'Twilight' sequel still tops amid slow weekend

Continuing its overseas dominance, Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ collected $40.4 million from 73 markets in its third frame over the Dec. 2-4 weekend, bringing the film’s international gross to $344.8 million.

South Korea was the pic’s only new major market, contributing a territory best $3.2 million. Including previews, “Dawn” broke to $4.4 million.

The latest “Twilight” pic has benefited from a pre-holiday slowdown in the number of major studio titles. Though Paramount-DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots” (a reported weekend gross of $22.7 million) was unable to catch “Breaking Dawn,” the toon could fight for the top spot next weekend, with bows in markets including Australia, Brazil, Germany and the U.K. “Puss” has totaled $89 million so far.

Blighty stands as the highest-grossing market for “Breaking Dawn,” with $42.7 million, followed by Russia, with $30.5 million. In Germany, the film has totaled a stellar $22.4 million after just two weeks; pic topped the German B.O. in its second sesh, with $6.1 million.

Meanwhile in France, despite a hearty $26 million cume, “Breaking Dawn” lost to “Puss,” which debuted in Gaul to $8.1 million — 19% better than Sony’s 3D live-action/toon hybrid “The Smurfs.”

Mexico contributed just $3.8 million to “Puss’?” coffers, a relatively modest take for the Antonio Banderas-voiced toon, considering “Smurfs” bowed to $5.5 million in the territory. Moreover, family fare usually dominates at the Mexican box office.

Sony’s 3D toon “Arthur Christmas” will provide additional competition next weekend for families in Mexico. “Christmas” has cumed $39.1 million at foreign wickets.

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