Still big 'Mamma's' house
EmptyGet ready for a batch of sequels and/or clones. Seems there's an untapped market of older women out there, judging from the amazing success of Universal's "Mamma Mia!," which dominated the overseas market for a fourth consecutive weekend with a $15.1 million take from 4,155 screens in 44 countries.
Russia, Ukraine and Malaysia joined the cheering section with sturdy openings that helped raise the international gross to $356.6 million, which combined with domestic's $142.2 million to hit $498.8 million, with $500 million in sight by today. "Mamma Mia!" is set to open in nine more countries, including Italy on Oct. 3 and Japan on Jan. 30.
Expected competition from Paramount/DreamWorks' "Eagle Eye" failed to materialize as the terrorist/political assassination thriller pulled in $4.1 million from 970 screens in nine mostly smaller markets. The Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan starrer expands to 18 more markets this weekend.
In continuing glutted markets, new entries are not making much headway and local-language films are getting a chance to shine. Several specialized films are finding favor in limited releases in a few territories.
Disney/Pixar's popular "WALL-E" continues its gratifying slow rollout, coming in No. 2 this weekend with $11.6 million from 3,335 screens in 36 markets, highlighted by top slots in six countries that lifted its foreign gross to $212.3 million. Germany hailed the animated hit with $5.3 million from 733 screens, and it opened on top in Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. Two more openings remain: Italy on Oct. 17 and Japan on Dec. 5.
The addition of nine new markets lifted Paramount's Ben Stiller comedy "Tropic Thunder" to third place in the weekend standings, scoring $7.8 million from 2,007 screens in 30 markets for an international gross of $40.9 million. In a waning U.K. market, "Tropic" held the No. 1 position for a second weekend with $2.4 million from 461 screens for a 10-day total of 9.1 million. In Spain, it arrived at No. 4 with $1.3 million from 337.
"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" kept up an agreeable pace as it reached an international cume of $283.2 million after bringing in $5.2 million from 2,391 dates in 34 territories. It opened at No. 1 in Italy with $3.7 million from 326.
In Germany, the debut of media-blitz terrorist drama "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" opened No. 2 (behind "WALL-E") with $4.7 million from 550 screens. "Komplex," the Uli Edel-directed film about a gang of left-wing radicals known as the RAF that terrorized Germany in the 1970s, has divided German critics, with some praising it for "shattering the myth" of the RAF and others damning it as "political pornography."
Specialized pic inroads saw Miramax's "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" open No. 1 in Spain (following its San Sebastian film festival debut) with $3.2 million from 453 screens. In the U.K., the concentration camp story has taken in $3.7 million in 17 days.
Also in Spain, Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," via Warner Bros. Spain, grossed an estimated $2 million from 334 screens, a 39% drop from opening weekend, with a No. 2 ranking in the market and a cume to date of $6.5 million.
Fox release "Arrancame La Vida" maintained its hold on its home market of Mexico, finishing first for a third weekend, with $1 million from 378 screens for a market cume of $6.3 million.
In France, three local films held the top three spots. "The Class" opened to $3.1 million from 368 screens, "Faubourg 36" grabbed $3 million from 594 and "Parley Moi de la Pluie" had $5.2 million from 466 after two sessions.
In Japan, two U.S. action films ranked No. 1 and No. 2. Universal's comic book adaptation "Wanted" held at the top with $2 million from 506 screens, while "Iron Man," in its final overseas bow via Sony, followed with $2 million from 402. "Wanted," which grossed $4 million from 1,749 dates in 24 territories, hit a cume of $183 million. "Iron Man" has now earned $227 million.
More action: "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $3.1 million (cume: $77.4 million); "Taken," $3.3 million, (cume: $24.5 million); "The Dark Knight," $2.3 million (cume: $460 million); "Hancock," $2.3 million (cume: $391.8 million).
Scott Roxborough in Cologne, Germany contributed to this report.