'Ratatouille' main course o'seas
Remy the rat leapfrogs 'Incredibles' on Dis/Pixar listCompleting its fifth consecutive weekend as the No. 1 international boxoffice attraction, Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille" served up an estimated $14.5 million from 4,381 screens in 29 territories and raised its international gross to $371.8 million.
Overall, the stanza was down slightly from the comparable weekend a year ago, and the ending of school holidays took a toll in key markets, particularly the U.K. But notable were the small-market international bows of "American Gangster," Bee Movie" and "30 Days of Night."
Universal International's "Gangster," the Denzel Washington-Russell Crowe crime drama that finished first during the weekend in North America, made an estimated $150,000 from 23 screens in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, enough to rank No. 1 in each territory.
DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures International's "Bee Movie," Jerry Seinfeld's first big film venture that bowed at No. 2 domestically, also opened at 492 screens in Russia and Ukraine for a combined estimate of $3.2 million.
Sony's horror film "30 Days of Night," the fifth-ranked domestic title, scared up $510,000 from 73 screens in Malaysia and the Philippines, finishing No. 1 in the former territory and grabbing second place in the latter.
In overseas release since June 28, "Ratatouille" continues powerfully in holdover markets. It finished No. 1 in seven territories — the U.K., Italy, Sweden, Poland, China, Switzerland and Denmark — propelling its global take to $577 million.
The animation film about Remy the French rat surpassed 2004's "The Incredibles" as the second-most-popular Disney/Pixar co-venture ever behind 2003's "Finding Nemo." It also stands as Disney's third-biggest-grossing animation title behind "The Lion King" and "Nemo," and the sixth-most-popular animation title from any studio.
Finishing second overall during the weekend was Sony/Summit Entertainment's "Resident Evil: Extinction," which scared up an estimated $10.7 million to lift its overseas total to $71 million. The Sony portion of the split release — 1,685 screens in 32 markets — accounted for almost all of the action.
The horror/sci fi entry starring Milla Jovovich opened at No. 2 in Japan (an estimated $5 million from 330 situations for a $15,152 per-screen average) and Spain ($3.4 million from 351 spots). In Chile, it opened first in the market ($140,000 from 24 screens).
At No. 3 was Lionsgate's "Saw IV," which ranked third domestically. The grisly horror sequel grabbed an estimated $8.2 million from an unspecified number of screens in 22 markets. Its overseas cume stands at $22 million; worldwide, it has made $73.1 million.
Fourth place went to Paramount's Ben Stiller comedy "The Heartbreak Kid," which laughed all the way to an estimated $7.5 million from 1,591 screens in 20 markets. Powering the weekend were openings in nine territories, led by Germany ($3.7 million from 491 spots). Its overseas cume is $30.3 million.
Fifth overall was Paramount's "Stardust," which grossed an estimated $7.3 million from 2,436 screens, lifting the overseas total to $73.2 million. In the U.K., where it ranked No. 2, the adventure fantasy starring Claire Danes pulled $2.7 million from 435 sites for a market cume of $19.3 million.
Sony Animation's "Surf's Up" continues to chug along, yielding an estimated $5.9 million from 1,980 screens in 32 markets for a cume of $72.5 million. Universal's "The Kingdom," powered by nine market openings, came away with $5.5 million from 1,696 screens in 32 markets, good for an overseas cume of $26 million.
Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum" grossed an estimated $5.3 million from 931 screens in 30 markets, thanks largely to a solid $4.4 million bow in Italy at 266 situations. Its overseas cume is $191.1 million. The same distributor's "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," a costume drama starring Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen, wound up No. 3 in its U.K. bow; it grossed an estimated $4.8 million overall from 800 screens in six markets. Its overseas cume is $8.1 million.
Sony's "Superbad" registered an estimated $3.4 million from 1,485 situations in 39 markets for a cume of $40.3 million. 20th Century Fox International's "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" drew $2.7 million from 2,400 sites in 38 territories for a cume of $14.8 million. Disney's "The Game Plan," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, garnered $2.4 million from 650 screens in just four markets for an overseas cume of $8 million.
In solo market action, the Weinstein Co.'s release of Michael Moore's "Sicko" ranked 18th in its second weekend in the U.K., pulling an estimated $84,000 (down 73% from its opener at about 166 spots). In its second Italy weekend, Fox's "Die Hard 4" drew $1.2 million from 411 screens, lifting its overall overseas cume to $243 million.