'Case' continues to dominate foreign box office

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” dominated Oscar-weekend box office overseas, sewing up its third straight victory with $19.6 million at 5,500 playdates in 53 markets.

“Button” took in nearly as much as the combined total of the closest challengers, “Bolt” and “Valkyrie,” thanks to respectable holdover biz led by France with $2.9 million in its third weekend and Italy with $2.8 million in its soph sesh.

“Button” has now cumed $152 million overseas — $28 million more than the pic’s domestic total — with Warner Bros. capitalizing on the film’s 13 Oscar nominations and Brad Pitt’s star power outside the U.S. Japan’s the pic’s best foreign market with $16.9 million, followed by Germany with $16.1 million and France with $15 million.

“Slumdog Millionaire” remained dazzling in third in the U.K. with about $2.4 million in its seventh weekend — off only 11%. Brit takings have now hit $33 million and pushed the film’s foreign cume to more than $65 million.

“Slumdog” also launched with $550,000 at 220 in Mexico, finishing behind “Valkyrie” and “Coraline.”

Other Oscar hopefuls were far less prominent internationally.

Paramount’s “Revolutionary Road” took in $2 million at 1,783 to lift its foreign total to $46.5 million — more than double its Stateside cume — while “Doubt” pulled in $1.5 million at 1,012 for a $13 million international take. “Milk” took $1 million at 450 for a $9.2 million foreign cume, and “Frost/Nixon” added $400,000 at 400 for a $7 million international total.

Overall foreign biz for the frame was moderate, in line with the same weekend a year ago, when “Jumper” led with $21.7 million.

Disney’s “Bolt” finished a distant but decent second to “Button,” fetching $12.1 million at 3,891 in 40 markets — most of that from its second U.K. frame of $5 million (up 23% without counting previews) and its third French frame, down only 12% to $3.8 million. Both territories are in school holiday periods.

“Bolt” has generated $155.2 million outside the U.S., $42 million more than the domestic total, and should have plenty of gas in the tank thanks to its staggered release; Japan won’t open until August.

“Valkyrie” continued to see decent rather than spectacular biz in foreign markets, with $7.5 million at 4,350 in 57 territories, to push international cume to $83 million — just ahead of the domestic total for the Tom Cruise thriller.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” continued to generate moderate traction overseas with $7.2 million at 2,237 in 25 markets for a cume of $32.2 million — led by $10.7 million in three weeks in the U.K.

Disney’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic” turned in a decent $6.4 million at 1,256 in 10 markets, mostly from its second-place Brit opening of $4.3 million.

Sony saw moderate returns on “The Pink Panther 2″ with $6.2 million at 2,510, led by a $1.6 million launch in Russia and a British soph sesh with $810,000, off 31%.

Par kidpic “Hotel for Dogs” barked up $5.5 million at 2,336 in 26 markets, and Warner’s “Yes Man” grabbed $4.5 million at 2,200 to push foreign cume to $119.3 million — $23 million ahead of the domestic take.

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