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.

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