'Eagle' takes aim, but 'Mamma' reigns

Musical adaptation continues overseas domination

PARIS -- DreamWorks' "Eagle Eye" added a soupcon of spark to the foreign circuit during the weekend, but Universal's "Mamma Mia!" dominated overseas for a fourth consecutive frame, grossing an estimated $15.3 million from 4,562 screens in 48 territories.

"Eye," an action-thriller directed by D.J. Caruso and starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan as a couple forced to engage in political assassination, opened through Paramount on 1,043 screens in 13 markets and earned $4.2 million, qualifying for the weekend's No. 5 spot. Best of the bows was Australia, where the film snared $1.4 million from 206 situations.

The spectacular foreign run for "Mamma Mia!" continues apace as the smash musical adaptation, starring Meryl Streep, improved 1% from last weekend's international tally. The film's overseas gross stands at $356.4 million, 2 1/2 times its domestic take. Universal predicts the global cume for "Mamma Mia!" will reach a cool $500 million by the middle of this week.

"Mamma Mia!" opened No. 1 during the weekend in Russia ($4.3 million from 436 sites, Universal's fourth-largest opening in that market), Ukraine and Malaysia. The tally for its fourth weekend in Korea was a solid $2 million, from 237 locations. Still to come for the musical are openings in nine territories, including Italy on Friday and Japan on Jan. 30.

Placing second overseas on the weekend was Pixar/Disney's "WALL-E," which drew $11.1 million from 3,491 screens in 33 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $215.4 million -- only $5.1 million shy of its domestic tally. The animation title opened No. 1 in Germany ($5.3 million from 650 spots), Austria, Switzerland and Turkey, and it maintained robust No. 1 positions during second frames in Australia and New Zealand.

DreamWorks/Paramount's "Tropic Thunder" ranked third on the weekend with an estimated $7.5 million from 2,078 screens in 35 territories, lifting the Ben Stiller satire's international total to $41 million. "Thunder" premiered in nine markets, the best of which was Spain ($1.3 million from 350 locations). The film remained in first place in the United Kingdom, where it has pulled in $9.2 million from the biggest overseas territory for Hollywood studio films.

Thanks to a No. 1 opening in Italy ($3.7 million from 326 screens), Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" snared $5.6 million during the weekend from 2,969 sites in 48 markets, qualifying for fourth position. International gross for the adventure title stands at $283.2 million.

Universal's "Wanted," starring Angelina Jolie, grabbed an action-packed $4 million from 1,691 screens in 31 territories, lifting its overseas cume to $182.6 million. The film's second frame in Japan provided $2 million from 321 locations, for a nine-day market cume of $14.5 million. Also making hay in Japan was Sony's comic-book saga "Iron Man," which grabbed $2 million from 415 situations, lifting its international total (including territories handled by Paramount) to $255 million.

Disney's release of Miramax's "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" enjoyed a strong No. 1 opening in Spain, grossing an estimated $3 million from 260 sites for a per-screen average of $11,538. In the U.K., the concentration-camp drama lured $3.6 million during the weekend from 448 situations, bringing its overseas weekend cume to $6.6 million.

Warner Bros.' release of Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" placed second in Spain with an estimated $2.1 million from 333 screens, down 36% from its opening frame in that market. The film's Spain tally stands at $4.5 million.

Other weekend tallies, plus international cumes, include: Sony's "Hancock," $2.3 million from 1,270 screens, cume $391.7 million; Warners' "The Dark Knight," $2.3 million from 2,400 sites, cume $460 million; Universal's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," $2.2 million from 1,753 dates, cume $62.6 million; Sony's "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," $2 million from 1,560 screens, cume $93.7 million; Universal's "Death Race," $1.8 million from 854 dates, cume $12.7 million; and Fox's "Taken," $2.6 million from 705 situations, cume $24 million (Fox territories).

Sony released "The House Bunny," a comedy starring Anna Faris, in three markets (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) at 231 situations, and the film grossed an estimated $755,000.

Despite balmy late-summer weather in Paris and its environs, audiences turned out for the market's top two titles -- both openers, and both locally produced films. At No. 1 was Laurent Cantet's "Entre le murs" (The Class), the Palme d'Or winner at this year's Festival de Cannes and the opener this weekend at the New York Film Festival. A docu-style film about the struggles of a teacher at a tough French high school, "Class," distributed locally by Haut et Court, looked in for an estimated cume of $3 million in the France market.

Placing second in France was Pathe's "Faubourg 36" from director Christophe Barratier, which grossed $2 million in the market.

In Italy, Medusa's release of Joel and Ethan Coen's "Burn After Reading" dipped 42% from its opening weekend but still placed second in the market. The film lured $1.2 million during its second frame in that market.

Other overseas cumes include Sony's "Step Brothers," $18.9 million; Universal's "The Strangers," $12.2 million; Warners' "Get Smart," $96.8 million; Universal's "Wild Child," $13 million; Warners' "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," $29.8 million; and DreamWorks/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda," $411.2 million.