"Button" top movie overseas for fourth weekend

Sun Mar 1, 2009 7:27pm EST
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By Frank Segers

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It may have played second fiddle at the Academy Awards with its three "minor" citations, but "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" led the foreign box office for a fourth consecutive weekend, raising its total to $176 million.

The Brad Pitt vehicle earned an estimated $13.4 million from about 60 territories during the weekend, with Italy and France each kicking in $1.8 million. Top overall markets include Japan with $20.7 million and Germany with $18.2 million.

Propelled by its eight Oscar wins, "Slumdog Millionaire" bounced to the No. 1 spot in the U.K. ($2.3 million). The estimated weekend take across 26 markets -- excluding 10 territories for which Fox has not obtained box office data (in many territories, the film is being handled by local distributors) -- is at least $5 million. The international total is an estimated $85 million.

"The Reader" opened at No. 1 in Germany with $3.2 million, helped by Kate Winslet's Oscar win for playing a Nazi prison guard. Its estimated international total stands at $15.5 million, including $7.4 million in the U.K.

The best-actor vehicle for Sean Penn, "Milk," got a much-needed jolt, grossing $1.5 million from 26 markets, The overseas total stands at $11 million.

The No. 2 film overseas was "Gran Torino," which drove off with $8.3 million from 10 markets for an early foreign total of $17.3 million. A No. 1 France opening provided $5 million.

No. 3 was "Valkyrie," which grossed $7.6 million from 57 markets for a foreign total of $93.2 million. Noteworthy was a No. 1 opening in China with $3.6 million.

The No. 4 title, "Bolt," grossed $7.2 million from 31 markets for an international total of $166.5 million.

"The Pink Panther 2" ranked fifth with a weekend tally of $6.8 million from 56 markets. The foreign total for the Steve Martin comedy stands at $22.7 million.

(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)