Back at the head of the table
'Ratatouille' takes in $19.3 mil against weak menuIn a generally unexciting weekend at an overseas market filled with leftovers, mop-up also-rans and new entries trying to get a foothold before the November influx of holiday films, the Disney/Pixar animated film "Ratatouille" took top honors with a $19.3 million from 3,202 screens in 29 countries.
The story of a food-aficionado rat, which launched its international run June 28, reached a foreign cume of $245.7 million as it nears the end of its run, with the U.K. rolling out this weekend and Italy, China, Sweden, Finland and Poland bringing down the curtain the following weekend. Disney's staggered release strategy — Latin American and Asia in the summer, Europe in October — appears to be paying off as "Ratatouille's" rise during the weekend came mainly from its arrival in Germany, which turned out the welcome mat to the tune of $11.7 million from 963 screens. Holdover contributions were just as sweet, with France delivering $58.8 million in 10 weeks and Australia $10.5 million in five.
Among the new titles getting under way, "Resident Evil: Extinction," now in its third weekend, tallied an estimated $8.3 million from 665 screens in six territories. The third installment of the sci-fi/ horror franchise — with the overseas release split between Sony International and Summit Entertainment, the latter though territorial distributors —came in No. 2 in France ($2.4 million from 408 screens), No. 1 in Brazil ($1 million from 214) and No. 2 in Sweden ($262,000 from 37), all via Sony. Summit's report did not arrive by press time.
In day-and-date bows, the raunchy romantic comedy "The Heartbreak Kid" from DreamWorks/Paramount and Universal's action thriller "The Kingdom" braved the U.K. at the same time. "Heartbreak" took the No. 1 spotlight with $2.5 million from 409 screens, and "Kingdom" came in second with $1.9 million from 393.
Overall, the weekend saw the Ben Stiller starrer's foreign-opening tally come to $5.7 million from 819 screens in four countries; the Jamie Foxx starrer took in $3.2 million from 603 screens, also in four markets. Russia welcomed "Heartbreak" with $2.3 million from 303, while Australia greeted "Kingdom" with $1.1 million from 165.
Oscar hopefuls are beginning to rear in several markets. "Michael Clayton" arrived at No. 1 in Italy with $1.9 million from 380 screens but hasn't been as successful in the U.K., where it holds ninth place in its second weekend for a market cume to date of $2.6 million from 272 screens. David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" found No. 1 favor in Spain, where it bowed to $1.2 million from 203 screens. In Korea, "The Nanny Dairies" came in at No. 3 with $1 million from 194 showings but found a lesser welcome in Australia, taking in $590,812 from 119 to finish at No. 10.
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," maintaining a steady pace after its August bow, moved up to a cume of $47.8 million after a weekend take of $6 million from 2,086 screens in 34 markets.
The Universal comedy remained No. 1 in Mexico for a second weekend with a total of $2.9 million from 305 screens. Its best scores to date have been Germany, $6.8 million; the U.K., $6.6 million; Australia, $5.9 million; Spain, $3.2 million; and Mexico, $2.9 million.
"The Bourne Ultimatum," the late-starting summer tentpole, picked up another $5.7 million during the weekend to raise its cume to $172.1 million. Key markets for Universal's Matt Damon thriller include the U.K., $46.4 million; Australia, $16.9 million; Germany, $13.9 million; Korea, $13.6 million; Spain, $13.2 million; and France, $11.2 million.
The teen-appeal "Superbad" from Sony scored $4.5 million from 1,979 screens in 20 territories to lift its cume to $23.2 million. It was greeted by Germany at No. 3 in the market with $1.2 million from 492 screens, and by Mexico at No. 5, $380,000 from 270.
"The Brave One," the Neil Jordan-directed crime drama from Warner Bros. starring Jodie Foster, came up with $4 million from 2,120 prints in 26 markets, raising its international cume to $14.6 million. Its second-weekend cumes included Spain at $2.3 million from 305 screens; Germany, $2.5 million from 402; France, $1.8 million from 277; and Italy, $1.7 million from 252.
New Line's "Rush Hour 3" scored $4.3 million from 563 screens in 29 markets for a cume to date of $87.4, while the company's "Hairspray" took in $3.6 million from 2,031 screens in 45 markets to hoist its cume to $60.3 million.
More weekend action saw "No Reservations" take in $2.4 million (cume: $41.3 million); "Surf's Up," $2.9 million (cume: $54.6 million); "Evan Almighty," $2.6 million (cume: $66.7 million); "Stardust," $2.6 million (cume: $26.2 million); "Atonement," $1.2 million; and "Knocked Up," $1.1 million (cume: $55.6 million).
"Die Hard 4" has taken in $10.4 million in four weeks in Japan, helping to lift its international cume to $237.7 million. The summer tentpole hit "The Simpsons" brought in another $1 million from 600 screens in two markets to provide a cume of $339.2 million.
In the U.K., where "Heartbreak" and "Kingdom" arrived No. 1 and No. 2, the order of finish saw "Run, Fat Boy, Run, at No. 3 with a three-week total of $18.1 million and "Atonement" at No. 4 with a four-week total of $19.7 million.