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‘Button’ still tops at foreign box office

'Slumdog' a winner with Brit audiences

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” sewed up its fourth straight weekend victory at a moderate post-Oscar foreign box office with $13.4 million at 5,140 playdates in 61 markets.

The frame also saw “Slumdog Millionaire” stay golden overseas after winning Best Picture, particularly in the UK where it finished first in its eighth weekend with $2.3 million to lift its Brit cume to an eye-popping $37 million and its foreign cume to about $75 million. “Slumdog” also launched impressively in Spain with a first-place $2.5 million, edging the opening of “The Pink Panther 2”, and jumped 62% in its second Mexican frame to $1 million.

“Button” has now cumed $176.2 million overseas — $51 million ahead of the domestic total — as it continues to generate decent holdover biz for Warner Bros. Japan’s become the top foreign market for “Button” with a fourth frame declining only 13% to $1.8 million for a $20.7 million cume.

“The Reader,” taking advantage of Kate Winslet’s Oscar win, scored a first-place launch in Germany with $3.2 million at 540. “Milk,” with Sean Penn’s Best Actor victory, saw a 34% hike to $1.5 million at 575 in 26 markets for an $11 million foreign cume.

Though it mostly struck out during awards season, Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” drove its way to solid results in Warner’s first major expansion with $8.3 million at 1,115 in 10 markets, delivering an impressive $7,444 per location average. France led the way with a $5 million launch while the U.K.’s expanded run brought in $1.9 million — the top weekends for an Eastwood pic in those markets.

Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” continued to generate respectable offshore coin with $7.6 million at 4,500 in 57 markets, led by a $3.6 million first-place Chinese launch. The WW2 thriller, handled mostly by Fox overseas, has cumed $93.2 million outside the United States — $11 million ahead of the domestic total.

Disney’s “Bolt” fetched decent family coin with $7.2 million at 3,600 in 31 markets — mostly from France with $2.2 million and the U.K. with $1.9 million, both in their fourth frame. “Bolt” has totaled $166.5 million outside the United States, $52 million ahead of the domestic total.

Sony’s “The Pink Panther 2” saw more moderate biz with $6.8 million at 3,150 in 56 markets, bringing the foreign cume to $22.7 million — $10 million behind the domestic total. Studio’s “The International” gunned down $4.4 million at 1,765 in 29 markets for a $10.8 million cume early in its run.

Four other pics topped $4 million: Disney’s “Confesssions of a Shopaholic” with $4.9 million at 1,350 in 10 markets, led by a $2 million Italian launch; Sony’s “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” with $4.1 million at 1,180 in three dozen markets for a foreign cume of $29.4 million; Paramount’s “Hotel for Dogs” with $4 million at 2,231 in 31 territories for a $29 million cume; and Uni’s “The Unborn” with $4 million at 897 in 14 markets.

Fox also saw “Australia” chip in with $1.6 million at 1,200, mostly from a $1.4 million Japanese launch, to lift the foreign cume to $151.3 million — more than triple the domestic take.

The international markets should see a jolt next weekend as Par goes day-and-date with “Watchmen” in most territories.

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