'Beowulf' conquers all overseas

No. 1 at int'l b.o. for third week with $19.4 mil frame

"Beowulf" remained the No. 1 film internationally for the third consecutive weekend, yielding an estimated $19.4 million from about 6,700 screens in 60 markets.

The showing helped push distributor Warner Bros. International past the $2 billion mark in overseas grosses for 2007. Warners —which also handled the international rollout of "300" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" — is enjoying its second-biggest-grossing year ever, surpassed only by 2004, when it took in $2.2 billion overseas.

"Beowulf," the pop culture rendering of the Old English poem directed by Robert Zemeckis, broadened its overseas run by at least six key markets, scoring most strongly in Japan, where it snared an estimated $2 million from 292 screens.

An Australia bow generated $1.9 million from 269 sites, while Brazil weighed in with $1.2 million from 233 locations. Figures from a Russia opening were not available. The film also opened in Turkey and New Zealand (where it ranked No. 1 with $306,000 from 61 screens).

"Beowulf's" international gross is $75 million.

Propelled by a sizzling first-place opening in France, Disney's "Enchanted" — which finished first domestically for the second consecutive weekend — lured an estimated $10.7 million overseas from about 1,600 screens in a dozen territories, enough to place No. 2 overall. Its international cume stands at $18.5 million vs. $70.6 million domestic.

The musical fantasy bewitched a huge $5.5 million from 540 sites ($9,259 per screen) in France, dominating the market with a 35% share. The debut figures are comparable to those of 20th Century Fox International's "Night at the Museum." The weekend action also was 10% ahead of Fox's "The Devil Wears Prada," which also opened strongly in France.

In Spain, "Enchanted" finished No. 1 for the second weekend in a row, drawing an estimated $2.2 million from 304 screens (down just 35% from the previous frame) for a market cume of $5.9 million. Continuing its graduated overseas release pattern, the film opens this weekend in Italy, Greece and Hungary.

Fox's "Hitman," which finished No. 5 at the domestic boxoffice, wound up grabbing the third spot overseas with an estimated $10 million from 2,200 screens in 29 markets, good for an early international total of $11.8 million. Its worldwide cume is $42 million.

The action thriller based on a video game placed No. 2 in its U.K. opening with an estimated $2.5 million from 350 sites. In Russia, the estimate is $2.4 million from 350 screens, while in Spain the tally is $1.2 million from 300 situations, enough to finish No. 4 in the market.

Universal International's "American Gangster" dropped about 35% from the previous weekend and wound up No. 4 overall with an estimated $7 million from 1,600 screens in 17 markets, lifting its international total to $41 million. The Ridley Scott crime drama finished No. 1 in its United Arab Emirates opening, and it wound up No. 3 in the U.K. in its third weekend with an estimated $2.2 million from 420 screens for a market cume of $15.7 million.

Also boosted by its France opening was DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "The Heartbreak Kid," which laughed all the way to the No. 5 slot with an estimated $6.8 million from 2,191 screens. Its international cume stands at $72 million.

Warners' "Fred Claus" finished No. 1 during the weekend in the all-important U.K. market, though the distributor did not make gross figures available.

DreamWorks/PPI's "Bee Movie" expanded its overseas run by six markets and grossed an estimated $6 million from 1,345 screens in 11 territories overall, raising its overseas total to $18.8 million.

Disney's "Ratatouille" came up with an estimated $2.3 million for the weekend, lifting its international total to $406 million. Disney expects the hit animation title to surpass the $410 million mark, making "Ratatouille" the 27th-biggest overseas release of all time.

Universal's "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (1,070 screens in 22 markets) and Fox's "Lions For Lambs" (1,900 sites in 56 markets) managed an estimated $2 million apiece. The overseas totals are $32 million for "Elizabeth" and $29.2 million for "Lions."