'Bourne' races back to top o'seas

Boosts int'l gross to $98.8 mil against animated rivals

Handily outdrawing an eclectic mix of fading holdovers and early fall newcomers, "The Bourne Ultimatum" reclaimed its No. 1 spot on the international circuit during the weekend with an estimated $16.5 million from 3,660 screens in 37 markets.

The espionage thriller starring Matt Damon hiked its overseas gross to $98.8 million, and distributor Universal International predicts that the total will exceed $100 million by today. The film's worldwide tally stands at $308.9 million.

"Bourne," which topped the overseas charts on the weekends ending Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, opened in the No. 1 spot in each of five new markets, including Germany (an estimated $5 million at 702 screens), Austria ($850,000 from 91 dates) and Mexico ($1.5 million from 376 spots). It easily outpaced the comparable gross figures in these territories recorded by the first two series titles, "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy."

Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille" came in second for the weekend with an estimated $8.5 million yield from $2,809 screens in 34 markets, bringing its international total to $200.9 million. The animated title became Disney's 25th to cross the $200 million mark overseas and the 18th to gross more than $400 million worldwide (its global gross is $403 million).

"Ratatouille" opened in Australia on 255 screens, grossing an estimated $2.9 million for a per-screen average of $11,373, while in New Zealand, the opening weekend registered $380,000 from 75 locations.

"Ratatouille" continues gangbusters in France, where the film is set. It was No. 1 in the market for the sixth consecutive weekend, grossing $1.5 million from 749 sites. The market cume is $52.6 million, just $900,000 shy of the 2007 top gross in the territory, set by Sony's "Spider-Man 3."

"Shrek the Third," another animated title, wound up at No. 3 overall with an estimated $8 million gross from 1,933 screens in 63 markets, hoisting its overseas cume to $451 million. The DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International title, which finished No. 1 the previous weekend, grabbed an estimated $4.3 million in Italy from 613 screens for a market total of $20.1 million.

Universal International's "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," co-starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James, spread its wings internationally, opening at No. 2 in Italy with an estimated $1 million at 184 screens and No. 1 in Russia with an estimated $1.2 million from 331 situations. The result was an overall No. 4 finish with an estimated $5.4 million from 1,600 screens in 22 markets. Its overseas cume is $15.4 million.

20th Century Fox International's "Die Hard 4" opened at No. 1 in Spain with an estimated $3.7 million from 555 screens for a 40% market share. The action vehicle starring Bruce Willis finished No. 5 overall with an estimated $4.4 million from about 1,500 screens in 19 markets; its overseas cume stands at $227.8 million.

Grossing an estimated $4.1 million each were Universal International's "Knocked Up" and Fox's "The Simpsons Movie." The latter played 4,000 screens in 38 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $309.4 million. "Knocked Up" played 1,520 dates in 19 markets and pushed its international total to $44.5 million.

Similarly, Warner Bros. International's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and "No Reservations," the romantic comedy, each grossed an estimated $3.6 million. "Phoenix," in its ninth weekend, played 4,300 situations in 58 territories and raised its overseas gross to a formidable $635 million. "Reservations" played 1,500 spots in 30 markets, producing an international cume of $18.2 million.

Other overseas cume updates: WBI's "Ocean's Thirteen," $190.3 million; Fox's "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," $142.8 million; PPI's "Stardust," $16.1 million; Fox's "28 Weeks Later," $29.2 million; and Sony's "Surf's Up," $39.3 million.
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