LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - For the fourth time this year, the 3D animated feature "Up" claimed the No. 1 spot on the overseas circuit, bagging $27.9 million from 4,500 screens in 24 territories during the weekend.
Solid first-place openings in Italy and four medium-size markets and a decisive, front-of-the-pack second weekend in the U.K. hoisted the Pixar/Disney movie's foreign total after almost five months of offshore release to $295.8 million and $588.5 million worldwide.
The foreign tally is $119.2 million less than the companies' total foreign box office for 2007's "Ratatouille" and $14.2 million behind last year's "WALL-E." Those titles had similarly lengthy, measured international release patterns, and Disney is keen to see that "Up's" final take exceeds both.
The studio expects "Up" to overtake "WALL-E's" foreign total by week's end. Disney is banking on continued strong business in holdover markets and a run in animation-friendly Japan beginning June 5 to push "Up's" foreign tally beyond that of "Ratatouille."
Finishing second during the frame was "G-Force," another Disney title, which bagged $12.5 million from 3,255 screens in 44 markets for a total of $127.9 million. The animation title from producer Jerry Bruckheimer opened at No. 2 in France with $2.5 million from 316 situations and drew $4.2 million from 521 screens in its Germany bow.
Thanks to a muscular debut in Spain, Sony's romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" finished third overall with $8.8 million drawn from 2,305 screens in 63 territories for a foreign total of $94.1 million.
The fourth- and fifth-ranked titles for the weekend were released by Universal, which said it crossed the $1 billion overseas box-office mark for 2009 on Saturday; the studio's year-to-date tally stands at $1.005 billion.
Universal's comedy "Couples Retreat" grossed $6.8 million from 926 screens in five territories for an early international gross of $10.8 million. The Weinstein Co./Universal's "Inglourious Basterds," a World War II drama from Quentin Tarantino, drew $6.4 million from 2,800 sites in 52 territories, pushing its international total to $166 million and worldwide take to $285 million.
The sci-fi drama "District 9" pushed its overseas gross to $77.2 million from all territories, including those handled by Sony, thanks to $5.9 million weekend take.
Dominating the French market for the past three frames is "Le petit Nicolas," a Wild Bunch Distribution release of a live-action film based on a popular French children's book. The film's No. 1 weekend tally was $4.8 million from 590 screens for a market total of $23.9 million.
Another solo-market sensation was "Agora," 20th Century Fox's pickup in Spain. The second weekend of director Alejandro Amenabar's $70 million costume drama co-starring Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella produced $4.4 million from 472 locations for a $16.3 million market gross.
Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters