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Sony Classics builds buzz overseas

'Carnage,' 'Skin,' 'Midnight' gain steam at foreign wickets

Early overseas rollouts aren’t just for the big boys.

With Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” opening this weekend in Germany via local distrib Constantin Films — four weeks ahead of the film’s Dec. 16 domestic launch through Sony Pictures Classics — it’s evident that even specialty titles are looking to international B.O. to kick-start a worldwide run.

The pic has already opened in Italy and Spain for an international cume approaching $6 million, the majority of which has come from the Italo B.O., where the film has been playing for three weeks.

That’s a solid start for a pic whose prospects in the U.S. are by no means certain.

But “Carnage” isn’t the only specialty pic this year to benefit from an early overseas debut.

The distrib’s “The Skin I Live In,” from Pedro Almodovar, which has cumed more than $2 million domestically, bowed first in 13 territories from Aug. 17-Oct. 7, prior to its Oct. 14 Stateside bow. The pic is playing in 29 countries, including the U.S., and has an impressive worldwide tally of nearly $30 million.

Sony Classics’ other 2011 overseas front-runner, Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” has grossed more than $84 million internationally, with a stellar domestic total north of $55 million.

The film launched first in France, timed to benefit from its Cannes gala screening — a solid strategy, considering the pic’s $15 million cume in Gaul.

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