'Dark Knight' tops global boxoffice

Three-fold increase in screens nets $65 mil



With competing "The X-Files: I Want To Believe" off to a shaky start internationally, "The Dark Knight" had little trouble dominating overseas boxoffice over the weekend with an estimated gross of $65.6 million from 7,143 screens in 51 markets.

The sixth live-action Batman feature averaged $9,184 per screen in its second stanza on the international circuit, playing nearly three times the number of territories played in its opening weekend. The superhero comic book adaptation seized the No. 1 spot in 42 of the markets it played with its U.K. opening producing a potent $22.3 million from 1,021 sites. In Italy, the opening weekend was $5 million from 636 situations.

"Dark Knight's" international gross total stands at $126.3 million and worldwide at $440.5 million. Warner's says boxoffice in the 51 markets surpassed by varying amounts comparable tallies for "Batman Begins," "X-Men 2," "Superman Returns," "Iron Man," "X-Men 3," "Spider-Man 1," "Hancock," and Spider-Man 2."

Sony's "Hancock" with Will Smith finished second on the weekend with an estimated $19.2 million from 7,563 situations in 71 markets, besting DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda," No. 3 with an estimated $17.8 million from 6,565 screens in 59 territories. "Hancock" has rolled up a total international gross of nearly $300 million ($294.6 million) while the animated "Panda's" overseas cume stands at $305 million.

No. 4, "Mamma Mia!," flew past the $100-million overseas mark ($111.7 million) thanks to an estimated $17.5 million weekend from 2,390 screens in 21 territories.

In just 17 days, the feature version of the hit musical has become Universal International's fourth biggest grosser in the U.K. Weekend tally there – where toasty temperatures held down overall attendance 11% from the prior weekend -- was a No. 2-ranked $5.9 million from 499 sites, for a market cume of $49.5 million. "Mamma Mia!'s" worldwide gross stands at $174.4 million.

No. 5 was "X-Files: I Want To Believe." The second feature based on the 1990's tv series costarring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, it bowed internationally day-and-date with its No. 4 domestic bow at 2,595 screens in 22 markets. Weekend gross was an estimated $9.3 million for a $3,584 per-screen average. Best market was Russia ($2.35 million from 553 screens). Worldwide gross is $19.5 million.

On the solo-market front, 20th Century Fox International opened director M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening" in the No. 3 Japan spot with an estimated $2.8 million from 310 screens, pushing the thriller's overall overseas cume to $87.8 million.

In the U.K., Paramount Pictures International premiered its first British coproduction, director-coscripter Gurinder Chadha's "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging" at 373 screens. Weekend take was an estimated $2.1 million for a No. 4 market ranking. Thanks to the beginning of school holidays in the U.K. this week, PPI is predicting a long summer run for this teenage-angst comedy.

Pixar/Disney's "Wall-E" snared $8.9 million from 3,081 screens in 21 territories for an overseas cume of $70.1 million and a worldwide take so far of $265.1 million. The animated title finished No. 3 in the U.K. with $4.2 million from 500 sites for a market total of $18 million.

Walden Media/New Line's "Journey To the Center of the Earth" grossed $6.7 million from 1,999 screens in 13 markets for an overseas cume of $21.5 million and a worldwide total so far of $81.7 million.

Universal's "Wanted" opened in the top spot in Taiwan, grossing an estimated $6.2 million overall from 2,560 screens in 40 markets and pushing its overseas cume past the $100 million-mark ($105.4 million). Marvel Prods./Universal's "The Incredible Hulk" opened No. 1 in France. It pulled $4 million overall on the weekend from 1,110 screens in 40 markets, shoving its overseas gross total past $100 million ($108.5 million).

Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" hoisted its worldwide gross total to $376 million and its overseas take to $236 million thanks to a $3.3 million weekend from 3,503 screens in 37 territories. "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" registered $3.1 million from 1,369 situations in 10 markets for an early cume of $21.5 million. Universal says it will release this action fantasy sequel in 44 markets over the next four months.

Universal's "Baby Mama," a comedy with Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler, opened No. 11 in the U.K., with an estimated $250,000 from 249 situations. Biggest local-language title in France was "Le premier jour du reste de ta vie" (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life), director-writer Remi Bezancon's drama of family life, which premiered No. 5 in Paris and suburbs, and drew an estimated $1.2 million market-wide.

Other international cumes: Warner's "Get Smart," $65 million (thanks to a $5.1 million weekend from 2,300 screens in 30 markets); Fox's "Meet Dave," $12.7 million (thanks to a $2.7 million weekend at 1,900 screens in 29 markets); New Line's "Sex and the City," $232.4 million; and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," $455.5 million (thanks to a $2.4 million weekend from 1,364 sites in 62 markets).
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