'Prada's' style still fashionable

Dominates overseas for 4th week; 'Saw III' captures U.K.

During the typical mid-fall breather until the avalanche of year-end holiday offerings swamp overseas screens, the fashion trend started by "The Devil Wears Prada" remained in style for a fourth straight week. But a number of other stylists introduced their wares in the hopes of picking up some of the boxoffice action before the start of the holiday season.

In Germany, locally produced films dominated the market, with the fairy-tale parody "Seven Dwarves 2" hitting the top of the boxoffice chart with an opening round of $6.6 million from 799 screens. Altogether, "Seven Dwarves 2's" weekend total came to $8.8 million with the addition of Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.

In countries where there are spot school holidays, animated films took charge. In Italy, DreamWorks CG-animated entry "Over the Hedge" took first place with $2.1 million from 452 screens. In Brazil, three animated films vied for family patronage, with the Weinstein Co.'s "Hoodwinked" at No. 1, UIP's "Barnyard" at No. 4 and Sony's "Open Season" at No. 5.

Lionsgate's horror sequel "Saw III" went to the top in the U.K. with $4.7 million from 374 screens. At the same time, Clint Eastwood's well-received "Flag of Our Fathers" picked up an estimated $3.3 million from 752 prints in four markets, with Japan opening to $1.6 million (No. 2) from 289 prints and France opening to $1.6 million (No. 2 in the Paris metropolitan region) from 430 prints nationwide. But 20th Century Fox's Russell Crowe starrer "A Good Year," from director Ridley Scott, failed to excite the U.K., entering the market in ninth place with $715,000 from 276 screens.

"Prada" remained the big surprise of the fall season as it pulled in $17.6 million on its fourth weekend at No. 1 from 4,335 screens in 53 markets to lift its international gross to $130.4 million. South Korea, which has been shunning Hollywood offerings for many weeks, opened its arms to the Meryl Streep starrer about a fashion magazine with a top-of-the-market splash of $2.9 million from 239 screens. No. 1 receptions also came from Belgium, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Estonia. And a second weekend holdover in Germany ($2.9 million) delivered a total of $13.7 million while a third weekend in Italy ($2 million) resulted in a market cume of $11.8 million.

"Prada" takes its fashion show to Japan on Nov. 18 and to China early next year.

"Open Season" led the weekend's animated parade with $11.4 million from 3,235 screens in 39 countries, raising its foreign cume to $40.4 million. Russia's $3.1 million from 479 screens was hailed as the third-biggest animated opening ever in the market. Helped by a holiday in France, "Season" held the No. 1 post for a second weekend with $2.7 million from 628, up 17%, according to Sony. The U.K. at its third weekend was only off 6%, recording $1.8 million from 452 screens for a market gross of $11 million.

Warner Bros.' "The Departed" showed weekend strength with an estimated $8.4 million take from some 2,000 prints in 22 markets, raising the international cume to $36.6 million. Spain, with $2.3 million from 371 screens, greeted the Martin Scorsese crime drama in first place while Australia kept it in first place for three weeks a row. The third-weekend take Down Under came to $1 million from 270 screens for a market cume of $5.3 million.

A nice slice of the weekend's animated business went to Paramount/Nickelodeon's "Barnyard," which crowed to $3.7 million from 1,854 screens in 16 markets. The international gross has reached $16 million.

The Kevin Costner-Ashton Kutcher Coast Guard rescue drama "The Guardian," a Buena Vista International release, reached a cume of $15.4 million after a $3.6 million weekend that saw No. 1 bows in Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

"World Trade Center" continued to pick up business, adding $3.1 million to its ledger over the weekend from 1,890 screens in 45 countries.

Warner Bros. said the fantasy thriller "The Prestige," starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, is playing well in five Asian markets, opening to $210,000 from 29 prints in Hong Kong and $175,000 from 30 in the Philippines. A weekend gross of $936,000 from 200 screens brought the cume to date to $2.5 million.

Summit Entertainment reported strong openings, especially in key cities, for "Babel," the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu drama thriller starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Nearly 50% of the weekend's gross in Sweden came from Stockholm, according to Summit, which noted that the film grossed an estimated $160,000 from 20 screens. In Italy, "Babel" collected an estimated $678,000 from about 270 screens. Other Summit activity included "Perfume: Story of a Murderer" grossing $2.4 over the weekend to raise its overseas gross to $75 million. The offshore distributor's "Step-Up" opened in the U.K. in the No. 3 position with $2.3 million from 307 screens. The weekend total of $3.3 million lifted the dance film's cume to $19.7 million.

"Pan's Labyrinth," a Spanish-language film distributed by Warner Bros., grossed an estimated $1.5 million over the weekend from some 500 screens in two markets, Spain and Mexico, to hoist its cume to $8 million.

Updated cumes: "Little Miss Sunshine," $17.4 million after $1.8 million weekend; "Click," $91.3 million after $2 million weekend; "Children of Men," $15.2 million after $2.6 million weekend; "Over the Hedge," $170.6 million after $2.6 million weekend.
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