Bond pic remains on top of foreign box office

James Bond stayed dominant at the international box office for the fourth consecutive weekend as “Quantum of Solace” gunned down $40.6 million at 10,400 playdates in 72 markets.

Domestic sensation “Twilight” showed plenty of life in a limited foreign launch with $8.1 million at 1,282 for a solid $6,311 per-location average. Summit’s vampire romancer opened in a quintet of markets, led by $4.35 million in Italy — 10% above the “Solace” launch two weeks ago — and $2.65 million in Mexico.

Meanwhile, an expanded “Body of Lies” continued to generate moderate foreign returns with $10 million at 2,900 for a $3,450 per-location average in 34 markets for a $32.1 million international cume. The actioner’s U.K. launch led with $1.4 million — only a third of what “Solace” commanded in its fourth frame — and its $1.3 million German opening was similarly dwarfed by the third weekend of the Bond pic.

Sony-MGM’s “Solace” has already become the year’s sixth highest overseas grosser, with $309 million, ranking No. 56 on the all-time list. Among Bond movies, it trails only “Casino Royale” (2006), which grossed $430 million internationally.

“Solace” scored its top figures with a $7.9 million launch in Australia, 44% higher than “Casino Royale”; and in its Spanish opening with $5.1 million, 36% above “Casino.” Its fourth British frame stayed sturdy with $4.4 million, off 44%, for a U.K. cume of $71.4 million.

“Solace” continued showing solid traction elsewhere with its third German weekend off 47% to $4.3 million for a $32.3 million total. France declined 45% in its fourth frame to $1.7 million, lifting the French cume to $28.8 million.

China saw “Solace” skid 63% to $1.3 million while South Korea declined 47% to $1.1 million and Switzerland fell 49% to 1 million. The Swiss cume has hit $8.1 million, making it the highest-grossing film this year in that market.

“Solace,” which opened most of its markets two weeks ago, will launch in New Zealand this weekend. Its final markets will be Venezuela and Uruguay in December and Japan in January.

The frame’s other significant contribution came from Paramount’s “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” which remained a solid draw for families, with $9 million at 1,233 in a dozen markets — a slightly better per-location average than “Twilight,” thanks to first-place launches in Denmark, Holland, Norway and Sweden. Par’s opted for a gradual foreign release pattern on the toon, which has a $59 million offshore cume, with Spain opening next weekend.

Other highlights of the weekend included Disney’s “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” adding $4.5 million at 4,700 in 35 markets to lift the foreign total to $129.3 million. And Fox’s “Max Payne” shot up $4.4 million at 2,136 in 27 territories, led by a $1.3 million Germany launch, for a $36.5 million international cume.

“Twilight” expands into five smaller markets next weekend including Belgium and the Middle East with its next major launches coming Dec. 11 in Australia and Dec. 19 in the U.K. Next weekend will also see Fox’s day-and-date launch of Baz Luhrmann’s epic “Australia” in Oz.

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