place.

Foreign cume for “What Happens in Vegas” has hit an impressive $55.1 million, led by $7 million in the U.K., $6.7 million in Spain and $6.6 million in Russia. International grosses are already $15 million ahead of domestic.

Warner Bros.’ “Speed Racer” led the rest of the pack, finishing a distant fourth with Brazil and Mexico the only markets to crack $1 million. The tentpole’s foreign cume has hit $24.4 million, led by $4.3 million in South Korea and $4.1 million in Mexico.

Sony’s romantic comedy “Made of Honor” charmed its way to $5.7 million at 2,085 in 25 markets, led by a $1.5 million German launch and a $1 million Brazilian opening. Its gambling thriller “21” remained a player with $3.8 million at 1,415 to lift the foreign cume to $46 million.

Universal’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” took in $1.5 million at 694 as its third Brit frame rose 7% to $1.1 million. “Sarah” has cumed $21.8 million from 10 markets.

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