'Benjamin Button' tops international box office

When it comes to staying power, Disney’s Bolt is the real deal at the international box office.

In its 13th week, the toon came in No. 2 over the Feb. 20-22 weekend, grossing an estimated $11.7 million from 3,372 playdates for a foreign cume of $154.9 million and a worldwide total of $268.9 million. Film’s rollout has been slow abroad, a strategy often used for toons.

“Bolt” bounded to the top spot in its second weekend in the U.K., grossing $4.3 million at 494. Dropping 10% after three frames, “Bolt” has exceeded expectations with a cume of $14.7 million.

Coming in No. 1 at the international box office was Warner Bros. Intl.’s best picture nom “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Over Oscar weekend, “Button” grossed $21 million from 5,636 theaters for a foreign cume of $153 million and worldwide total of $277.2 million.

“Slumdog Millionaire” –which went onto to win the Oscar for best picture — placed No. 4 for the sesh, grossing $7.7 million from 1,798 runs for a foreign cume of $73.1 million and a worldwide total of $171.5 million. Film should see an uptick in the wake of its near-Oscar sweep.

In the U.K., “Slumdog” fell only 14% in its seventh frame to take third spot with $2.3 million at 427. Helmer Danny Boyle’s Mumbai-set thriller has now taken a boffo $33.1 million in Blighty via Pathe.

Among more commercial fare, New Line’s chick flick “He’s Just Not That Into You” narrowly beat out “Slumdog” for the No. 3 slot, grossing an estimated $7.8 million from 2,217 theaters for a foreign cume of $32.8 million and a worldwide total of $102. million.

Fox Intl.’s “Valkyrie” came in No. 5 for the weekend, grossing an estimated $6.9 million from 3,958 for a foreign total of $82.3 million — virtually the same amount it has earned domestically. Worldwide gross is $164.7 million.

Among local fare, bittersweet satire “Le Code a change” (Change of Plans) lived up to expectations in France, grossing $4.7 million on 523 in its first five days, the best bow for a French film so far this year. With an ensemble cast of top local thesps including DanyBoon and Emmanuelle Seigner, pic looks like a winner for StudioCanal.

Also in France, gritty actioner “District 13: Ultimatum” had a great first five days for EuropaCorp, grossing over $3.4 million from 410. Down 14% in its third frame, Sophie Marceau laffer “LOL” (Laughing Out Loud) is a runaway smash for Pathe, with a cume of close to $16 million.

In Germany, Disney’s local tyke fantasy “Hexe Lilli — Der drache und das magische buch” (Lilly the Witch: The Dragon and the Magic Book) placed No. 1, although it was a lackluster sesh. Overall box office dropped more than 5%, resulting in the lowest number of admissions so far this year.

“Hexe Lilli,” helmed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (“The Counterfeiters”) grossed $1.9 million.

Italian romancer “Ex” stayed put in the No. 2 spot, grossing $1.5 million from 391 playdates in its third weekend via 01 Distribuzione for a boffo cume of $11.2 million in Italy.

Ed Meza in Berlin, Emilio Mayorga in Madrid, Nick Vivarelli in Rome and David Hayhurst in Paris contributed to this report. .

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