All hail 'Beowulf' with $26 mil at overseas boxoffice

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Related story: Enchanted' charms boxoffice

Expanding its overseas run by 30 markets, "Beowulf" ruled the international roost for the second weekend in a row by generating an estimated $26 million from about 5,400 screens in 43 markets and lifting its overseas total to $48.5 million.

According to distributor Warner Bros. International, Robert Zemeckis' pop culture rendering of the Old English epic poem finished No. 1 in at least 20 fresh markets, with Russia topping the list with an estimated $4.3 million from 492 sites. Its worldwide cume is $104.9 million.

Openings in Spain ($3.2 million from 450 screens), France ($2 million from 481 sites, a return negatively affected by a national transportation strike, Warners said) and Mexico ($1.9 million from 512 screens) were notable.

"Beowulf" holdover action was especially strong in the U.K., with an estimated $3 million (down just 26% from the previous weekend) from 454 screens for a market cume of $9.3 million. Second weekends in Korea and in Germany generated an estimated $1.4 million in each market. Upcoming this weekend are openings in Japan, Australia, Brazil and Sweden.

The weekend's eclectic mix of newcomers produced a broad range of returns. Disney's romantic fantasy "Enchanted," which opened No. 1 domestically, produced an estimated $7 million from 1,000 screens in eight overseas markets, enough to qualify as the weekend's No. 4 title internationally.

"Enchanted" finished No. 1 in every market it played, with Spain generating the highest numbers (an estimated $3.7 million from 350 locations for a tuneful $10,571 per screen). Its early global cume is $57 million.

20th Century Fox International bowed "Hitman" -- an action-packed video game adaptation, which placed fourth domestically for the weekend -- in a dozen small markets for an estimated $1.1 million. Its global cume is $22.1 million.

The same distributor's release of Fox Searchlight's "The Darjeeling Limited," directed by Wes Anderson -- starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman as brothers bonding on a trip to India -- opened in the U.K. and Brazil, with the former producing $872,000 from 192 sites (the weekend estimate in Brazil was not available at press time).

A surprise hit for Disney in Italy was the market's No. 1 title, "Milano-Polermo: The Return" (Milano-Palermo: Il ritorno"), a local-language acquisition produced by GlobeFilms/Sanmarco Film. The action-crime drama about a Mafiosi on the run came up with an estimated $2.2 million from 350 screens.

Paramount Pictures International's release of director Kenneth Branagh's "Sleuth" remake with Michael Caine and Jude Law got off to a shaky start in the U.K., finishing 12th in the market with an estimated $360,000 from 146 screens for a per-screen average of $2,466.

Placing second overall for the weekend was Universal International's "American Gangster," which muscled its way to an estimated $11 million -- down just 23% from the previous weekend -- from 1,569 screens in 16 territories, good for an early overseas total of $30.7 million.

The Ridley Scott crime drama starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe had No. 1 openings in Norway and Sweden and held first place in the U.K., France, Germany, Austria and other markets. The Norway bow produced an estimated $410,000 from 33 locations for a mighty per-screen average of $12,424, while Sweden came up with $450,000 from 60 sites, or $7,500 per screen.

In third place overall was Paramount's "The Heartbreak Kid," the romantic comedy starring Ben Stiller, which lured an estimated $7.5 million from 2,006 screens in 43 markets, lifting its international total to $62 million. Finishing at No. 5 was "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," the costume drama from Universal, which generated an estimated $4.7 million from 1,582 screens in 20 markets. Its cume stands at $28.8 million.

Fox's release of United Artists' "Lions for Lambs," the Robert Redford-directed political drama starring Tom Cruise, failed to generate traction in its third weekend, grossing an estimated $4.4 million from 2,500 screens in 45 markets. Its overseas cume stands at $25 million. A bow in France produced $1.4 million from 390 sites.

Lionsgate's "Saw IV" had a solid opening in France and came up with an estimated $4 million from 29 territories overall. Its cume is $42.5 million. Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille" chugged to a $401.3 million international cume ($607.5 globally) on the strength of a $3.9 million weekend from 3,032 screens in 26 markets.

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Bee Movie," the animation title toplined by Jerry Seinfeld, continues its limited overseas run, generating an estimated $921,000 from 563 locations in five markets. Its international cume stands at $12.5 million; worldwide, it has grossed $124.6 million.

Other overseas cume updates: Paramount's "Stardust," $92.5 million; Sony/Summit Entertainment's "Resident Evil: Extinction," $89.6 million; Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum," $207.8 million (more than the combined overseas cumes of the first two "Bourne" films); Sony's "Surf's Up," $82.2 million; Universal's "Atonement," $30.1 million; and Disney's "The Game Plan," $15.3 million (from 10 markets).
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