'Hancock' on top overseas again

2:36 PM PST 07/13/2008 by Frank Segers, AP

Will Smith starrer beats competition for second frame

Sony's "Hancock" highlighted a lively summer weekend on the international circuit, grossing an estimated $71.4 million from 8,125 screens in 66 markets, and pushing its accumulated overseas tally to $180.2 million.

The Will Smith superhero vehicle was the most popular overseas title for the second consecutive frame. It opened at No. 1 in a dozen markets in its second round -- including a first-place $11.7 million bow from 589 screens in Russia, and $10.1 million from 752 screens in France -- finishing just $7.2 million down from its opening weekend take in 55 territories.

Universal's "Mamma Mia!" finished at No. 3 overseas with an estimated $24 million from 1,368 sites in a dozen markets in its second weekend overseas for a sizable per-screen average of $17,554.

The feature version of the stage musical, starring Meryl Streep, opened at No. 1 in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia and the U.K., where it furnished the biggest market opening for a musical, grabbing a huge $13.2 million from 495 situations, representing a 34% market share.

Universal Pictures International president David Kosse said that "Mamma Mia!" had become "a massive, massive global brand" with the stage musical playing worldwide and "selling 30 million tickets." The film edition's Sweden opening ($1.6 million from 126 screens) is Universal's "biggest of all time" in the market, he said.

"Mamma Mia!'s" early overseas grosses "attests to its universal appeal," Kosse added. "It's really not just a female demographic. It's really a family demographic as well. We've gotten reports of people age 7-70 going to see this movie of both sexes." Nonetheless, Kosse noted that anticipation is high regarding future openings in Asia -- Korea in September and Japan in February -- where the female component of the filmgoing audience is strong.

The weekend also accommodated openings of a broad range of films including Universal's release of "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" from director Guillermo del Toro. The fantasy action sequel, the No. 1 film domestically, grabbed $4.6 million in a limited overseas opening at 533 screens in Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Walden Media/New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" dipped its 3-D toes in five markets for an estimated $4.2 million from 625 screens. Its biggest territory was the U.K. where the weekend pulled in $2 million from 250 sites for a per-screen average of $8,207.

Fox's release of the Eddie Murphy comedy "Meet Dave" opened to a tame $3.6 million from 981 sites in 18 markets. Paramount, meanwhile, debuted its Mike Myers comedy "The Love Guru" at 80 locations in Australia for an even tamer $1.1 million. Fox also opened director John Woo's action epic "The Battle of Red Cliff" in Taiwan for an estimated $2.6 million from 91 situations -- for a mighty per-screen average of $28,571.

Finishing second on the weekend was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda," which tallied $41 million from 6,236 screens in 55 markets. Its cume now stands at $215.9 million, making the animation romp 2008's fifth-biggest international grosser.

Coming in at No. 4 was 2008's fourth-biggest overseas grosser, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," which has rolled up a $218 million overseas thanks to a $12 million weekend from 4,132 screens in 42 markets.

Finishing at No. 5 was Universal's action title "Wanted," which grossed $9.5 million from 2,532 sites in 28 markets for a cume of $80.7 million. Pixar/Disney's "WALL-E" grabbed $7.4 million from 1,153 screens in 19 markets for a cume of $33.6 million.

Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" raised its international gross total to $441 million thanks to a $5.7 million weekend from 2,332 sites in 62 markets.

Warner's spy spoof "Get Smart" hoisted its overseas cume to $46.1 million thanks to a $6.2 million weekend from 2,150 sites in 27 territories. New Line's "Sex and the City," 2008's third-biggest overseas grosser, lured $4.4 million on the weekend from 4,384 screens in 55 markets, pushing its cume to $220.5 million.

"The Incredible Hulk" from Marvel/Universal passed the $100 million mark overseas ($101.3 million) thanks to a $3.1 million weekend from 3,876 situations in 54 markets.

Other international cumes: Fox's "The Happening," $82.4 million; Sony's "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," $25.5 million; Fox's "What Happens in Vegas," $129.2 million; Marvel/Paramount's "Iron Man," $252 million; and Fox's "Street Kings," $36 million.
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