'Museum' still top o'seas draw

Takes $14.4 mil; Globes boost 'Babel,' 'Dreamgirls'

"Night at the Museum" continues its lucrative ways internationally, rounding out a month as the No. 1 boxoffice draw with an estimated $14.4 million during the weekend from about 3,400 screens in 45 markets.

The 20th Century Fox International release — which ranked second this weekend domestically — is nearing a total foreign gross of $175 million (so far $173.2 million) and appears on target easily to surpass the $200 million mark well before the conclusion of its overseas run. Worldwide, the Ben Stiller comedy has tallied an impressive $379 million to date.

This year's Golden Globe winners generally — but not in all cases — benefited overseas.

Summit Entertainment/Paramount Pictures International-Vantage's "Babel," which won for best drama, opened solidly in four markets including the U.K. (an estimated $1.2 million from 130 screens) and snared a strong $4.3 million on the weekend from 828 screens. The film's international gross total jumped to $44.1 million $67.7 million worldwide.

PPI's "Dreamgirls," which won three Globes, including one for best musical or comedy, performed more modestly. In its first weekend overseas, it had so-so openings in Trinidad, New Zealand and in Australia (where it bowed No. 5 with an estimated $965,000 from 133 screens) for an overall estimate of $1.1 million from 167 sites. Worldwide gross stands at $79.2 million.

Fox's "The Last King of Scotland," which won Forest Whitaker a best actor nod, bounced from fifth to fourth spot in the U.K., where it nabbed an estimated $1.4 million in its second weekend at 247 screens. Its cume to date is $4.1 million.

Warner Bros. International's "The Departed," with a best director citation for Martin Scorsese, opened No. 1 in Japan (an estimated $2.4 million from 370 screens) and registered an overall weekend estimate of $4 million from about 1,500 screens in 33 markets for an international total to date of $131.4 million.

Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima," which won the best foreign-language film nod, ranked No. 3 in Japan this weekend with an estimated $1.1 million from 300 locations. Distributor WBI puts its Japan-market cume at $36 million, an impressive figure from one territory.

"Museum" had No. 1 openings on the weekend in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and finished in first place in its second weekend in Brazil (an estimated $1.7 million from 477 screens, with a market total of $6.1 million). Strong holdover weekends were logged in Australia (an estimated $1.3 million from 303 sites, for a cume of $16 million), Germany ($1.7 million in the fourth weekend at 819 screens, for a market total of $19.7 million) and in the U.K. (where it ranked third with $2.7 million from 460 spots, for a cume of $36.3 million).

Second on the weekend was Fox's release of MGM's "Rocky Balboa," which snared an estimated $11.2 million in its second weekend at 1,164 screens. Overseas cume currently is $23.8 million.

Buoyed by No. 1 openings in Germany, Switzerland and Israel, Sony Pictures Releasing International's "The Pursuit of Happyness" finished third on the weekend, bagging an estimated $9.2 million from 1,245 screens in 11 markets. International gross total now stands at $20.5 million, with $167 million worldwide.

The Will Smith drama drew an estimated $3.2 million from its Germany bow, playing at 500 screens. The weekend gross nearly doubled that of the market's No. 2 runner-up, "Museum."

No. 4 this weekend and on target to crack the $100 million gross mark internationally is Buena Vista International's "Deja Vu," the Denzel Washington action vehicle, which snared an estimated $6.8 million this weekend from 3,286 screens in 42 territories. The film is already Washington's best grossing film overseas to date, rolling up an $89 million international total, $26 million more than it grossed domestically.

Finishing No. 5 is SPRI's "Casino Royale," which drew an estimated $5.4 million from 3,030 screens in 51 markets, raising its overseas total to a hair under $400 million ($399.1 million). The biggest holdover for the Bond adventure is still the U.K. ($1.2 million in the 10th weekend at 276 screens for a market cume of $103.3 million).
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