ET joined Pierce Brosnan and more stars from 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief' as they premiered their dazzling new fantasy flick in NYC on Thursday night.
Pierce tells ET his kids were instrumental in convincing him to join 'Percy Jackson': "They said, 'Dad, you gotta do it, you gotta do it!'"
The star says that when he screened the film for his whole family a couple of weeks ago, they loved it. "My eight-year-old said, 'It's the best film you've made, Dad.' … That was like getting an Oscar."
"This movie's just a ride from beginning to end. It's just movie magic and a lot of fun," adds Percy himself, Logan Lerman.
In 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,' which hits theaters on Feb. 12, Percy Jackson (Lerman) finds himself accused by Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, of stealing his lightning bolt. So, our young hero sets out on a quest to find the real thief, encountering Pierce's half-man half-horse character Chiron along the way!
Watch the video for more with Kevin McKidd, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson and director Chris Columbus.
Sex, Drugs and Percy Jackson: A Movieline Special Report
Written by S.T. VanAirsdale | 08 Feb 2010, 11:25 AM
Movieline was on the scene late last week at a press gathering for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and while the event on the 61st floor of the Empire State Building was classy and featured unquestionably the best city view of any junket ever, it bears noting that things got a little… weird. And awkward. And fast, with the topics of sexual tension, drug interludes, Roman Polanski and Pinocchio all arising in quick succession. (To say nothing of CGI-centaur Pierce Brosnan’s blue-tights-wearing anecdotes.) Needless to say, it was everything we go to PG-rated film junkets for in the first place.
A Fox embargo forbids me from anything review-ish until the kids’ novel adaptation opens Friday, but it’s pretty common knowledge that director Chris Columbus aged the title character (played by Logan Lerman) and his comrades in mythological, half-human arms Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) ahead a few years of the 11-year-olds in Rick Riordan’s bestselling source material. Columbus explained he’d preferred older characters as a means of exploring the nuances and challenges of growing up, including Percy’s broken home, learning disabilities and…
“Sexual tension?” one journalist asked.
“No, I can’t do sexual tension with 11-year-olds!” Columbus quickly replied, shifting uncomfortably. “Then I’d be in there with Polanski.”
The comment drew a roar from most in the room, with the exception of the children attending in the front few rows and the even more notable exception of Brosnan — who co-stars in Polanski’s latest film The Ghost Writer while the director languishes in house arrest awaiting his likely extradition to the United States. Whoops! Perhaps sensing his faux pas, Columbus shifted again and avoided looking at the actor sitting next to him, his darting eyes looking at anyone in the room who might change the subject.
Things had settled down before your Movieline correspondent finally asked the (vaguely spoilerish) query that had been bugging him since seeing the film that morning: When Percy’s quest takes him and his friends to Las Vegas — where they are distracted in a hotel/casino by delicious, hallucinogenic “lotus flowers” — was I really to understand they were interrupted… by a five-day drug trip?
“I can give you a very quick and succinct answer,” Columbus told me. “That was just a little homage to Pinocchio — the fantasy land in Pinocchio. Remember, people were saying it’s druggy or something, but that’s 1940. And the kids went into a bar and drank pints of beer and smoked cigars. They of course turned into donkeys. So there are ramifications, obviously, for eating a lotus flower.”
“Not to mention it has a negative connotation,” Lerman added. “They may be thinking they have a great time, but when they escape, they thought spent hours [there] and it turns out to be days. And they’re trapped in there. It’s a metaphor for that.”
“It’s telling kids: Do not go to Vegas,” Jackson joked before straightening out. “You’ve got to look at the underlying message: If you have too much fun — besides this lotus flower or whatever — if you have too much fun in life, you lose track of time and your quest doesn’t get done. So it teaches you how to get out there and get focused and listen to that thing inside you when you are having fun. A piece of Grover is in me: I like to have fun, but I don’t let it get in the way of my work or in the way of my quest. Poseidon spoke, and we all got out of there. Now, if we would have stayed in Lotus Land for the rest of the movie, that would have been a problem.”
I beg to differ — but more on that in the review coming Friday. Until then, we’ll always have awkwardness.
Chris Columbus had huge hits with Harry Potter and Home Alone. Will lightning strike again with his new boy hero, Percy Jackson? Nev Pierce reports
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
This is about a family film. But it is not a family article. If you are a child, stop reading. If you are offended by genital slang, look away now. Because here comes a lyric from Chris Columbus's iPod: "I'm horny for beaver. Gimme a call, Sigourney Weaver."
This is one of the least offensive – and few non-libellous – lines in "Droppin' Names", the most ear-catching track on rapper Dirt Nasty's eponymous album. It's not exactly the kind of music you'd expect to hear on the iTunes of one of the most successful directors of family films in Hollywood.
Of course, it could be a different Chris Columbus whose 4,022 songs have popped up as a shared playlist on iTunes in the crew hotel, the day after my visit to the set of his latest film, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. It could be an entirely separate Chris Columbus who has ticked "Share my library on my local network", thereby allowing everyone in the vicinity a peek at his pop peccadilloes. It could be. But given said library includes a song by one of the director's daughters, Violet, this seems unlikely. Just as unlikely as the maker of such famous family blockbusters as Home Alone and Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone often listening to an X-rated rap about A-list stars (though he should be more ashamed of having the B-52s on there). We'll find out if he reads this piece.
Reading the press, though, might not be something Columbus often chooses to do. He is not a critical favourite. Nine Months and Bicentennial Man were hate-magnets. The last feature he directed, I Love You, Beth Cooper, scored 9 per cent on critics' aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. And yet he is one of the most successful directors of all time. His movies have made more money in America than those by more celebrated film-makers such as Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings), Ridley Scott (Gladiator) or Sam Raimi (Spider-Man).
And that's just counting those he's directed – not including producing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or Ben Stiller hit Night at the Museum and its sequel. Plus, he wrote 1980s cult classics Gremlins and The Goonies, both produced by a key influence, Steven Spielberg. Columbus may not be a brand-name director like his mentor, but he is a film-maker Hollywood studios trust. His movies have made $1.5bn in the US alone. In terms of fantastical family films, he is a god.
Now, he is dealing with deities – Greek gods, in fact – in a quest to conjure a successor to the British boy wizard he first brought to the big screen. As its elongated title suggests, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the first in a series, with 20th Century Fox hoping to capitalise on the upcoming conclusion of Warner Bros' magical blockbusters with their own family franchise. Percy Jackson is, simply put, the American Harry Potter.
"After directing the second Harry Potter [The Chamber of Secrets], I was physically exhausted," says Columbus. "I produced the third film and thought, 'I don't think I'm going to go back to the fantasy world for quite some time. But then I was really taken with this book and the concept of bringing Greek mythology into a contemporary setting." This setting is 21st-century America, where unsettled teenager Percy Jackson discovers the ancient stories of Greek myth are actually true. His long-lost father is Poseidon, god of the sea, and far from being a teenage misfit, Percy is actually a demi-god – half deity, half human. This would be great, were it not for the fact that his mother is then kidnapped and he's chased across the country by supernatural beings who believe he has stolen the mighty lightning bolt of his uncle, Zeus. If Percy doesn't discover the real culprit, not only will he be killed but a divine war will break out, causing carnage on Earth.
It's a story – unheralded child turns out to be magical hero – not dissimilar to Potter, and Columbus is following the tried-and-tested formula of those films by supporting his unknown leads with stars including Uma Thurman as Medusa, Sean Bean as Zeus, and Pierce Brosnan as the wise centaur, Chiron.
The former 007 is wearing sunglasses, stilts and blue leggings when we speak, on location in Canada. In post-production, the dubious sartorial get-up will be replaced digitally with a horse's hindquarters. He's between takes on a scene set in Camp Half-Blood, where Percy is introduced to this world's other would-be heroes, including Alexandra Daddario, who plays the daughter of the goddess Athena, and Tropic Thunder's Brandon T Jackson, who plays a satyr who must guide Percy on his trans-America, god-dodging road trip. Idling in the trees by Lake Alouette – a postcard-perfect beauty-spot 90 minutes northeast of Vancouver, Canada – are around 80 extras in their late teens and early 20s, preparing to play a rather hard-edged version of the traditional game Capture the Flag. Their odd get-up reflects the period-clash nature of the picture, with Greek-style leather armour over jeans and T-shirts.
"My 12-year-old son, Dylan, has read Rick Riordan's books twice over," says Brosnan, reflecting on the appeal of the five-novel source material. "I just threw in their names actually, as an ad lib: 'Dylan, Paris, stop lollygagging...' So, I'm doing this for my sons, I'm doing this because it's a great story, I'm doing this because I've got to build a house... I'm doing this for many reasons! But to work with Chris again [after Mrs Doubtfire] is great fun."
Columbus looks – indeed is – busy. This is a big production. There are more crew than I can count and the trailers appear to be breeding amid the trees. Under a marquee where the monitors rest, the director chats with a colleague as the cameras are readied for action. They are discussing the possibility of recasting one of the supporting roles, as the actor wants to "go crazy" with his make-up. (In the end, they don't.)
The day is proving a challenge, as Columbus searches for the right light to shoot, but he appears to be enjoying himself. He's particularly taken with the young actor playing Percy, Logan Lerman. "This is a kid we're going to hear a lot about in years to come," he says of the 18-year-old lead. Sharp-eyed viewers may recognise Lerman from playing Christian Bale's son in 3:10 to Yuma, and he gained experience in US TV series Jack & Bobby. Being able to work with a fairly established actor, as opposed to a child, was one of the reasons Columbus upped Percy's age, from 12 on the page to 17 on-screen. Not only does it lend credibility to the action (a 12-year-old fighting a Greek god would look daft); it also avoids the endless coaching required to achieve competence with a pre-pubescent cast, something the director has previously suffered through, to his cost. "With Harry Potter, I felt every other director who came along benefited from the three years of acting class we had when I was there," he says and laughs. "I mean, you look at the first film and it's made up of a series of cuts, because really the kids could only get through one or two, maybe three, lines, if we were lucky. But by now they're phenomenal actors. So I thought to myself, getting into this film, 'Wouldn't it be great to work with actors who have some work under their belt?'"
This isn't the only lesson he has learned from the Hogwarts experience. He's taking some liberties with Riordan's novel (making more of Percy's ability to control water, for example), having been, some might argue, too slavish to J K Rowling's writing. "Those books were extraordinarily popular, in a really imposing way," he says. "Now I've gone beyond worrying about the fans. I think they are so important and I think they're going to be very, very happy, [but] I just think I have to worry about the film first."
Hollywood is always hungry for family-friendly fantasy franchise – from Star Wars to Avatar – and if The Lightning Thief is a success, sequels will follow. Columbus says these will be "interesting" because the characters have started in a "much more adult place". His formative fantasy experiences – growing up in Ohio – tended towards the dark side, "Books like Dracula, Frankenstein. Books by Robert Howard [creator of Conan The Barbarian]. I was heavily, heavily into vampires... " But he definitely leans to the light side in cinema. His most ostensibly "adult" outing, Rent, is about as evocative of the Broadway musical's poverty and Aids threat as Sesame Street. Still, the 51-year-old family man is energetic and likeable, sincerely trying to make films he "really wants to see. I'm just attracted to these big, fantasy children's movies. I love doing them. I really, really love doing them." Don't expect the sequels to be too dark, then. As we know, the only thing X-rated about Columbus is his iPod.
'Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief' is released on 12 February
Big daddy: Five movies by Chris Columbus
Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon (above) and Ed Harris star in this heart-wrenching film about a broken family. It follows their struggle to adapt to and survive a new lifestyle and the threat of cancer. Sarandon earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
Home Alone (1990)
This family comedy was one of Columbus's first big hits. Macaulay Culkin stars as a young boy who is mistakenly left at home when his family go on a Christmas holiday. Columbus went on to direct 'Home Alone 2' in 1992.
Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams (right) stars as a father who, distraught at the idea of losing contact with his children on separating from his wife, disguises himself as a female housekeeper. This multi-award winning comedy won a Golden Globe for Best Picture (Comedy/Musical).
This film adaptation of the famous Broadway musical follows a group of artists and musicians struggling to make their names and make a living on New York's Lower East Side in the shadow of Aids. The film features many of the original cast members.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
The film adaptation of the first Harry Potter book, starring a young Daniel Radcliffe as the famous wizard. It was nominated for three Oscars and Columbus went on to direct the second film in the series the following year.
Wall Street Journal: Pierce Brosnan on Roman Polanski, Tony Blair, and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”
By Christopher John Farley 2-11-10
Pierce Brosnan is far from the first actor that comes to mind when one thinks about horse’s behinds. The ever-charming, Golden Globe nominated actor plays Chiron the Centaur (who has a double life as a wheelchair-bound grade school teacher) in the coming movie “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief,” a mythological adventure based on the best-selling book series.
In a recent interview in New York City, Brosnan, 56, came across as dapper (he was wearing a really nice suit), erudite (he made a reference to the Lumière brothers while discussing 3-D films) and refreshingly capable of verbal slip-ups — at one point he mistakenly referred to “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe as Daniel Craig, who was Brosnan’s replacement in the James Bond franchise.
Besides, “Percy Jackson,” which opens tomorrow, Brosnan is set to appear in the coming Roman Polanski film “The Ghost Writer,” in which he plays a former British Prime Minister, and the drama “Remember Me,’”co-starring the “Twilight” franchise’s Robert Pattinson. Brosnan says he just got in a new draft of the script for a possible sequel to his 1999 film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and he hopes to launch the project when “we get the character right.” Below, Speakeasy’s chat with Brosnan.
The Wall Street Journal: So your agent come to you and says “I’ve got a great role for you—it involves sticking a horse’s behind on yours.” What do you say?
Pierce Brosnan: He didn’t say that. He just said over lunch one day with the family, by the way, [director] Chris Columbus is doing a movie and it’s “Percy Jackson” and he’s interested. I said great, great and I told my sons [Dylan, 13, and Paris, 8] at dinner that night and they said, “Dad, you bought us the books.” And I said, “I thought I bought you the books.” They said “Dad you gotta do this, it’s a great role.”
So your kids have read the “Percy Jackson” books. They’ve sold millions of copies. What kind of hold do they have on young readers?
It starts with [Percy] the hero of these books, who suffers from dyslexia, a broken home, it makes it very human and tangible. And then with the backdrop of Greek mythology, it’s a wonderful way for any young man or women to get into literature.
What did you think when you saw the finished special effects and saw yourself on screen as a half-human, half-horse Centaur?
I howled with laughter. Then I began to pick it apart — did I acquit myself well as a horse? There’s a physicality to it. You approach it like a dance almost, if you want to know the boring details.
I do actually.
I went to my Greek mythology and brushed up on the characters and found out that Chiron of the Centaurs was the wisest, he was a teacher, and was the kindest and most human of his breed. I ride horses, I love horses, I’ve owned horses.
So how do you play a half-human one?
You cannot act the back end. But you have to be aware that you can’t cross your legs. Horses have a way of moving, of always moving their feet, especially ones that are ready to run. I had seen many years before, the first production of [Peter] Shaffer’s “Equus” — and the actors in that play stayed with me forever…The actors who portrayed the horses were just magnificent. You have these muscular four legs behind you. So your chest goes out, your head goes up, and you try and take center stage as much as possible.
Back to the “Percy Jackson” film, will there be a sequel?
i hope so. I signed up for three. The books are there ready to be made. We shall see very quickly what the response of the public is…Chris [Columbus] is chomping at the bit to do it and so am I. He’d like to do it in 3-D, and I think that would be a very fertile way to go.
More actors are taking on roles in which CGI plays a part in their performance, whether it’s in “Avatar” or “The Lord of the Rings” or you in this film. Are you all going to be replaced by software?
There is a concern, yes, that we could be made redundant. It is so easy to scan people’s faces and it is happening at an alarming rate now; the acceleration of technology in show business and making movies is ferocious. But I think mankind will want to see mankind on the stage and see the human form and shape move and appear. I don’t think that’s going to go away.
We hit up Poseidon himself, Kevin McKidd, from the Percy Jackson and The Olympians film, and quizzed him about bringing the fantasy books to life. We also gave him a complex about the sexiest of the cloven-hoofed beasts: the centaurs.
In the film Percy Jackson a demi-god children live amongst secret mythical creatures that are their protectors, Pierce Brosnan is one of these creatures. He's in a wheelchair on Earth, but in the mythical realm he's really a leather-breasted, long-haired centaur. Thus reaffirming the stereotype that all centaurs have to be sexy beasts. We asked resident sea god and fantastic actor Kevin McKidd about this common four-legged occurrence, along with a few other Percy questions.
Why do you think you make a great Poseidon?
McKidd: You know, you'll have to ask Chris Columbus [the director] that. Maybe I look good wet? I don't know, maybe being British helps people believe that I'm a God. I know that the outfit that I wore, because I spent a lot of time in Roman gear [in the tv series Rome], I felt very at home in it. What was the best part about being a God on set?
The feeling of immortality, you can't beat that.
Were you a fan of the book series?
My son's a big fan, he's read all five books twice. Which I think is a testament to how good these books are to young readers.
Do you think you'll start doing more urban fantasy because of this film?
I don't know. My only kind of plan in this business, so far, is to keep changing. Never get pinned down in one genre. So I'm committed to doing this as a series. If we do sequels. But I don't know if that means I'll end up doing [more] of this genre. I like to keep shifting the goal posts, you know what I mean? Well I think it might be time for you to go back to science fiction. We've missed you since Journeyman.
Ya think? I leaned off the science fiction for a little while. It might be time for some more. But I love it...I enjoy scifi. I was the biggest Star Trek fan — the original — for years.
From what I can see, you look great on screen, but Pierce [Brosnan] is really churning it out with the centaur look. What is it about centaurs that are just so sexy?
I don't know I haven't seen the movie, so I'll let you know afterwards. But I don't know, it's that whole having-four-legs thing. Havin' the four legs and the hooves. The hooves help. I don't have hooves, so... So I can't, it's really no competition really. I'm hooveless. It would behoove me to have hooves.
All the centaurs we've seen are these rippling shirtless things riding through the jungle or the forrest. It's kind of like a stereotype almost, for other centaurs. You have to be really hot.
Maybe I should have been a centaur, wow. Now you're giving me a complex about being Poseidon.
But wait — Brosnan isn't the only creature with hooves in the feature, there's more. We don't want to spoil everything for you, so beware this clip from the film contains another awesomely hooved reveal.
Warner Bros.' "Valentine's Day" charmed moviegoers in a big way at the domestic B.O. this Presidents Day Weekend, earning a three-day estimate of $52.4 million at 3,665 locations.
While complete figures for the long weekend won't be announced until tomorrow, Warner's romantic ensemble is certain to top the four-day frame.
Twentieth Century Fox's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" claimed the No. 2 spot with an estimated $31.1 million at 3,356, followed by the frame's other wide opener Universal's "The Wolfman," earning $30.6 million at 3,222.
At the specialty B.O., Fox Searchlight's Bollywood offering "My Name is Khan" scored the frame's highest per-screen average with $15,500, earning a total $1.9 million at 120 locations. "Khan" ranks as the biggest opening of a Bollywood film in the U.S.
20th Century Fox's "Avatar" in its ninth round on the foreign circuit defiantly stared down overseas openings of three big major studio films over the weekend, emerging No. 1 with $59 million drawn from 8,453 screens in 71 markets.
Director James Cameron's blockbuster epic in 3D pushed its record-setting overseas gross total to $1.690 billion, and its unprecedented worldwide cume to $2.350 billion. The 20th Century Fox release was the sole holdover in the weekend's top five titles.
No. 2 on 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 for a $6,664 per-screen average.
The Garry Marshall romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner leading a multi-name cast 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). Domestically, it grossed $52.3 million on the weekend.
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 with No. 1 market finishes recorded in South Korea, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Venezuela.
The new family film Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief debuted well . The lead market was Russia on $3.6m from 811, followed by France on $3.5m form 538 and South Korea on $3.3m form 322. It also took $2.3m in the UK from 453.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief finished the weekend as the second biggest international performer, adding $23.3m from 6,643 in 52 for a highly promising $67.9m after two weekends. Opening in 13 markets, the family adventure took $2.1m in Spain from 424 and $554,659 in Greece from 81.
France led the holdover markets, delivering $2.7m from 561 for $7.7m, followed by the UK’s $2.4m from 458 for $8.4m. Germany produced $1.9m from 657 for $5.5m and South Korea generated $1.5m from 306 for $7.3m.
No. 2 on the weekend was "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," Fox's adventure fantasy which generated in its second weekend abroad $23.5 million from 6,689 spots in 52 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $68.2 million.
Book Buzz: Lightning strikes for 'Percy Jackson' sales
by Carol Memmott, Bob Minzesheimer and Deirdre Donahue - Feb. 28, 2010 05:54 AM
Rick Riordan's series reaches Olympian heights; Charles Pellegrino gets a Hiroshima history lesson; and a big buzz surrounds 'Little Bee.'
'Lightning' strikes: Sales of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson novels are reaching Olympian heights. All five books in the kids' series are in USA TODAY's top 10. It's the first time that has happened, and sales are being driven by the movie version of the first book. (In its first two weeks, "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" has earned $58.7 million.) Accounting for half of the top 10 is impressive, but Riordan has a long way to go to break Stephenie Meyer's record. The four books in her Twilight series have been in the top 10 a total of 66 weeks. J.K. Rowling had six of the seven Harry Potter titles in the top 10 just one week in 2007. But rankings on the list don't tell the whole story. Numbers in print in the USA for Rowling, 143 million; Meyer, 45 million; Riordan, 12 million.
The movie has really driven book sales - the series was at 7 million before the main trailer hit in November ans 10 million just 3 weeks ago before the film opened. Too bad for FOX that Disney owns the books.
Of the three big movies that opened over Presidents Day weekend two weeks ago, "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" is showing by far the best staying power. Its ticket sales declined only 36% this weekend, putting it ahead of "Valentine's Day" and "The Wolfman," which debuted at the same time.
The ensemble romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" crossed the $100-million mark this weekend after debuting to a huge $56.3 million. Internationally, it has reached $95.4 million.
"Wolfman" started in a virtual tie with "Percy," with both pictures opening to just over $31 million in the U.S. and Canada. However Universal's monster-movie remake has quickly dropped, taking in only $57.2 million domestically so far and $63.3 million overseas. "Percy Jackson" has grossed $71.2 million domestically and $95.4 million overseas.
In limited release domestically, Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" expanded from four to 43 theaters and took in a healthy $870,000, or more than $20,000 per location. Its total after 10 days is $1.1 million.
Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:
1. "Shutter Island" (Paramount): $22.2 million, down 46% on its second weekend. $19 million overseas in 20 foreign territories. Domestic total: $75.1 million. International total: $34 million.
2. "Cop Out" (Warner Bros.): Opened to $18.6 million.
3. "The Crazies" (Overture/Participant/Imagenation): Opened to $16.5 million.
4. "Avatar" (Fox/Dune/Ingenious): $14 million, down 14% on its 11th weekend. $36.1 million overseas in 70 foreign markets. Domestic total: $706.9 million. International total: $1.84 billion.
5. "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" (Fox/Dune/Ingenious): $9.8 million, down 36% on its third weekend. $19 million overseas in 65 foreign markets. Domestic total: $71.2 million. International total: $95.4 million.
6. "Valentine's Day" (Warner Bros./New Line): $9.5 million, down 43% on its third weekend. $10.4 million overseas in 58 foreign markets. Domestic total: $100.4 million. International total: $87.4 million.
7. "Dear John" (Sony/Relativity): $5 million, down 30% on its fourth weekend. Domestic total: $72.6 million.
8. "The Wolfman" (Universal/Relativity): $4.1 million, down 58% on its third weekend. $10.8 million overseas in 57 markets. Domestic total: $57.2 million. International total: $63.3 million.
9. "The Tooth Fairy" (Fox/Walden): $3.5 million, down 21% on its sixth weekend. Domestic total: $53.9 million.
10. "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight): $2.5 million, down 14% on its 11th weekend. Domestic total: $25.1 million.
-- Ben Fritz
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief continued its promising early run and added $19m from 6,350 screens in 65 territories for a $95.4m running total. It opened second in Japan on $4.1m from 561 and added $1.6m in Franc from 547 for $8.8m after three weekends.
The children’s fantasy adventure grossed $1.4m in Spain from 420 for $3.6m after two, $1.3m in South Korea from 283 for $9.7m after three, $1.3m in the UK from 450 for $10.3m after three, and $977,873 in Brazil from 273 to raise the tally to $5.8m after three.