DiCaprio thriller opens strong overseas

With only a few fresh offerings other than Par’s day-and-date release of Martin Scorsese thriller “Shutter Island,” openers had a limited impact overseas over the Feb. 19-21 weekend.

Instead, a host of holdovers continued to dominate the international B.O., led by 20th Century Fox’s behemoth “Avatar,” slipping a mere 19% in its 10th frame for a weekend cume of $48.5 million from 7,247 engagements in 71 territories.

“Shutter Island,” toplining Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, opened with $9.1 million in seven territories, including Spain, Australia and Russia.

In Spain, pic overturned “Avatar’s” nine-week reign at the box office to earn $3.4 million at 406 screens, while in Australia, “Shutter” posted $2.5 million at 213. Pic was up 34% in that territory compared with Scorsese’s “The Departed,” which opened to $1.9 million in 2006.

“Avatar” reached $1.78 billion in overseas revenue as of Feb. 22 combined with domestic totals of $690 million for a worldwide cume of $2.47 billion.

Top market was Germany with $5.7 million at 544 outposts. Pic saw a 7% drop in its 10th frame, enough to again claim the No. 1 spot in that territory. “Titanic” topped the B.O. in Germany for 15 straight weeks, cuming $130 million; “Avatar” has cumed $134 million.

Likewise, pic has topped Japan’s B.O. for nine consecutive weeks. During the Feb. 19-21 weekend, “Avatar” grossed $4.5 million, slipping 19%, for an overall total of $132 million on 529 planets. “Avatar” ranks as the highest-grossing Hollywood title in Japan since “The Last Samurai,” which finished with $150 million in 2004.

China currently ranks as the top market in overseas revenue with $164.6 million, followed closely by France with $164 million. “Avatar” earned $3.6 million at 792 Chinese screens in its seventh frame.

In France, “Avatar” was down just 7% in its 10th frame with $5.1 million at 529, beating Warner Bros.’ debut of romantic laffer “Valentine’s Day,” which earned $4.4 million at 373.

“Valentine’s Day” grossed $21.3 million at 5,188 screens in 62 territories for a cume of $70 million. Pic saw a 39% decline despite adding five markets to last weekend’s total count, including Brazil where it grossed $1.1 million at 153 screens.

After successfully launching in the U.K. and Australia, pic earned $2.5 million in each land during Feb. 19-21, down a steep 57% and 63%, respectively. In the U.K., “Valentine’s Day” has cumed $12.1 million, while total earnings in Oz are $10.4 million. Germany follows with $5.9 million and Russia with $4.1 million.

Fox’s tween fantasy “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” earned $23.5 million on 6,689 screens in 52 territories including a healthy bow in Spain, where it grossed $2 million at 424 salles.

France led the film’s foreign take with $2.4 million at 561 venues, followed by Blighty, earning $2.3 million at 458. Both territories saw strong holds after the pic’s debut the prior week; totals have hit $6.6 million in France and $8.4 million in the U.K.

Universal’s monster movie “The Wolfman” turned in $16 million from 4,957 lairs in 52 markets, raising its international cume to $46.7 million.

Pic expanded to 15 new territories, including Italy, where it saw a solid opening with $2.4 million at 366, second only to “Avatar,” which earned $4.1 million at 487.

Mexico was the film’s top-grossing holdover with $2.1 million from 489 dens. Pic held the No. 1 spot after the prior weekend’s $3.5 million launch.

Disney’s hand-drawn toon “The Princess and the Frog” grossed $12.1 million at 3,397 lily pads in 40 markets for an international cume of $131.5 million.

School holidays in France and the U.K. helped boost strong midweek numbers for “Princess.” In France, totals were up 9% for a gross of $4.1 million at 697 boites, which accounted for a third of the toon’s overall weekend take, while in the U.K. it earned $2.8 million at 502.

Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona, Mark Schilling in Tokyo, Clifford Coonan in Beijing, Ed Meza in Berlin, Lauren Seligman in Paris and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.

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