"Avatar" still dominant at overseas box office

Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:43pm EST
 
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By Frank Segers

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - In its ninth round on the foreign circuit, "Avatar" defiantly stared down the overseas openings of three films from major studios, emerging as No. 1 for the weekend with $59 million.

Director James Cameron's blockbuster 3D feature pushed its record-setting overseas gross to $1.69 billion, and its unprecedented worldwide gross to $2.35 billion. The 20th Century Fox release, playing on 8,453 screens in 71 markets, was the sole holdover in the weekend's top five titles.

No. 2 for the weekend was Warner Bros.' "Valentine's Day," which kicked off its foreign run at 4,562 venues in 52 markets for a weekend tally of $30.4 million. The Garry Marshall-directed romantic comedy, with an ensemble cast including Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner, opened strongest in Australia (No. 1 with $6.4 million from 373 sites), the U.K. (No. 2 with $4.7 million from 432 spots) and Germany ($2.5 million from 410 sites).

No. 3 was Fox's adventure fantasy "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," director Chris Columbus' adaptation of the popular book series by Rick Riordan. Opening round produced $28 million from 5,800 venues in 40 territories.

Finishing fourth was Universal's "The Wolfman," which collected an estimated $21 million from 4,222 situations in 37 territories. Director Joe Johnston's update (starring Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt) of the classic 1941 Universal horror title (starring Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi and Maria Ouspenskaya) opened at No. 3 in the U.K. ($3.4 million) and No. 1 in Mexico ($3.2 million).

No. 5 was Fox's "My Name Is Khan," a 9/11-related drama about a Mumbai Muslim (played by Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan) with Asperger's syndrome. The English-language and Hindi Indian production opened at No. 1 in India ($9.2 million from 1,450 screens) and generated an overall weekend tally of $14.2 million from 1,572 screens in seven markets.

Disney's "The Princes and the Frog" grossed an animated $11.3 million from 3,643 locations in 39 markets, hoisting its overseas total past the $100 million mark ($109 million).

 
<p>Director of the movie James Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis pose at the premiere of "Avatar" at the Mann's Grauman Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California December 16, 2009. The movie opens in the U.S. on December 18. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>