Fox's sci-fi film nets $29.4 in 30 markets

Twentieth Century Fox’s sci-fi action-adventure “Jumper” dominated the international box office in its day-and-date debut over the Feb. 15-17 frame, grossing $29.4 million from 2,800 playdates in 30 markets.

Directed by Doug Liman, pic scored first-place launches in every territory and a per-location average of better than $10,000.

Sci-fi actioners can’t seem to go wrong overseas these days. Will Smith starrer “I Am Legend,” released in December, has grossed $323.7 million internationally. That brings the film’s worldwide total to $578.4 million, with $254.6 million coming from the North American box office.

“Jumper” teleported into top figures in the U.K. with $6.2 million, followed by South Korea with $4.8 million, Spain with $3.7 million, Australia with $3 million, Russia with $2.7 million and Taiwan with $1.3 million.

Fox Intl. co-prexy Paul Hanneman said “Jumper’s” international launch outperformed internal expectations. He credited a marketing campaign that stressed the pic’s international-themed storyline, which takes the hero to such spots as Cairo, Rome, London and New York.

Bookers in Spain said “Jumper” appealed to that country’s young vidgame crowd.

“The weekend’s takings have been good in general, in part because there was no collision among demographic targets for the top films,” a local distrib in Spain noted.

European blockbuster and French laffer “Asterix at the Olympic Games” had another strong run, coming in No. 2 for the weekend. Pic grossed $15.3 million in its third frame for an impressive cume of $95.6 million.

In Gaul itself, “Asterix” continued to do solid cinema biz as it dipped 35% to top the $5 million mark on home turf, swelling Pathe’s coffers to the tune of $45.3 million.

Coming in third overseas for the Feb. 15-17 weekend was Disney sequel “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” which grossed $15.3 million from 2,869 playdates in 44 markets, led by a first-place French launch of $6.2 million and a second Brit frame of $3.2 million, down 35%.

Weekend’s gross pushed “Secrets” over the $200 million mark at the overseas box office, becoming the 26th Mouse House pic to hit the milestone. Film, with an international cume of $202.3 million, moves into its final market in China on March 17.

Bollywood historical epic “Jodhaa Akbar” made a strong appearance in its launch, grossing $8 million over the Feb. 15-17 weekend. Pic stars Aishwarya Rai and has a running time of 193 minutes.

Coming in at No. 5 internationally was Millennium’s franchise revival “Rambo,” which shot up $7 million in box office sales.

In France, “Rambo” has performed strongly for Metropolitan, which had worried that the franchise might have grown a bit stale for Gallic tastes. Down 38% in its second frame, it has cumed nearly $5.2 million on 453.

Taking the No. 6 spot internationally was Fox’s romantic comedy “27 Dresses,” which charmed its way to $7 million at 1,690 playdates in 21 markets, led by a $2.8 million German launch and a $1.6 million first-place Mexican debut. “Dresses” has totaled $23.5 million early in its foreign run, with most of Europe opening in March.

The frame also saw continued solid offshore takings from Oscar contenders, with Johnny Depp bigscreen musical adapation “Sweeney Todd” coming in No 7. Distribbed overseas by Warners, “Sweeney” sliced up $6.8 million at 2,300 in 48 territories, including a $1.8 million Spanish debut to push Warner’s foreign cume to $70 million, 35% better than the domestic total. German and Italian launches are set for the following weekend.

“I am pretty sure that word of mouth will mobilize auds who are reluctant about musicals,” forecast an upbeat exhib.

Fox Searchlight’s “Juno,” placing No. 8 internationally, banked an additional $6.8 million from 1,111 to lift its foreign take to a pregnant $28.3 million. The quirky comedy has already shown impressive traction, with the Brit soph sesh sliding just 12% to $2.8 million and the second French frame rising 8% to $1.3 million.

Though other awards contenders didn’t make the top-10 chart for the frame, they still saw solid returns.

Par’s moody modern-day Western “No Country for Old Men,” directed by the Coen brothers, hunted down $4 million at 1,396 to cross the $30 million international mark.

And Disney, which is handling Daniel Day-Lewis starrer “There Will Be Blood,” saw $3.4 million at 570 with limited launches in 13 markets, including sixth-place finishes in the U.K. and Brazil. Pic’s international cume is $5 million.

“Blood,” which is benefiting from awards season successes and excellent word of mouth, opens across Ireland Feb. 29. It should play well on the Emerald Isle, the adopted home of Day-Lewis.

Andrew Horn in Germany, Emilio Mayorga in Spain, Nick Vivarelli in Italy and David Hayhurst in France contributed to this report.

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