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Compared with the U.S., auds overseas are showing a much greater appetite for “Closer,” “Alexander,” “Oceans Twelve” and “The Incredibles” — but markedly less enthusiasm for “Ray” and “The Grudge.”

Those trends were reinforced last weekend as holiday-driven U.S. films continued to lose steam, and awards-contenders tried to make their mark, with varying degrees of success.

“Closer” courted $12.9 million from impressive debuts in 13 territories and holdovers in eight, playing on 2,066 screens. The cume reached $29.8 million and will overtake domestic later this week. Helmer Mike Nichols’ drama scored $2.9 million on 325 in France, $2.1 million on 265 in Spain, $795,000 on 180 in Brazil and $377,000 on 78 in Belgium — No. 1 in all. Pic, starring Clive Owen, Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman, ruled in its soph session in the U.K., snaring $3 million (boosted by its Ireland preem), to raise the market total to $7.7 million.

Popular on Variety

“Alexander” marched to $103 million after capturing an estimated $9.5 million from roughly 2,900 screens in 54 territories. Oliver Stone’s epic drummed up a fair $1.3 million on 187 in Australia, rated as a bit better than they expected by local exhibs who dissed the pic. It was narrowly beaten by the fifth frame of “Meet the Fockers,” which has collected a stellar $22 million.

Splendid saga

“Alexander” triumphed again in its soph session in Italy, grossing $2.9 million (falling by a mild 25%), driving the market tally to $8.1 million. Through its third stanzas, the Colin Farrell starrer has generated a splendid $12.8 million in Spain, $9.1 million in France and a puny $4.9 million in the U.K.

The weekend champ, “Oceans Twelve” minted $14.4 million from roughly 4,600 prints in 58 countries, elevating the cume to $170.4 million, with the U.K. still to come. Steven Soderbergh-helmed heist caper collared $6.8 million on 510 screens in Japan, including sneaks, very good, but 20% below the bow of “Oceans Eleven.”

Warners’ pic ended the nine-week reign in Japan of local animated smash “Howl’s Moving Castle,” which has hauled in a socko $159.8 million. “Castle” (which bows Stateside in June) drew $2 million in its second chapter in France, slipping by a mere 6%, boosting the territory total to a swell $4.6 million.

“Blade: Trinity” topped $43 million in 23 markets, fueled by top-ranked debuts in Germany ($4.5 million on 524) and Austria ($873,000), plus Switzerland’s $414,000, Holland’s $318,000 and South Africa’s $238,000.

‘Aviator’ flies high

“The Aviator” rang up a solid $2.1 million on 305 in Germany and $318,000 in Austria. Leonardo DiCaprio starrer held strongly in its third weekend of wide release in the U.K., mustering $1.8 million (off 7%), cuming $10.2 million. It abated by 29% in Spain, earning $1.6 million, bringing the market total to a handy $4.5 million in 10 days.

Ray Charles biopic “Ray” appears to have niche appeal abroad, judging by its debuts in Blighty ($912,000 on 224) and Italy ($544,000 on 150). However the Jamie Foxx starrer does have legs, as evidenced by its mere 11% decline in its third chorus in Germany, where it’s rung up $2.45 million.

“The Grudge” has scared up $43.8 million in 25 markets, a reasonable sum considering the genre isn’t as strong internationally as in the U.S.

Sarah Michelle Gellar starrer took an OK $1.7 million in Spain and has racked up a fine $15.2 million in the U.K, a tidy $6 million after three weeks in Italy and a soft $4.5 million in France.

‘Snicket’ erratic

“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” has whistled up $50.2 million in 13 markets, but it’s performed erratically. Jim Carrey starrer fetched a strapping $24.4 million in the U.K. a so-so $6.9 million in Australia, a tepid $4.7 million in France and $4.2 million in Spain. The orphans-and-wicked count saga was last weekend’s victor in Taiwan, trapping $507,000 on 56, with sneaks, and it’s taken a neat $2 million in 10 days in Mexico.

“The Incredibles” soared to $343.5 million, marking the fourth Disney blockbuster to cross $600 million globally, joining “Finding Nemo,” “The Lion King” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”

“National Treasure” seized $6 million, spurring its cume to $128.6 million in 48 markets. Nicolas Cage starrer grabbed $330,000 on 44 in Malaysia (a record locally for a Disney live action pic) and retained pole position in its second turn in Greece, banking $1.7 million so far, off 27%. “Treasure” dropped by 29% in Holland, fetching $1.6 million in 11 days.

Continuing its successful European tour, “House of Flying Daggers” garnered $1.1 million on 251 screens in Italy, registering the highest per-screen average in the top 10. Chinese actioner’s cume hit $71.4 million.