Disney/Pixar film earns $21.8 million in frame
Disney/Pixar’s “Up” continues to live up to its name, as the toon remains the dominant title of the fall overseas.For the second time in three sessions, “Up” easily won, this time with $21.8 million for the Oct. 9-11 frame at 3,500 playdates in 25 markets, led by a $10.2 million British debut and a $2.3 million Benelux launch. Holdover biz stayed impressive, as the fourth German frame took in $3.2 million, off just 29%, the Teuton cume topping $20 million. In Oz, where “Up” had led for five weekends, takings declined the same as Germany (29%) to $1.9 million as the market’s total hit $22.6 million. “Up” is now the fifth best international performer of the year — with launches still to come in Italy and Japan — as it trails only “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” ($685 million), “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” ($627 million), “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” ($430 million) and “Angels and Demons” ($352 million). Foreign cume for “Up” has reached $258.5 [ok, not weekend] million as of Oct. 13, or $35 million short of the domestic total. It has now joined 92 other films that have cleared the quarter-billion-dollar mark in overseas grosses this year and looks likely to wind up its run in the more exclusive club of 37 pics with at least $400 million in international grosses. MGM/Lakeshore’s revamped “Fame” led the rest of the pack during the frame with about $10 million, led by a $2.6 million French launch, a $1.4 million third frame in the U.K. and a $1.1 million Italian opening. International cume has hit $27.4 million, about $7 million ahead of the domestic total. Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” remained a solid player for Universal, with $8.5 million at 3,170 in 50 territories, led by an Italian soph sesh of $2.4 million. The epic broke records in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela as the biggest Tarantino opener, with both Mexico and Brazil taking in $930,000 each. “Basterds” has now cumed $158 million internationally as of Oct. 13, with South Korea and Japan still to launch. France has led the way with $23 million, followed by Germany with $21 million. Universal also saw a respectable day-and-date launch for domestic winner “Couples Retreat” with Australia opening at No. 1 with $2.7 million at 217 dates and New Zealand debuting with $234,000 at 40 to place third behind “Up” and Disney sib “G-Force.” “G-Force” also showed some pull for family audiences with $8.4 million at 2,575, led by a $3.8 million Spanish launch, to lift the foreign cume past $112 million. But that launch was dwarfed in Spain by Alejandro Amenabar’s historical drama “Agora,” starring Rachel Weisz, with a boffo launch of $7.8 million from 473 playdates for a $16,536 screen average. “Agora” becomes the second-biggest opening ever for a local film after “Torrente 3: The Protector,” which nabbed $10.6 million in September 2005. “The Orphanage” bowed to $7.6 million in 2007, and 2005’s “Mortadelo and Filemon” took $7.5 million. The weekend gross represented the best opener of 2009, ahead of “Ice Age 3” and “Seven Souls,” and pushed overall Spanish biz to a mighty $20 million. Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois cited Amenabar’s popularity as a brand, strong word of mouth and the blitzkrieg campaign by Fox and Telecinco. Other local entries also performed well. In Japan, “Kaiji,” a thriller starring Tatsuya Fujiwara as a player in a life-or-death game, topped the chart with $4 million at 306 for its opening frame. Released by Toho, the pic is expected to finish north of $20 million. U’s launch of “Fast and Furious” finished second with $2.3 million in its final market and promises to exceed the $10 million total of the previous franchise pic, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” The fourth entry in the “Fast” franchise is poised to pass $200 million on the foreign front. In Germany, local pics dominated as Warner Bros.’ Teutonic ensemble comedy “Maennerherzen,” starring popular stars Maxim Mehmet and Til Schweiger, topped the charts with $4.8 million from 587, leading the fourth frame of “Up.” Constantin’s long-legged local tyke adventure “Vicky the Viking” took in $3 million in its fifth frame for a total $32.7 million. In Italy, “Inglourious Basterds” ousted Giuseppe Tornatore’s Sicilian epic “Baaria” from the top spot as the latter took a still-impressive $2.1 million in its third frame for a boffo $11.6 million cume. But local medieval epic “Barbarossa,” toplining Rutger Hauer, flopped mightily in its initial outing at less than $600,000 from 267 via 01 Distribution. Ed Meza in Germany, Mark Schilling in Japan, Emilio Mayorga in Spain and Nick Vivarelli in Italy contributed to this report.