‘Avatar’ Still King at Foreign B.O.

With no competition to speak of, ‘Avatar’ rules offshore with $76 million weekend

Last Updated: February 8, 2010 @ 7:59 AM

“Avatar” wasn’t about to let some tear-jerking drama take it down from its stronghold: the overseas box office.

While the war drama “Dear John” dumped “Avatar” domestically, the James Cameron 3D epic took its nine Oscar nominations and ran with them offshore for $76 million on 10,523 screens.

The film has done particularly well overseas: Of the $2.21 billion “Avatar” has already made worldwide, $1.580 billion has come from foreign markets. China ($144.4 million), France ($141.4 million) and Germany ($117.3 million) have been the top territories for the Pandora-based film.

“Sherlock Holmes,” which has stood in the No. 2 slot overseas since its Christmas weekend debut, held fast in that position with $16.6 million. Third was Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” which is still charting well overseas due mostly to its slow roll-out; it opened in seven new territories this week, including Spain and Great Britain.

With some Oscar momentum behind it, “Up in the Air” managed to tie for fourth while opening in nine new territories. The George Clooney film made $10.5 million over the weekend, and has hauled in $48.5 million in overseas money so far. “Invictus” also took $10.5 million, including openers in the U.K. and Japan.

Fifth was “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” which took in $7.1 million in its seventh week of release in foreign markets. The Fox film has now passed $200 million worldwide.