'Bourne' races back to top of overseas b.o.

Boosts int'l gross to $98.8 mil against animated rivals

Related story: 'Yuma' remake O.K. at boxoffice corral

Handily outdrawing an eclectic mix of fading holdovers and early fall newcomers, "The Bourne Ultimatum" reclaimed its No. 1 spot on the international circuit during the weekend with an estimated $16.5 million from 3,660 screens in 37 markets.

The espionage thriller starring Matt Damon hiked its overseas gross to $98.8 million, and distributor Universal International predicts that the total will exceed $100 million by Monday. The film's worldwide tally stands at $308.9 million.

"Bourne," which topped the overseas charts on the weekends ending Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, opened in the No. 1 spot in each of five new markets, including Germany (an estimated $5 million at 702 screens), Austria ($850,000 from 91 dates) and Mexico ($1.5 million from 376 spots). It easily outpaced the comparable gross figures in these territories recorded by the first two series titles, "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy."

In Australia, "Bourne" was in first place for the second consecutive weekend, with $3.1 million from 246 screens, for an 11-day cume of $9.9 million. It placed No. 3 in its fourth U.K. frame with an estimated $2.2 million from 444 situations for a 24-day total of $40 million. In all, Universal during the weekend placed three titles in the U.K.'s top four ("Atonement," "Bourne" and "Knocked Up"), taking a 50% market share.

Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille" came in second for the weekend with an estimated $8.5 million yield from $2,809 screens in 34 markets, bringing its international total to $200.9 million. The animated title became Disney's 25th to cross the $200 million mark overseas and the 18th to gross more than $400 million worldwide (its global gross is $403 million).

"Ratatouille" opened in Australia on 255 screens, grossing an estimated $2.9 million for a per-screen average of $11,373, while in New Zealand, the opening weekend registered $380,000 from 75 locations. School holidays in these markets should boost the respective tallies next stanza.

"Ratatouille" continues gangbusters in France, where the film is set. It was No. 1 in the market for the sixth consecutive weekend, grossing $1.5 million from 749 sites. The market cume is $52.6 million, just $900,000 shy of the 2007 top gross in the territory, set by Sony's "Spider-Man 3."

"Ratatouille's" Singapore cume now stands at $2.2 million. The market total from Japan stands at $31.2 million, and $17.7 million to date comes from Spain.

"Shrek the Third," another animated title, wound up at No. 3 overall with an estimated $8 million gross from 1,933 screens in 63 markets, hoisting its overseas cume to $451 million. The DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International title, which finished No. 1 the previous weekend, grabbed an estimated $4.3 million in Italy from 613 screens for a market total of $20.1 million.

Universal International's "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," co-starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James, spread its wings internationally, opening at No. 2 in Italy with an estimated $1 million at 184 screens and No. 1 in Russia with an estimated $1.2 million from 331 situations. The result was an overall No. 4 finish with an estimated $5.4 million from 1,600 screens in 22 markets. Its overseas cume is $15.4 million.

20th Century Fox International's "Die Hard 4" opened at No. 1 in Spain with an estimated $3.7 million from 555 screens for a 40% market share. The action vehicle starring Bruce Willis finished No. 5 overall with an estimated $4.4 million from about 1,500 screens in 19 markets; its overseas cume stands at $227.8 million.

Fresh solo-market entries included Working Title Films/Universal International's "Atonement," a romance-drama starring Keira Knightley and Vanessa Redgrave, which opened the U.K. with an estimated $3.3 million from 411 screens, with a good shot at the No. 1 market spot. Disney opened its animated "Underdog," about a beagle with superpowers, in Mexico to an estimated $510,000 from 100 screens.

Grossing an estimated $4.1 million each were Universal International's "Knocked Up" and Fox's "The Simpsons Movie." The latter played 4,000 screens in 38 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $309.4 million. "Knocked Up" played 1,520 dates in 19 markets and pushed its international total to $44.5 million.

Similarly, Warner Bros. International's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and "No Reservations," the romantic comedy, each grossed an estimated $3.6 million. "Phoenix," in its ninth weekend, played 4,300 situations in 58 territories and raised its overseas gross to a formidable $635 million. "Reservations" played 1,500 spots in 30 markets, producing an international cume of $18.2 million.

Another DreamWorks/PPI release, the horror film "Disturbia," lifted its overseas cume to $24.7 million thanks to an estimated $3 million weekend playing at 1,303 sites in 46 markets. "Transformers," also from DreamWorks/PPI, pushed its international total to $378.9 million after an estimated $1.9 million weekend at 2,047 locations in 63 territories. Universal International's "Evan Almighty" lifted its overseas gross to $52 million after an estimated $2.3 million weekend from 2,100 screens in 38 territories.

Other overseas cume updates: WBI's "Ocean's Thirteen," $190.3 million; Fox's "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," $142.8 million; PPI's "Stardust," $16.1 million; Fox's "28 Weeks Later," $29.2 million; and Sony's "Surf's Up," $39.3 million.