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Big bucks for ‘Transformers’ at foreign B.O.

Paramount pic tallies '09's best box office in 2 weeks

Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is on the verge of becoming the highest-grossing pic of the year at the worldwide box office –all in less than two weeks in release.

Through Tuesday, the pic’s global haul was $448.4 million. Current No. 1 title, “Angels and Demons,” which opened in mid-May, has grossed $469 million.

“Transformers” sequel enjoyed massive biz on Monday and Tuesday.

At the domestic B.O., the action tentpole grossed $14.9 million Monday and $13.5 million Tuesday for a cume of $228.4 million.

Overseas, Monday’s grosses clocked in at $14 million, while Tuesday came in at $16 million for a foreign total of $220 million.

At that rate, “Transformers 2” should catch up with “Angels” by Friday, even with the day and date entry of 20th Century Fox’s 3-D toon “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”

The third installment in the blockbuster “Ice Age” franchise opened Wednesday around the world. Even if “Ice Age 3” wins the sesh, “Transformers 2” will remain a strong performer.

While the “Transformers” sequel has performed equally well overseas and domestically, several other 2009 event titles have seen more lopsided runs.

Sony’s “Angels and Demons” is the top international performer of the year, with a gross of $338.3 million through Tuesday. It saw far less business Stateside, where it has earned $130.4 million.

“Star Trek,” from Paramount, has grossed $246.8 million domestically but only $124.1 million at the international B.O. (the sci-fi franchise has never been a big draw overseas, so Par says it was happy with the foreign numbers).

“Terminator Salvation” has seen nearly double the biz overseas that it did domestically, with $215.7 million vs. $122.2 million.

Twentieth Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” saw more balanced results.

Disney-Pixar’s “Up” has now eclipsed “Star Trek” as the biggest domestic grosser of 2009, with $255 million through Tuesday. “Up” is still early in its foreign run.

Box office observers expect “Transformers 2” to overtake “Up” domestically by the weekend.

The first “Transformers” grossed $318 million domestically and $389 million overseas. Sequel should have no trouble jumping the $400 million mark at the foreign B.O.

“It is holding incredibly well despite a heatwave in Europe and some kids only getting out of school now,” said Paramount prexy of international distribution Andrew Cripps. “As sequels and franchises go, there is a lot of goodwill for ‘Transformers.’ The DVD of the first movie was a huge seller overseas.”

As with the first pic, Asian territories are the biggest driver.

China saw its highest opening ever for an English-language film, with $22 million from 1,000.

The $14.9 million Korean opening was huge for that territory, while pic also posted record-breaking grosses in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Film was a hit across the rest of the globe, earning $13 million in Australia, 80% ahead of the first pic’s debut. Russian launch of $11.8 million came in 69% higher than the original.

“Transformers” sequel opened a week early in the U.K. and Japan to $24.1 million. This past weekend, it held at No. 1 in the U.K. at $10.2 million for a 10-day cume of $27 million.

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