'Iron Man' continues overseas ride

'What Happens in Vegas' takes No. 2

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 surprisingly 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 general 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. The best single market for the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle was South Korea, where it compiled $4.7 million from 490 spots -- down just 19% -- for a market cume of $17 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 this "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.

Other weekend tallies: Universal's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" nabbed $1.7 million from 944 sites in nine territories for a cume of $19.8 million; Fox's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who!" earned $1.5 million from 2,500 situations in 28 markets for a $135.7 million cume; and Fox's cop drama "Street Kings" arrested $1.2 million from 1,500 screens in 42 territories, bringing its cume to $27.6 million.

The top local-language title in France was No. 3-ranked "Deux Jours A Tuer," from director Jean Becker and Studio Canal, which nabbed in its second stanza an estimated $1.1 million from 396 dates, a drop of about 50% from the prior weekend. Pathe's No. 10-ranked comedy blockbuster "Bienvenue chez les ch'tis" raised its 10-week market cume to $180 million thanks to a $750,000 weekend at about 600 locations.

Assorted international cumes: Warner's "The Bucket List," $68.9 million (thanks to a $2 million opening weekend in Japan at 233 screens); Summit/Universal's "Step Up 2 the Streets," $85 million; Paramount's "The Spiderwick Chronicles," $88.6 million; Summit/Universal's "Nim's Island," $9.4 million (Universal territories only); Fox's "Shutter," $14.5 million; New Line's "The Golden Compass," $294 million; Fox's "27 Dresses," $77.8 million; Universal's "Definitely, Maybe," $20.2 million; Disney's "The Game Plan," $53.8 million; Fox's "Meet the Spartans," $45.5 million; Disney's "Sommer," $6.5 million from Germany and Austria; Fox's "Juno," $83.5 million; Disney's "There Will Be Blood," $36 million; Fox's "Lions For Lambs," $47.6 million; Warner's "Fool's Gold," $35.5 million; Fox's "The Darjeeling Limited," $21 million; and Warner's "10,000 BC," $171.7 million.
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