Twentieth Century Fox tops international B.O.

'Avatar' pushes studio over $2 billion benchmark for 2010

Twentieth Century Fox Intl. has passed the $2 billion benchmark for this year’s foreign box office receipts, with “Avatar” contributing an un-Earthly 70% of that total.

The 3D phenom has earned $1.4 billion during 2010 alone for a whopping $1.99 billion overseas cume to date. Distrib’s boffo first-quarter earnings for “Avatar,” along with $152.5 million from live-action hybrid “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” have helped the overseas distrib achieve a record-setting industry pace.

Fox Intl. currently holds the record for annual foreign ticket sales, with last year’s $2.45 billion. Previous record of $2.24 billion was set by Warner Bros. Intl. in 2007.

The year’s other key overseas titles for Fox include “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” ($138 million), “Date Night” ($53.8 million) and “Tooth Fairy” ($52.7 million). Most recent releases are “The A-Team” and “Marmaduke,” having cumed to date $36 million and $11.3 million, respectively.

With several upcoming titles that could play well overseas, including “Knight and Day,” which starts rolling out today, Fox Intl. co-prexy Paul Hanneman said the distrib could raise the bar higher by year’s end.

“Our year is just beginning,” Hanneman said. “We look forward to continuing our success with (a slate of) highly anticipated films.”

Fox will release director Tony Scott’s “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington, in the U.S. on Nov. 12, followed by 3D titles “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” on Dec. 10 and “Gulliver’s Travels” on Dec. 22.

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