October 19, 2009 / 8:25 AM / 9 years ago

Overseas box office still looking "Up"

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.

John Lasseter (C), chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and executive producer of "Up", poses with characters Russell (L) and Carl Fredricksen from the film during the film's premiere in Hollywood, California May 16, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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

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