'Iron Man' continues o'seas reign

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With an estimated weekend gross of $39 million from about 7,600 screens in 61 overseas markets, "Iron Man" bested newcomers "What Happens in Vegas" and "Speed Racer" to retain its No. 1 rank on the international circuit.

But second-frame results for the Marvel superhero represented a nearly 60% drop from the high-flying tally ($95.5 million) recorded in its opening surge. It beat its top two competitors by unexpectedly narrow margins, landing $16 million ahead of 20th Century Fox's "Vegas" and $26.2 million over Warner Bros.' "Speed Racer," which got off to a slow start.

Paramount Pictures International, among other overseas distributors, cited hot weather across Europe — with temperatures climbing above 85 degrees in the U.K. — as a boxoffice depressant. In the U.K., "Iron Man" dipped 58% from its opening session, while in Germany it deflated by 70% from its debut frame.

Nonetheless, "Iron Man" matched its No. 1 rank domestically and notched an international gross of $165 million, bringing its worldwide total to $342.1 million.

No. 2 on the weekend was "Vegas," a romantic comedy pairing Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher that drew an estimated $23 million from 3,902 screens in 36 markets. Fox declared it "a great start for the film internationally," citing No. 1 finishes in Scandinavia, Benelux, Germany and Austria. Its early worldwide cume stands at $43 million.

"Speed Racer," which opened weakly almost across the board, nabbed an estimated $12.8 million from 3,940 sites — a pallid $3,249 per-screen average — in 30 territories. The first film written and directed by the Wachowski brothers since the "Matrix" trilogy, "Speed Racer" premiered No. 1 in Korea with $2.4 million from 229 sites. Its global total is $33 million.

At No. 4 was Sony's romantic comedy "Made of Honor," which married $3.5 million from 1,320 sites in 19 markets for an overseas cume of $12.7 million, landing at $39 million worldwide. Finishing fifth was "21," also from Sony, at $2.3 million from 1,350 situations in 39 markets, for a cume of $41.3 million. (partialdiff)
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