'Bourne' in lead with $15.6 million

Adult titles, indies, local films moving in as summer ends

As the overseas marketplace begins to cool down, the last tentpole of the summer season, United International Pictures' "The Bourne Ultimatum," kept the momentum going a bit longer as it emerged again as the No. 1 international film of the weekend with $15.6 million from 3,226 screens in 35 countries to lift its foreign gross to $98 million.

And there's still some life left in the earlier tentpoles. The Disney/Pixar animated "Ratatouille" moved up $201.5 million after a weekend take of $9 million, and DreamWorks/Paramount's "Shrek the Third" soared to $451 million after registering $8 million. At the same time, a number of August starters are beginning to spread their wings, with UPI's "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" pulling in $4.7 million from 1,506 screens in 19 markets and "Knocked Up" taking in $4 million from 1,484 locations in 21 markets.

This time of the year also sees the introduction of more adult titles, the opportunity for local-language and indie films to break out, and the beginning of the exposure of possible Oscar contenders. UPI introduced Focus Features' "Atonement" in the U.K., where it arrived in the No. 2 spot with $3.3 million from 411 screens. The David Schwimmer-directed "Run, Fat Boy, Run" from New Line, released locally by Entertainment Distributors, took top boxoffice honors in the U.K. with $4.1 million from 413 screens.

Lionsgate's action-thriller "War," released in some markets as "Rogue Assassin," took in an estimated $4.4 million from 300 screens in 10 territories, arriving at No. 2 in France (via distributor Metropolitan Film) with $799,327 from 176 screens. In France, home of the culinary rat of "Ratatouille," the DreamWorks Animation film has held the No. 1 position for six weeks in a row, reaching a market cume of $52.8 million after a $1.9 million weekend from 528 screens.

In Japan, a film adaptation of a popular local TV show, "Hero," stormed the local boxoffice, taking in $9.4 million from a record 450 screens. The top three films in the market are of local origin. And local films are beginning to move into the top five on the boxoffice charts in Germany, Italy, France and Spain. In Korea, local films are back on top after a flurry of U.S. summer tentpoles.

In reaching the international peak over the weekend, "Bourne" topped the German boxoffice with $4.4 million from 690 screens. The Matt Damon spy thriller has taken in $40.4 million in four weekends in the U.K., $11.6 million from four in Spain, and $9 million from two in Australia, where it holds the No. 2 spot for a second weekend. This coming weekend it is set for 10 new markets including France, Belgium, Korea, Sweden and Norway.

"Ratatouille" opened No. 2 in Australia with $3.2 million from 479 screens and is being positioned for the staggered school holidays coming up Down Under starting in Queensland. The film, Disney's 25th title to pass $200 million in the past 13 years, is awaiting October dates in the U.K., Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Scandinavia, Greece, South Africa and China.

"Shrek the Third's" weekend business came mainly from holdovers, showing the continued boxoffice appeal of the green ogre with the addition of new dates.

New Line's "Rush Hour 3" advanced to a foreign cume of $59.1 million after bringing in $4.8 million over the weekend from 2,501 screens in about 27 markets, while New Line's "Hairspray" took in $2.4 million to hoist its cume to $36.9 million.

As "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" expands its foreign run, it has reached a cume of $14.5 million, while "Knocked Up" went up to $44.4 million.

20th Century Fox's summer biggie "Die Hard 4.0," as it is known overseas, pulled in $4.3 million from about 1,000 screens, highlighted by a No. 1 bow of $3.7 million from 491 screens in Spain.

In its ninth weekend of overseas release, Warner Bros. Pictures' "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" grossed an estimated $3.7 million from some 3,600 prints in 55 territories, raising its cume to $635.7 million. "Phoenix's" clout is evident from the $99.2 million it has extracted from the U.K., $74.3 million from Japan, $61.6 million from Germany, $51.3 million from France, $30.3 million from Australia and $27.5 million from Italy.

Fox's summer juggernaut "The Simpsons Movie" hit $309.3 million as it picked another $2.7 million from 38 markets. "The Simpsons" opens this coming weekend in Italy and in Japan in December. Paramount/DreamWorks' "Transformers" went up $378.6 million after a $1.5 million weekend in 35 countries.

In other weekend activity: "No Reservations" took in $3.7 million (cume: $18.3 million); "Disturbia," $2.6 million (cume: $24.3 million); "1408," $1.1 million (cume: $4.6 million); "Surf's Up," $1.4 million (cume: $39.2 million); "Stardust," $1.5 million (cume: $4.6 million); and "Evan Almighty," $2 million (cume: $51.7 million).

Cume updates: "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," $229.2 million; "28 Weeks Later," $29.1 million; "Next," $30.5 million; "The Good Shepherd," $17.7 million; "Mr. Bean's Holiday," $181.3 million; and "Hot Fuzz," $54.3 million.
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