'Horton' wins over international audiences

“Horton Hears a Who!” wore the international crown for the second straight weekend, easily topping a moderate frame with $11.7 million at 6,583 playdates in 54 markets.

With studios opting to limit their overseas launches in the weeks prior to summer tentpole season, a trio of holdovers — French megahit “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis,” fantasy adventure “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and caveman actioner “10,000 B.C.” — were the only other films cracking the $5 million mark during the frame.

“Horton” turned in a decent $3.4 million French launch and showed respectable traction in holdover markets, particularly a 3% hike in the third Brit frame to $2 million. With Dr. Seuss’s bighearted pachyderm largely unknown outside the U.S., the toon has topped studio expectations with a $91 million foreign cume and several key markets such as Italy, South Korea and Japan yet to open.

“Horton” has totaled $223 million worldwide so far, underscoring the ongoing strength of CGI animated fare. The last major animated entry, “Bee Movie” totaled $286 million worldwide, including $160 million overseas.

Pathe’s “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” continued to amaze with $7.5 million at less than 1,000 sites in France, Belgium and Switzerland. Dany Boon’s comedy about the French-Belgian border region has become a phenomenon over the past six weeks with a $175 million cume from only three markets.

Par’s “Spiderwick Chronicles” conjured $7 million at 3,477, including a $1.9 million Australian launch and a $1.5 million Brit frame. Pic’s been a decent rather than spectacular performer with its foreign cume now at nearly $59 million, or $11 million short of the domestic total.

Warner’s “10,000 B.C.” hunted down $5.6 million at 4,900 in 62 markets and raised its international total to $153.4 million — 63% of the worldwide total. The Roland Emmerich actioner has brought in by far the most offshore coin among Hollywood’s 2008 titles so far and helped keep the year-to-date foreign box office for the big six studios slightly ahead of last year’s pace.

“Step Up 2 to the Streets,” handled by Summit and Universal, kicked in a decent $4.4 million at 1,580 in 29 markets, led by $1.7 million in its third Brit frame, off 38%. The sequel has totaled $61 million overseas, $11 million better than the original.

Sony’s “Vantage Point” continued to see its way to moderate biz with $4.3 million at 2,225 for a foreign cume of $67.8 million, nearly matching the domestic take.

Fox’s “Jumper,” Hollywood’s only other 2008 title to top $100 million overseas, materialized with $3.2 million at 1,502 to lift the foreign cume to $124 million.

Oscar winners padded their foreign grosses as “Juno” charmed its way to $2.7 million at 1,121, including a $1 million Italian launch to lift its international total to $74 million. “No Country for Old Men” added on $1.3 million at 976 to push its foreign cume to $80.9 million — $6 million ahead of the Stateside total. And “There Will Be Blood” chipped in $$717,000 at 700 to hit $32.6 million overseas.

Universal launched “Nim’s Island” day-and-date in Oz with a moderate $570,000 at only 95 and will double that total this week to tie in with school holidays.

A quintet of films topped the $2 million mark: Fox’s “27 Dresses” with $2.9 million at 1,456 for a $65 million cume; Disney’s “The Game Plan” with $2.7 million for a $42.6 million foreign cume; Fox’s “Meet the Spartans” with $2.7 million at 755; Summit/U’s “Never Back Down” with $2.4 million at 530; and Par’s “Cloverfield” with $2.2 million at 235 from its first-place Japanese launch for an international cume of $80 million.

Fox’s “La Misma Luna” continued to shine in Mexico with $1 million in its third frame for a $5.7 million cume. Domestic take on the immigrant drama has hit $8.9 million.

In Germany, the ninth frame of documentary “Earth” remained an impressive performer with $1.3 million to lift the Teuton cume to $29 million. Pic’s already taken in over $30 million in both France and Japan.

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