'Simpsons Movie' reigns at overseas boxoffice

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"The Simpsons Movie" dominated the international market for the second consecutive weekend, grossing an estimated $47.3 million from 6,600 screens in 75 markets and pushing its overseas boxoffice total to $187 million and $315.6 million worldwide.

The weekend's top five performers comprised the same titles as last weekend's although "Transformers" supplanted "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in the runner-up slot. The market will receive a jolt this week when Universal International rolls out its No. 1 domestic title, "The Bourne Ultimatum," in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and the Middle East.

"The Simpsons" opened in Mexico, Denmark, Poland and India, with Mexico providing the biggest number, an estimated $7 million from 850 screens, enough to secure a No. 1 ranking and a notch as the third-biggest animation title to open in that market. In Denmark, the opening gross was $1.4 million from 119 sites for a mighty $11,764 per-screen average.

Biggest holdover markets for Bart and company were the U.K. (No. 1 with an estimated $8.7 million from 516 spots for a cume of $49.5 million), Germany ($5.4 million from 985 sites, cume $24.9 million), Australia (No. 1 with $5.3 million from 445 screens, cume $18.9 million) and France (No. 2 with $3.8 million from 716 situations, cume $15.3 million). Taiwan opens this week on Saturday.

No. 2 was DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Transformers," which drew an estimated $30 million from 6,118 screens in 53 territories. Overseas gross total to date for the action title is just shy of the $300-million mark ($296 million). "Transformers" opened in five territories, including Japan, where it finished No. 1 with an estimated $5.3 million from 616 locations.

Finishing third was Warner Bros. International's "Phoenix," which grossed 49% less than last weekend but nonetheless crossed the $500-million mark internationally with an estimated $25.2 million from about 9,700 screens in 59 territories.

Overseas boxoffice total for Harry and company now stands at $509.7 million, nearly half of which comes from the U.K. (market cume of $84.4 million), Germany ($52.4 million), Japan ($43 million), France, ($41.6 million) and Australia ($27.3 million). The film opens in Turkey on Friday and the next day in China.

In the No. 4 spot is Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille," which was propelled by No. 1 openings in nine markets to its biggest weekend tally yet, an estimated $24.5 million from 4,320 screens in 26 markets. Overseas cume to date for the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International release stands at $83.3 million.

Remy the culinary rat made a gangbusters debut in France, grossing an estimated $11.4 million from 800 screens in the opening five days. Preliminary figures indicate that "Ratatouille" might well wind up as the biggest animation title ever to open in France, given that in four days it was up 1% above the previous record pace set by 2003's "Finding Nemo," which went on to record a total of $528 million overseas.

Heat waves in Spain and Belgium didn't hamper "Ratatouille" as it opened to an estimated $3.4 million in Spain at 270 screens while in Belgium the tally was $750,000 from 80 sites for a lusty per-screen average of $9,375.

Despite heavy rains in Taiwan, Remy and company managed an estimated $540,000 from 86 screens. In Hong Kong, the tally was $770,000 from 50 sites for a strong per-screen average of $15,400.

No. 5 on the weekend was Fox's "Die Hard 4," which punched its way to an estimated $7 million from about 4,000 screens in 39 markets, pushing its international total to $191 million. The Bruce Willis-actioner opened No. 1 in Brazil for an estimated $2.2 million from 359 locations. "Die Hard 4" bows Thursday in Australia.

UI's "Evan Almighty," on the strength of openings in the U.K., Mexico and Brazil drew an estimated $6.2 million from 1,360 screens in 17 territories, hiking its international total to $12.7 million. The U.K. provided a No. 4 ranking with an estimated $2.3 million from 420 locations. In Mexico, the rank was No. 2 with $1.3 million from 364 sites while Brazil also came in with a No. 2 ranking and $1.1 million from 168 locales.

DreamWorks/PPI's "Shrek The Third" lifted its overseas total to $406.8 million with an estimated $3.5 million weekend at 3,404 screens in 54 markets. New Line's "Hairspray" continued nicely in the UK, grabbing the No. 5 spot with an estimated $2 million from 356 screens. International total (the title is also playing Israel and Puerto Rico) stood at $13.7 million as of Aug. 2.

Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" chugged to an estimate $1.1 million from 2,294 screens in 29 markets. International total stands at $647.1 million, 4th biggest all-time. Worldwide, the total is $954 million, 5th biggest all-time.

Other overseas cume updates: UI's "Knocked Up," $15.4 million; WBI's "Ocean's Thirteen," $162.4 million; UI's "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," $1.8 million; Fox's "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," $111 million; Sony's "Surf's Up," $7.4 million; UI's "Mr. Bean's Holiday," $187.6 million; and Sony's "Vacancy," $8 million.
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