"Wonderland" No. 1 destination at overseas theaters
By Frank Segers
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Director Tim Burton's 3D version of "Alice in Wonderland" -- one of only two films to occupy the top spot at the overseas box office during the first three months of the year -- has closed the quarter with its fourth straight No. 1 finish.
The Disney release drew $46 million during the weekend from 7,170 screens in 51 markets for an offshore total of $363 million. Its worldwide gross stands at $656.1 million.
Earlier in the quarter, overseas hunger for spectacle in 3D propelled 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" to the top spot for eight consecutive weeks, through February 28.
By comparison, at the end of March 2009, eight films ranging from DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" to Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" had taken turns in the lofty No. 1 slot overseas.
During the past weekend, "Alice" was challenged by Paramount's release of DreamWorks Animation's "How To Train Your Dragon," which drew $31 million from 5,594 locations in 35 markets.
The overseas gross for the 3D animation about a lonely Viking teenager who befriends a giant dragon stands at $42 million. The worldwide tally is $85.3 million. "Dragon" opened at No. 1 domestically, and finished in the No. 2 spot behind "Alice" on the foreign circuit.
The biggest boost for "Alice" were openings in France (generating $14.9 million from 746 screens) and in China ($5.1 million from 450 locations). "Dragon," which opened at No. 1 in Brazil, Mexico and Spain, did best in its second weekend in Russia ($6.4 million for a market total of $16.7 million).
For its part, "Avatar" drew another $7.6 million during the weekend from 2,600 situations in 63 markets, pushing its overseas gross to an unprecedented $1.95 billion. Director James Cameron's blockbuster ranks No. 4 for the weekend, behind the No. 3 title, director Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," which grossed $10 million from 46 territories handled by Paramount and other distributors. The period drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio has grossed $125.6 million overseas to date. Continued...