Pic earns $45 million at foreign box office over the weekend

Overseas box office kicked off the new year with a new weekend champ: Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” grossed a stellar $44.9 million over the Jan. 6-8 sesh, with Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” placing second, with $31 million. Both unseated Paramount’s three-week international B.O. leader, “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” which collected $29.5 million.

Overall, “Mission” has cumed $289.9 million overseas, with “Sherlock” at $180.6 million and “Chipwrecked” $129.8 million.

The weekend tally for “Game” was boosted by No. 1 openings in Australia and Spain, contributing $6.7 million and $4.7 million, respectively, with both bows better than the local launches for Warner’s first “Sherlock” in 2009.

In Oz, “Game of Shadows” finished roughly 80% higher than the weekend take of Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” which collected $3.7 million in its second frame there.

At the Spanish B.O., “The Iron Lady,” distribbed locally by Wanda Films, launched with a strong $1.7 million — a strong start for Margaret Thatcher biopic, according to local bookers.

“We think it’s a pic about a lady, not a politician,” says Wanda distribution manager Miguel Morales. “We’ve marketed it that way.”

Live action/toon hybrid “Chipwrecked” bowed at No. 1 in Brazil, with $6.7 million, and Italy, where the pic ranked second with $4.9 million. Like “Sherlock,” “Chipwrecked” did better in both debut territories than its predecessors.

Globally, “Chipwrecked” has cumed $241.4 million through Jan. 8; “Ghost Protocol” $459.5 million and “Game” $337.6 million.

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