'Disco' comes top in France
LONDON — A moderate frame at the European box office saw holdovers top the charts in four of the big five territories. France proved the exception to the rule as local laffer “Disco” danced past local megahit “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” into the top slot.Even after six frames, it still takes a mighty hit to knock “Ch’tis” off its pedestal in Gaul. Helmer Fabien Onteniente’s mega-hyped “Saturday Night Fever” spoof “Disco” delivered the killer blow, talking $8.5 million on 824 for StudioCanal in its first five days. Reuniting Onteniente and top local comic Franck Dubosc for the first time since 2006 hit “Camping,” “Disco” features Dubosc as a delusional schlub with big dreams of winning a local dance contest. Down 40% in its sixth frame, “Ch’tis” has now cumed a record-breaking-and-then-some $162 million for Pathe. That’s over 17.4 million viewers in Gaul — and counting. The also-rans among the bigger new releases didn’t fair badly in their first five days, all things considered. “Horton Hears a Who!” managed $3.3 million on 708 for Fox. “The Other Boleyn Girl” earned Wild Bunch more than $1.2 million on 177. Italian animated fairy and pixie caper “Winx Club” cumed over $1.1 million on 367 for Quinta. In Blighty, Katherine Heigl starrer “27 Dresses” took top spot in its soph sesh, despite dipping 42%. The Fox release banked $2 million at 434 locations to move its cume to $7.8 million, according to Rentrak. Local opener “Son of Rambow” landed second with $1.8 million at 308 via Optimum. Some bookers had expected “Rambow” to open top but the bow is certainly no disaster. Garth Jennings’ nostalgic Brit comedy posted the best location average ($5,755) of any pic in the top 15. Pugilism-and-perspiration epic “Never Back Down” (Momentum) opened boldly, scoring $1.7 million at 326 — good enough for fourth. As predicted by exhibs, J-horror remake “One Missed Call” (WB) made little impact on its bow, taking $854,235 at 254. Thriller “Awake” (Icon), starring Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba and Terence Howard, fared a little better — $1.1 million at 281. Best of the holdovers was Universal’s dance pic “Step Up 2 the Streets,” which has captured the imagination of Brit teen auds. Pic slipped 36% in its third frame for a boisterous running cume of $14.9 million. The family skewed “The Spiderwick Chronicles” (Paramount) and “Horton” (Fox) dipped 37% and 40% in their third frames for cumes of $14.7 million and $12.9 million, respectively. In Italy, local openers failed to fly where “The Kite Runner” held on to the top spot in its second frame and “Juno” bowed so-so. Marc Forster’s Afghanistan-set epic dropped a mere 18% following its boffo Italo launch last week to reap $2.5 million from 371 via Filmauro for a $7 million running cume. Lee Tamahori sci-fier “Next” unexpectedly took the second spot, proving a draw with the multiplex crowd despite critical drubbings, thanks to the lure of stars Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore. The Philip K. Dick adaptation pulled a palatable $1.8 million for Medusa. Italo holdover “Tutta la vita davanti” (Your Whole Life Ahead of You) is showing lively legs. The Paolo Virzi-helmed comedy, set in a call center, dropped just 13% in its second frame for $1.3 million from 352 for a $3.5 million take to date, also via Medusa. But Luca Lucini’s local romancer “Amore, bugie, e calcetto” (Love, Lies and Foosball) didn’t score a big bow, with $950,000 from 313 — a $3,000 per-screen average — via Warner Bros in a frame crowded with teen-targeted product. “Juno” bowed a bit better with $553,000 from 239 — a $3,600 per screen average — via Fox. Teen pregnancy pic is now expected to build on word of mouth in Italy. Italo comedy “Non Pensarci” (Don’t Think About It) suffered from the sunny frame’s saturation with similar titles, opening at a modest $565,000 from 222 via 01 Distribuzione. Jessica Alba horror pic “The Eye” also saw a modest bow with $489,000 from 177 via Mediafilm. With no major openers, the German box office suffered its weakest weekend to date this year. Constantin Film’s hit local drama “The Wave” was back at number one in its fourth week, pulling in $1.8 million on its way to a $14.8 million cume. Pic faced sparse competition. Disney’s “Game Plan” climbed to the number two spot with $1.5 million for a total of $4 million. Sci-fi actioner “Jumper” fell 48% to $1.3 million in its soph sesh, landing it in third, followed by Fox’s sleeper hit “Juno,” which continued its modest but steady run, dropping only 20% in its fourth frame to $1.2 million for a total of $6.5 million. Rounding out the top five was Fox’s “Horton,” which garnered just over $1 million for a $12.1 million cume. Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield’s German-U.K. co-production “Earth” took in $1 million via Universum/Disney and surpassed the three million admission mark for a total $30 million cume, making it the most successful film of the year so far. The only new openers of the week were Universal’s thriller “Untraceable,” with $856,054 from 248, and Senator’s Berlinale screener “Be Kind Rewind,” which took in $454,143 from 118. In Spain, total box office slipped to $9.4 million, down from $12.9 million the previous weekend and from $14.4 million two weeks prior. Flat weekend was down to steep drops and no strong openers. “We have to go back to some months ago to find similarly bad results,” said a booker. “The reason is maybe a combination of factors, such as splendid weather and a couple of televised soccer matches,” pointed out another booker. “But none of these elements can explain these skimpy takings satisfactorily,” added the first. “Meet the Spartans” held top position even with a 50% drop in its soph sesh. “Spartans” bagged $1.5 million, establishing the best copy average of the frame — $5,407. DeAPlaneta’s opener, “Death Defying Acts,” placed second, taking $1.3 million. Holdover “The Game Plan” placed third, taking $1.3 million, a drop of 32%. UPI’s “Untraceable” managed $736,694, placing fourth, and a second thriller, Filmax’s “The Contract,” took $444,539. Notro’s creature feature, “Rogue,” didn’t take a big bite, with only $165,575. Additional reporting by Ed Meza (Germany), Emilio Mayorga (Spain), Nick Vivarelli (Italy) and David Hayhurst (France).