Toon takes over from 'Dawn'

Paramount-DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots” clawed its way to the top of the Dec. 9-11 overseas frame, with an animated $47.1 million weekend gross, slicing up previous four-week champ, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” which posted $19.3 million (for a cume of $381.1 million).

“Puss,” which had an aggressive 17-territory expansion, has grossed $143.7 million from a total 40 international markets so far.

Par chose to roll out “Puss” slowly, having first launched the film day-and-date with the U.S. in Russia the weekend of Oct. 28, followed by only a few additional major markets, including Spain, France and Mexico. Among the toon’s biggest contributors last weekend, Germany posted $7.2 million on 680 screens — approximately 6% ahead of the local bow of 2011’s highest-grossing toon, “Kung Fu Panda 2.”

In Brazil, “Puss” grossed $5.9 million, with Australia and the U.K. also contributing solid debut perfs of $4 million and $3.1 million, respectively.

The upcoming holiday period can mean B.O. gold both domestically and abroad, especially for family-skewing films with kids on vacation.

What’s more, there’s little else internationally to compete for family auds. Fox is staggering its overseas release of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” while “The Adventures of Tintin” will have been in play for nearly two months by the Christmas break.

However, Sony’s “Arthur Christmas” continues to vie for holiday moviegoers.

Last weekend, that film landed in third place overall, with $15.1 million from 63 markets. “Arthur Christmas” has collected $58.6 million internationally, but has only a few major markets yet to go, with Italy opening the pic Dec. 23.

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