‘Meltdown’ still icing the competish o’seas

'Scary' spoof now at $126 million worldwide

“Ice Age: The Meltdown” just won’t cool off, dominating the international box office for the fifth straight weekend with $25.3 million at 8,396 playdates.

Fox’s CG toon declined 37% from the previous frame to reach $373.6 million in foreign grosses — a shot in the arm to what’s been otherwise sluggish offshore biz so far this year. Underlining the worldwide power of family-friendly films, “Meltdown” has become the first film to win five straight international weekends since BVI’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” managed the feat in mid-January.

The streaks by “Meltdown” and “Narnia” are the longest since BVI’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” led in foreign grosses for seven consecutive frames during 2003. “Meltdown” won’t lead next weekend, when tentpole season starts, as UIP launches “Mission: Impossible III” day-and-date amid bullish expectations with more than 10,000 playdates overseas.

“Meltdown” stayed hottest in Italy, with $4.7 million at 647 engagements, down just 21% in its soph sesh; in France, with $3.3 million at 847 for a $38.6 million four-week cume; and in Germany, with $3.1 million at 1,093 for a $51.7 million total.

Other seven-figure “Meltdown” holdovers included the fourth frames in the U.K., with $1.7 million at 485, and in Australia, with $1.4 million at 336, as well as the second Japanese weekend, with $1.1 million at 467, down only 13%.

BVI’s “Scary Movie 4” finished a distant but decent second with $9.5 million at 3,054 playdates in 22 markets, led by soph seshes in Germany, with $2.3 million at 630, and Italy, with $2.1 million at 462. Spoof has totaled $48 million overseas and $126 million worldwide, with France, Spain and Latin America still to open.

Overall biz for the frame was respectable given that moviegoing tends to be moderate during late April. “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and “Scary Movie 4” easily outperformed the top two pics during the same frame of 2005, when “XXX: State of the Union” led with $15 million and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” followed with $8.3 million.

BVI’s “Eight Below” and UIP’s “Inside Man” led the rest of the pack with $5 million each, boosting their respective foreign takes to $23 million and $73.3 million. “Eight Below,” playing at 2,300 engagements in 21 markets, put the biggest B.O. bites on its French launch, with $1.7 million at 425; its Spanish opening, with $765,000 at 250; and its second Oz frame, with $710,000 at 247.

“Inside Man,” with 2,500 screens in 47 territories, stayed solid as it relied solely on holdover biz, led by its third French frame, with $825,000 at 350, and third Spanish weekend, with $700,000 at 244, just behind the openings of “Take the Lead” and “Eight Below.” Spike Lee thriller’s totaled $158 million worldwide.

Warner’s “V for Vendetta” remained a moderate performer with $3.7 million at 1,051 screens in 56 markets, mostly via soph seshes in Japan, with $1.15 million at 178, and in France, with $1.12 million at 336. Cume is $51.2 million overseas and $130 million worldwide.

BVI’s CG kidtoon “The Wild” stayed mild with $3.6 million at 3,200 playdates in 26 markets, led by its Russian launch of $1.1 million at 240, equal to the opening of “Chicken Little.” Pic has totaled an unthreatening $22.5 million offshore but has yet to open in several key markets, including the U.K., Germany and Japan.

UIP continued to see lukewarm results from “American Dreamz” with a sixth-place U.K. second frame of $875,000 at 354 sites, down 27%, and a seventh-place Australian launch with $530,000 at 145.

Other pics hitting seven figures included Sony’s “Hostel, with $1.9 million at 674 screens in 28 markets, led by a German launch of $1.3 million at 214; Warner’s “16 Blocks, with $1.2 million at 301 for the U.K. opening plus $526,000 in its German soph sesh; UIP’s “Failure to Launch, with $1.66 million at 1,052 sites in 39 markets; and Sony’s “When a Stranger Calls, with $1.1 million at 687 in 25 territories.

Fox launched “Silent Hill” in first place in Taiwan, with $940,000 at 98, and opened “Bee Season” with $694,000 at 295.

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