Bean bounces back at o'seas b.o.

Tops '300' again; weekend victim of presummer blahs

In a lackluster presummer-blockbuster stanza on the international circuit — aggravated by depressed daytime business because of freakishly hot weekend weather in Europe — "Mr. Bean's Holiday" re-emerged in the No. 1 spot with an estimated $18 million from 4,100 screens in 46 territories, lifting its overseas boxoffice total to $127 million.

The Rowan Atkinson comedy released by Universal International reclaimed the top spot it held two weekends ago, besting the No. 2 film, Warner Bros. International's "300," which logged an estimated $14.8 million from about 5,700 situations in 61 markets. That was enough to propel the graphic Spartans-vs.-Persians epic (which led the pack last weekend) past the $200 million mark ($204.1 million).

Overall, the stanza was afflicted with the presummer-blockbuster blahs. The combined gross last weekend of "Holiday" and "300" — more than $60 million — exceeded the combined gross of this weekend's top six titles.

Major studios engaged in inventory housecleaning to take advantage of available theater openings before the summer season begins in earnest when Sony Pictures Releasing International bows "Spider-Man 3" on May 1 in Japan.

Exacerbating things was the unseasonably hot weekend weather, about 30 degrees or more over the norm in many European markets. Saturday business in the all-important U.K. market was down 7% from Friday's boxoffice take, a phenomenon Universal International described as "very rare."

Universal said that on a strictly weekend basis, "Holiday" finished first in the U.K., grabbing an estimated $3.1 million in its third weekend from 503 dates (for a 22% market share) for a 17-day market cume of $36.2 million. Buena Vista International, however, maintains that its U.K. opening of "Wild Hogs" bested "Holiday" with an estimated $3.7 million from 400 screens (a figure that includes an unspecified number of previews).

Universal said "Holiday" finished in the top spot in Germany, with an estimated $2.2 million from 796 spots for an 18-day cume of $18.1 million; in Italy, with $1.2 million from 244 screens for a 10-day market total of $4.9 million; and in Australia, where it earned $1.9 million from 254 sites for an 18-day cume of $10.5 million.

"Holiday" also moved up from the fifth to the third spot in Spain with an estimated $1.1 million from 287 sites for a 17-day total of $8.1 million. It also finished third in Mexico, where the weekend tally was an estimated $760,000 from 271 screens for a 10-day cume of $2.6 million. "Holiday" has 11 more foreign territories to play, including Japan and Korea; its U.S. bow is Aug. 31.

In Germany, "300" drew an estimated $1.5 million in its second weekend from 678 screens, an ominous 66% drop from last weekend. Market cume to date is $10.7 million. In the second weekend in Australia, the tally was $1.8 million from 338 situations, a 58% drop, for a cume of $8 million. "300" took the top spot for the third consecutive weekend in Brazil with an estimated $1.3 million from 462 screens, a figure that exceeded by 66% the comparable number compiled in 2003 by WBI's "The Matrix Revolutions."

In the third spot is Sony Pictures Releasing International's release of Revolution Studios' "Perfect Stranger," which opened at 2,500 screens in 40 markets for an estimated $8.7 million. It also bowed this weekend domestically, finishing in the No. 4 spot. The film's early worldwide gross stands at $20.2 million.

The psychological melodrama finished first in Spain (with an estimated $1.9 million from 362 screens), in France ($1.5 million from 368 sites) and in Taiwan ($270,000 from 60 sites). In Italy, "Stranger" finished in the No. 2 slot with an estimated $1 million from 300 screens.

Another weekend opening was DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Disturbia." The film's opening frame in Australia and New Zealand came to an estimated $1.7 million from a total of 246 screens. In Australia, it ranked No. 3 in the market with $1.6 million from 200 spots. Worldwide tally stands at $24.7 million.

Finishing No. 4 on the weekend was "Wild Hogs," which claimed an estimated $8.1 million from 1,900 screens in 18 markets (eight new), raising its overseas cume to $28 million. Besides the U.K., the suburban biker comedy's biggest market opening was in Spain, where it finished in the No. 2 slot with an estimated $1.4 million from 300 situations. Next weekend, "Hogs" opens in 17 markets, including Brazil and Italy.

Fifth place went to BVI's "Meet the Robinsons," which tallied an estimated $5.7 million from 4,013 sites in 33 territories, hiking its international cume to $36 million ($108 million worldwide). In its third weekend in Australia, "Robinsons" yielded an estimated $1.2 million from 280 locations for a market cume of $4.7 million. Thailand, Korea and Taiwan will open this coming weekend.

20th Century Fox International's "Sunshine," a sci-fi thriller from director Danny Boyle, conjured an estimated $5.3 million from 1,973 screens 28 territories (22 new), upping its overseas cume to $10.4 million. Its biggest market opening was France, where it earned an estimated $1.2 million from 380 screens.