"Benjamin Button" stays on top overseas

Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:43pm EST
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By Frank Segers

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Lavished with 13 Oscar nominations, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" showing considerable strength at the foreign box office on Sunday, logging a second consecutive weekend at No. 1.

The Brad Pitt drama earned an estimated $31 million from 53 markets, taking its foreign tally to $118.6 million. In North America, it has earned about $122 million, but has largely run out of steam a week before the Oscars are handed out.

The film enjoyed first-place debuts in Italy ($4.6 million), South Korea ($2 million) and Taiwan ($1 million).

A No. 1 Paris finish portends a French tally of $4.6 million in its second weekend, and in Spain it held on to the No. 1 spot with $3.3 million, also in its second weekend. A first-place finish in Japan ($3.1 million) and a muscular holdover in the U.K. ($2.6 million) helped the weekend tally.

With its Oscar nomination in the animated film category, Disney's "Bolt' has been showing real spunk internationally, finishing second and pushing its overseas total to $131.8 million thanks to a $16.5 million weekend from 38 territories. A strong U.K. bow ($7.8 million) helped as did solid bows in Holland and Belgium.

Other key Oscar bidders are doing nowhere near as well. "Milk" has earned $7.5 million to date; "Frost/Nixon" $6.4 million; "Doubt" $10.3 million; and "Revolutionary Road" $43 million.

Finishing No. 3 overall was "Valkyrie," which expanded its run to include 18 markets in Latin America, southeast Asia and parts of eastern Europe. The weekend tally was $11.9 million from 55 markets, for an international total of $72 million. The Tom Cruise drama opened at No. 1 in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.

"He's Just Not That Into You," at No. 4, broadened its overseas run to 16 markets for a weekend estimate of $11.4 million. The comedy opened at No. 1 in Australia with $3.8 million. Its foreign total stands at $16.5 million.   Continued...