Bean, '300' hold as o'seas dips

Torrid weather, crowded marketplace slow pre-tentpole pace

In the lull before the summer deluge of tentpoles that begins in May, only two holdovers, the slapstick comedy "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and the violent Greek epic "300," are doing what one international distributor termed "serious business." Overseas moviegoing in Europe was further depleted by a record heatwave, with reports saying that some markets were suffering from the highest April temperatures in 50 years.

A seesaw battle for the weekend's international crown saw Universal Pictures International's "Holiday" regain first place from Warner Bros. International's "300," pulling in $17.1 million from 3,952 screens in 42 markets to "300's" $13.8 million from 5,700 prints in 61 territories. "Holiday," which retrieved the No. 1 spot it held two weekends ago, has reached a foreign gross of $125.3 million. "300," in the offshore market for six weeks, hit $203.5 million.

In a crowded market in which major studios are cramming titles into available dates before the arrival of Sony's "Spider-Man 3" and Buena Vista International's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," the Bruce Willis-Halle Berry thriller "Perfect Stranger" found only a fair overseas reception — $8.9 million — despite a 42-market day-and-date bow. Though it recorded a No. 1 opening in Spain ($1.9 million from 362 screens) and arrived No. 2 in France ($1.7 million from 365) and Italy ($1 million from 302), the Revolution Studio/ Sony Pictures entry limped into ninth place in the U.K. with just $550,000 from 275 sites. The coming weekend for "Stranger" will see 14 more openings, including Australia, Mexico and Russia.

The U.K. seemed more attuned to comedy, greeting the aging suburban bikers of BVI's "Wild Hogs" at No. 1 with $3.3 million from 400 screens and easing "Bean" into second place. Overall, "Wild" hogged $8.1 million from 2,056 screens in 19 countries, with No. 1 bows in Mexico ($1 million from 302), Sweden, Denmark and Norway. In six weekends in Australia, it has taken in $12.1 million. This coming weekend, the bikers pedal to seven new markets that include Germany, Italy and Brazil.

In a key Pacific Rim day-and-date bow with the U.S., Paramount unveiled "Disturbia" in Australia and New Zealand for a total of $1.7 million from 246 screens in the two markets. It opened No. 4 in Australia with $1.2 million from 211.

With school holidays still occurring in parts of the international market, BVI's "Meet the Robinsons" continued to appeal to the family trade, picking up $5.6 million over the weekend from 3,908 screens in 36 markets to lift its cume to $35.8 million. It had no new openings, but displayed good third-weekend holds in the U.K., Mexico and Brazil.

"Sunshine," the Danny Boyle-directed sci-fi offering from 20th Century Fox International, brought a weekend total of $5.1 million from 1,866 screens in 32 markets, hoisting its international gross to $10.2 million. It arrived No. 4 in France with $1.1 million from 339 and dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in its second weekend in the U.K.

Paramount's "Shooter," with 12 new openings, targeted $4.3 million from 1,397 screens in 19 countries to provide a foreign take to date of $8 million. It entered the U.K. at No. 4 with $1.4 million from 303 screens and Spain at No. 5 ($877,000 from 271).

Warners' "The Reaping" grossed an estimated $3.3 million from some 1,300 prints in 18 markets, upping its international cume to $12.8 million. There were no new bows, but a second weekend in Mexico brought in $939,000 from 350 for a $3.3 million market cume, while Spain came through with a second session $833,000 from 301 screens for a market tally of $3.7 million.

"Holiday," which opens in France this coming weekend, has collected $36 million over three weekends in the U.K., $18 million in Germany and $10.5 million in Australia.

"300" has delivered $25.4 million in four weekends in the U.K., $18.1 million in Spain, $13.9 million in Italy, $12.3 million in France, $9 million in Mexico, $18 million in five in Korea and $11.6 million in six in Greece.

Additional overseas action saw "Music and Lyrics" move up to $81.4 million after a $1.9 million weekend; "Ghost Rider" to $106.7 million with the addition of $1.9 million; "Stomp the Yard" to $4.2 million after taking in $1.8 million; the Eddie Murphy comedy "Norbit" to $58.2 million by adding $1.7 million; "Blades of Glory" to $5.9 million after icing $1.5 million over the weekend; "Epic Movie" to $35.5 million after a $1.1 million weekend score; and "Blood Diamond" to $108.9 million as it dug up $1.2 million.

In its last overseas stop, the Ben Stiller family comedy "Night at the Museum" reached an eye-catching international cume of $318.1 million as it tallied $1.2 million from 540 screens in Japan for a five-weekend market cume of $27.3 million.

"Curse of the Golden Flower," the Chinese-language film that Universal acquired through Focus Features for some territories, opened No. 8 in the U.K. with $700,000 from 223 dates and earned $26,000 in New Zealand from 11.

Cume updates: "Happy Feet," $185.2 million; "Dreamgirls," $50.9 million; "Hot Fuzz," $47.7 million; "The Good Shepherd," $16.3 million; "The Holiday," $138.6 million; "Smokin' Aces," $18.5 million; "The Number 23," $24.9 million; "The Last Mimzy," $1.9 million.