Overseas audiences hear ‘Horton’

'Who' edges out '10,000 BC'

“Horton Hears a Who” heard the jangling of the most overseas coin over the weekend, topping a moderate frame with $13.2 million at 5,743 playdates in 52 markets and edging “10,000 BC.”

The weekend win lifted the toon’s foreign cume to $77 million, with “Horton” midway through its international run. Dr. Seuss’ big-hearted pachyderm — a new character to most foreign markets — has shown solid holdover traction, underlining the generally strong appeal of animated fare in offshore markets.

Fox’s “Horton” scored its best numbers in its Brit soph sesh with $2 million, its third German frame with $1.6 million and its second Australian weekend with $1.4 million, where it finished first. Major markets still to open include France next weekend, Italy on April 18, South Korea on May 1 and Japan on July 12.

Caveman adventure “10,000 BC” came in a close second with $12 million at 6,500 in 62 markets — all via holdovers — to lift the foreign cume to $142.5 million, or 63% of its $227 million worldwide total when combined with domestic. “10,000 BC” took a 55% drop from Easter weekend, when it won the frame, in an indication that the actioner’s starting to run out of steam.

French megahit “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” remained a powerful player in France, Belgium and Switzerland, with rivals estimating $10 million at less than 1,000 locations. DanyBoon comedy has now cumed $150 million in five weeks in a perf that demonstrates the strong appeal of homegrown comedies in France.

Overall biz declined from the Easter frame as distribs mostly held back on new releases. Sony, for example, opted to hold off launching domestic winner “21” into international markets until the April 11-13 frame.

Despite the success of local pics and the relatively mild weekend, the first quarter is ending with foreign box office revenue for Hollywood’s Big Six studios about 2% ahead so far this year. Key drivers include a trio of holiday releases that took in most of their coin this year — Warner’s “I Am Legend,” which has topped $327 million overseas;  Disney’s “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” which has hit $234 million offshore and the Mouse House’s “Enchanted” with $202 million internationally.

Other solid 2008 performers besides “10,000 BC” include a pair of Fox releases: “Alvin and the Chipmunks” with $139 million and “Jumper” with $118 million, including a weekend take of $5.3 million at 1,886 that included first-place launches in Mexico and Brazil.

Par’s “The Spiderwick Chronicles” continued to tap into the family demo with $8.1 million at 3,446 in 52 markets, lifting the foreign cume to $48 million for a worldwide total of $107 million. “Spiderwick” held decently in its Brit soph sesh with $2.6 million, off 32%.

“Step Up 2 to the Streets” danced its way to $7 million at 1,749 in 27 markets, handled by U and Summit, with the international coin totaling a respectable $51.7 million. The second U.K. frame of “Step” came in second with $2.7 million, off 42%.

“27 Dresses” continued to generate decent takes with $6.1 million at 2,481, including a $3.7 million Brit launch. The Katherine Heigl comedy has tallied nearly $50 million from only 21 foreign markets, trailing the domestic total by $26 million.

A trio of pics topped $4 million: Sony’s “Vantage Point” also remained a respectable draw with $4.9 million at 2,305 in 47 territories for an offshore cume of $61 million; Disney kidpic “The Game Plan” scored $4.8 million at 1,153 — half from its opening in Germany, where Dwayne Johnson tubthumped extensively; and Fox’s “Meet the Spartans” spoofed its way to $4.7 million at 918, mostly via a first-place Spanish launch.

Par’s best picture Oscar winner “No Country for Old Men” continued to pull in foreign coin with $2 million at 1,141 to lift its international total to $78 million — $4 million better than its Stateside cume. Fox’s “Juno” also stayed a player with $2.8 million, pushing the foreign total to $58.7 million.

Fox saw “La Misma Luna” stay strong in its second Mexican frame with a second-place $1.2 million and a $3.8 million cume. The immigrant drama’s also totaled $6.7 million in its U.S. release.

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