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‘Ice Age’ tops domestic B.O. with $46 mil

Stateside totals still down roughly 40% from last year's 'Harry Potter' weekend

The $46 million domestic debut for “Ice Age: Continental Drift” was more of a mid-sized snowdrift than an avalanche, but with $339 million internationally, the film is headed toward an overseas-dominated global run true to the Fox franchise.

“Drift” so far has totaled $385 million worldwide; pic nabbed an impressive $95.2 million weekend take overseas, up 24% over the previous frame.

The fourth installment in Fox’s mega-grossing toon series had the weekend to itself domestically and landed in line — if not slightly below — with industrywide expectations. “Drift” made roughly the same as the first “Ice Age,” which debuted with $46.3 million in 2002. That pic didn’t have 3D, however.

Budgeted at around $95 million, “Drift” already has outgrossed the original “Ice Age” overseas, at $206 million. The second franchise pic, “The Meltdown,” reached $457 million internationally in 2006, followed by the series’ best so far, 2009’s “Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which grossed $694 million overseas.

“Drift” could bottom out for the franchise domestically — beneath the first “Ice Age,” at $176 million. That said, there’s still plenty of summer playtime left.

“We’re the last major animated film of the summer,” noted Fox distribution prexy Chris Aronson, who added that “Drift” received an overall A- CinemaScore rating.

Support from such holdovers as “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Ted” couldn’t keep Stateside totals from sinking 38% below this time last year, when the “Harry Potter” finale smashed opening three-day records with $169 million.

Sony’s “Spider-Man,” which held really well in its second outing (down 44%), crossed the $200 million domestic mark, while “Ted,” from Universal, reached $159 million after three weekends at the domestic B.O.

At the specialty B.O., Focus Features’ “Moonrise Kingdom” continued to draw in auds, grossing $3.7 million for a Stateside cume of $32.4 million. Fox Searchlight also saw a solid expansion for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which earned $775,290 from 81 locations. Pic’s totaled $1.7 million.

IFC’s Michael Winterbottom pic “Trishna” opened with an average $10,200 each from three locations.

By comparison, Millennium Entertainment’s psychological thriller “Red Lights” did limited business at two playdates, averaging just $5,006 through Sunday.

“Ice Age” managed to appeal to a diverse crowd, with women contributing 51% of the weekend gross, while over/under-25 auds saw an even split. Filmgoers under 18 gave the film an A rating.

The toon’s teen turnout likely helped boost 3D grosses to 35%, slightly better than “Brave.”

Still, “Drift” stayed relativity flat from Friday to Saturday, an uncharacteristic trait for “Ice Age” fare. By comparison, the first “Ice Age” saw a massive 43% uptick on Saturday, while “The Meltdown” went up 28%. “Madagascar 3,” meanwhile, grew 9% Friday-to-Saturday vs. “Brave,” which fell 4%.

With “Brave” and “Madagascar 3” winding down domestically, “Drift” could play well to families during the week. It’ll take a massive hit with adults and teens when “The Dark Knight Rises” bows Friday. “Madagascar” entered the weekend having just crossed $200 million domestically, while “Brave” should reach that milestone midweek.

“Drift,” meanwhile, scored a big win in Russia this weekend, with $16.4 million — the country’s biggest debut so far this year. In Germany, the toon grew 7% in its second outing (with $12.4 million), followed by the U.K., which contributed $9 million and a cume of $20.8 million (including previews). Mexico leads the charge, however, with nearly $35 million locally.

“Spider-Man” did well in second overseas frame, grossing $66.6 million for a cume of $320.4 million. The film nabbed $521.3 million globally.

So far, only released in four markets, U’s “Ted” has cumed $31.3 million internationally, of which Australia has contributed a whopping $24.5 million. Pic bows in Germany, Russia and the U.K. at around the weekend of Aug. 3, followed by Spain on Aug. 10.

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