‘Valkyrie’ mission on target overseas

Tom Cruise pic on top for second week

Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” scored its second straight victory at the foreign box office, hitting the target with $18.6 million at 3,900 playdates in 26 markets.

International markets also saw awards season contenders start to expand with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Revolutionary Road” both topping $11 million.

MGM/UA’s “Valkyrie,” handled mostly by Fox overseas, continued to post respectable rather than blockbuster results with a $38.9 million cume in two weeks outside the U.S. Spain led the way with a $2.8 million launch, followed by $2.3 million in the pic’s second German frame, $2 million in its British soph sesh and a $1.9 million Italian launch.

Warner Bros.’ “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” led the prestige pack with $11.5 million at 2,271 in two dozen markets. “Button” opened impressively at No. 1 in Germany with $4.6 million, twice as much as the second weekend of “Valkyrie” and the third frame of “Twilight.”

Warner has seen a solid $37.7 million cume in overseas box office from the early “Button” run. Thanks to the awards season buzz and Brad Pitt’s star power, the romance-drama may top “Valkyrie” next weekend with openings in France, Japan, Russia, Spain and the U.K.

Paramount’s “Revolutionary Road” posted a decent $11 million at 2,928 in 44 markets with launches in 25 territories, led by $1.6 million in Italy and $1.5 million in the U.K.

Awards season sensation “Slumdog Millionaire” remained red-hot in the U.K. with about $3 million in its fourth frame to lift the Brit cume to around $20 million. Results in India, where the pic’s generated a somewhat mixed reaction, slid 70% to $609,000 in its second weekend to push the Indian cume past $4 million — a respectable accomplishment but well below the perfs of Bollywood hits.

Disney’s limited expansion of “Doubt” led to $2 million at 500 in 11 markets, led by an $896,000 launch at 175 in Spain for the top per-screen average. Warner’s “Gran Torino” saw an 8% gain in its second Australian frame to lead that market with $1.26 million and Universal’s “Milk” opened respectably in Oz with $368,000 at 50, results similar to those of “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Warner’s “Yes Man” continued to see fairly positive response offshore with $8.5 million at 3,500 in 56 markets, led by its second French frame, which declined only 28% to $1.5 million. The Jim Carrey laffer’s cumed $96.5 million overseas — $1 million ahead of its domestic gross, which represents a milestone since many American comedies never see international grosses come close to their Stateside total.

Sony’s “Seven Pounds” weighed in with $8.2 million at 2,905 in 33 markets via European holdover biz, pushing the foreign cume to $71.8 million. The Will Smith drama’s showing decent traction internationally, where it’s already eclipsed the domestic total by $2 million; it moves into South Korea and Scandinavia next weekend.

Summit’s “Twilight” scared up $5.8 million more off 3,028 in 57 markets, lifting the foreign cume to $160 million, or $27 million behind the stunning domestic total. Fox’s “Bride Wars” grossed $4.6 million at 1,600 to take the foreign take past $24 million.

The frame also saw international standout “Mamma Mia!” launch in Japan, its final market, with $4.3 million at 334 to finish second behind local entry “20th Century Boys: Chapter 2.” “Mamma” has hit $433.3 million in foreign grosses — triple its domestic total.

Disney’s “Bolt” also fetched $4.3 million at 2,850 in 32 markets, pushing the toon’s foreign total to $98.6 million. “Bolt” should be a major player next weekend with launches in France, Benelux and Denmark.

With the top three pics totaling about $40 million, overall business remained moderate. In the same frame a year ago, French comedy “Asterix at the Olympics” dominated with $38 million.

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