'Shrek 3' returns to top spot at global b.o.

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The green ogre plodded over the competition on the international circuit during the weekend as DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Shrek the Third" reclaimed the No. 1 spot with an estimated $17.2 million from 2,110 screens in 24 territories, lifting its overseas gross total to $436 million.

The animated film that began its overseas rollout May 17 is now finishing its final international surge with debuts in seven territories including No. 1 openings in Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Biggest of the openers is Italy where the odiferous green ogre grabbed an estimated $10.8 million, the best ever animation opening in the market, as per PPI. Norway provided an estimated $1.9 million, 12% better than "Shrek 2's" comparable market gross.

In Denmark, the estimated gross was $1.8 million (including previews) while Sweden came up with $1.4 million (also including previews), a full 109% ahead of "Shrek 2" in the market.

Universal International's "The Bourne Identity" finished second on the weekend, grossing an estimated $15.1 million from 2,404 screens in 31 markets.
The action sequel starring Matt Damon had six No. 1 openings, most notably in Australia where it grabbed a 60% overall market share with an estimated $5.1 million from 252 sites for a mighty $20,238 per-screen average. It was Universal's biggest opening weekend ever in Australia, and the biggest August opening weekend ever recorded by any distributor.

"Bourne's" first place bow in Argentina produced an estimated $300,000 from 42 locations. A strong holdover in the U.K. yielded $4.6 million from 468 situations for an average of $9,829 per screen, enough to secure the No. 1 market spot for the third consecutive weekend. With 24 more overseas territories yet to play over the next three months, "Bourne" has accumulated a total overseas gross of $75 million. Its worldwide tally is $274.6 million.

No. 3 on the weekend was Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille," which consumed an estimated $10.1 million from 2,913 screens in 30 territories, lifting its international total to $189 million. The lone debut was in Singapore where Remy the rat-chef whipped up an estimated $860,000 from 50 situations for a solid $17,200 per-screen average.

Set in France, 'Ratatouille" is No. 1 in that market for the fifth consecutive stanza, grossing an estimated $5.2 million from 737 screens for a territory cume of $51 million. Disney expects that by this coming weekend, the animation film will overtake "Spider-Man 3" (market total, about $55 million) as 2007's biggest single title to play France this year.

Finishing fourth is 20th Century Fox International's "The Simpsons Movie," which in its sixth weekend overseas has broken the $300-million mark in total gross (cume is $303.2 million). Of that, $74.9 million comes from the U.K., $26.9 million from France and $6.8 million from Brazil. Weekend tally for Homer and company was an estimated $7.7 million from about 5,700 screens in 49 markets.

No. 5 was Warner Bros. International's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which recorded an estimated $6.5 million from about 4,500 screens in 58 markets. International gross total is $625 million over eight frames, putting "Order of the Phoenix" ahead of 2002's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (which grossed $617 million) as the second highest grossing title of the "Harry Potter" franchise internationally, and the sixth highest grossing film internationally.

Other releases: UI's romantic comedy "Knocked Up" grossed an estimated $6.4 million at 1,600 screens in 19 territories, down just 8% from last weekend. WBI's romantic comedy "No Reservations," with Catherine Zeta-Jones, drew an estimated $4.1 million from 1,250 locations in 20 markets, hoisting its cume to $12.6 million.
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