Audiences find overseas ‘Destination’

Horror sequel nabs $17.7 at the box office

With most summer blockbusters fading from foreign multiplexes, “The Final Destination” has shown respectable traction internationally and is headed toward the top offshore grosses of the horror franchise.

“The Final Destination” easily led foreign biz during the Sept. 11-13 frame with $17.7 million at 2,880 playdates in 28 markets, thanks to a robust $6.5 million Russian launch and a $2 million German soph sesh.

International cume for “Destination” has hit $55.3 million with the U.K. contributing $17.5 million, France $7.5 million and Germany $7 million. With South Korea, Mexico and Australia opening in October, “Destination” could close out its foreign run somewhere near the $100 million mark.

The original “Final Destination” and the third version each grossed $59 million outside the United States while the second version took in $43 million offshore.

The frame also saw a stunning launch in Germany of Constantin’s family comedy “Vicky the Viking,” which obliterated the competition with a socko $11 million at 746. Helmed by Michael Herbig, one of Germany’s most successful directors, “Vicky” centers on a clever Viking boy who sets sail on an adventure with his father and crew.

It was the most successful start for a Teuton title since Tom Tykwer’s 2006 gothic thriller “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.” Based on the children’s book by Swedish author Runer Jonsson, “Vicky” has benefited from massive recognition and a strong nostalgia factor thanks to a 1970s toon TV adaptation.

Boosted by “Vicky,” the German box office was up 19% over the previous week.

The frame also saw continued solid performance by Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” with $9.4 million at 3,014 dates in 36 territories — down 37% in its fourth frame. “Basterds” has turned out to be a sturdy foreign performer, crossing the $100 million mark on Sept. 15.

France has been the top “Basterds” territory so far with $18.9 million, followed by Germany with $17.3 million, the U.K. with $15.7 million, Australia with $9 million and Russia with $5.9 million. “Basterds” managed to lead in France in its fourth frame, down 29%. 

Disney/Pixar’s “Up” remained a solid draw with $8.4 million at 2,191 in 26 markets. As of Sept. 15, international cume had hit $182.7 million midway through its offshore run with launches still coming in Germany, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia and the U.K.

The Mouse House has opted for a staggered “Up” release in foreign markets to maximize admissions by targeting holiday periods, along with avoiding competing head-to-head with “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” It’s become the top Disney toon in Latin America with $44.6 million as of Sept. 15, in Spain with $31.9 million and in China with $11.6 million.

“Up” has also generated a solid $36.7 million in France, 40% better than “Wall-E.”

“District 9” took in $7.6 million at 1,765 in 19 markets for a foreign cume of $35.8 million, and Fox’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” pulled in $7 million more at 4,100. As of Sept. 15, the third “Ice Age” had hit $671.3 million — the third-best international total of all time, trailing only “Titanic” at $1.24 billion and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at $752 million.

In Italy “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” held on to the top spot in its third frame, pulling $4.6 million from 690 screens for a cool $34 million. That stellar take now makes “Ice Age” Italy’s top draw of the year so far, ahead of “Angels and Demons.”

 “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” opened in a distant second slot in Italy with $1.7 million from 341. Segueing from the Venice Film Festival, Italo helmer Michele Placido’s 1968-themed “The Big Dream” drew a decent $1.4 million from 402 via Medusa, marking the best bow ever for a pic helmer by Placido.

Other Venice titles making their Italo bows were Werner Herzog’s Abel Ferrara redo “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” starring Nicholas Cage, which drew a below-par $194,000 from 92 via 01 Distribuzione, and first-time Italo helmer Susanna Nicchiarelli’s 1960’s-set laffer “Cosmonauta,” which unspooled in line with expectations at $88,914 off 57 via Domenico Procacci’s Fandango.

Fandango has been doing decent biz with anti-Berlusconi docu “Videocracy,” by Italo-Swedish helmer Erik Gandini. Continuing to capitalize on controversy, “Videocracy” pulled $198,000 off 76 for a strong $771,000 in two weeks after bowing in Venice.

 In Spain, “District 9” and “My Bloody Valentine” debuted decently with the former winning the weekend with $2.9 million on 360, in line with bookers’ expectations. Tripictures’ “My Bloody Valentine” came in second, with $1.4 million from 140 3-D playdates and $344,768 from the 168 2-D screens.

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

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