Greeks roast Bean at int'l b.o.

'300' marches back to top chart; 'Holiday' slips to 2nd

In a see-saw contest with "Mr. Bean's Holiday," Warner Bros. International's super-violent "300" tipped back into the No. 1 spot internationally this Easter weekend, grossing an estimated $32 million from 6,500 screens in 61 markets, hiking its overseas total to $173 million.

"300" bested "Holiday" — reclaiming the No. 1 position it held two weekends ago — on the strength of huge results from several territories including Germany, where the Zack Snyder-directed epic about Spartan soldiers at the battle of Thermopylae opened to an estimated $6.3 million (including sneak previews).

In Australia, the weekend tally was an estimated $4.6 million from 337 screens that, according to WBI, "marks the industry's biggest April opening weekend of all time."

Third stanza weekends for "300" in key holdover markets included Spain (an estimated $2.4 million from 543 sites for a market total of $16 million); the U.K. ($1.98 million from 382 situations for a cume of $23.2 million); Italy ($1.3 million from 470 situations for a cume of $12.1 million); and France ($1.2 million from 464 screens for a cume of $10.8 million).

British comedian Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean blundered into the No. 2 spot with an estimated $30.1 million from 4,294 screens in 44 territories.

The latest in the comedy series takes the mishap-prone title character from London to the French Riviera, including the Festival de Cannes, finishing first in 10 of the 18 new territories it played while nailing down the top spots in such key holdover markets as the U.K. and Spain.

In its three weekends in release (the film bowed in Singapore and Malaysia in its first overseas weekend), "Holiday" has grossed $86.7 million. Distributor Universal International noted that today is a holiday in many countries "and we expect big results that day," pushing "Holiday" to the $100 million mark internationally by Tuesday.

Most notable among the new markets is Italy, where "Holiday" grabbed the top spot with an estimated $2.7 million from 339 screens or nearly $8,000 per screen and a 25% market share, Universal's biggest market opening weekend of the year.

In Mexico, it opened at No. 5 with an estimated $1.1 million from 275 locations, surpassing the entire market take of 1997's "Bean." In Brazil, "Holiday" bowed at No. 2 with $800,000 from 140 sites, behind "300" but 30% ahead of the opening of "Meet the Robinsons."

In the all-important U.K. market, "Holiday" ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive weekend with an estimated $5.7 million from 512 screens, collecting a hearty $11,133 per-screen average; the film's 10-day total stands at $27.4 million. In Spain, "Holiday" grabbed the top spot from "300" with an estimated $2.3 million from 280 sites for a 10-day total of $6.3 million.

In Australia, the second weekend take was an estimated $2.6 million from 257 locations, enough for a No. 2 market ranking and an 11-day cume of $6.9 million. The Germany results were particularly strong: "Holiday" raked in $4.6 million from 845 screens (a 26% market share), making its nine-day total $11.3 million.

"Holiday" has played most key foreign territories for the Easter break but has a dozen more markets to go over the coming months. The films bows Aug. 31 in the U.S.

Finishing in the No. 3 spot was Buena Vista International's "Robinsons," which laughed all the way to an estimated $9.5 million from 3,900 screens in 36 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $25.7 (worldwide $77.9 million).

Openings for the Disney-generated 3-D animation title included Brazil (an estimated $850,000 from 260 screens), Hong Kong (No. 1 with $485,000 from 40 sites for a $12,125 per-screen average) and Singapore ($340,000 from 30 locations for a per-screen average of $11,333).

No. 4 this weekend was newcomer "The Reaping" from WBI, a horror thriller about biblical plagues afflicting a small town, which captured an estimated $7.1 million in its debut in 16 markets.

BVI's "Wild Hogs" bagged the No. 5 spot with an estimated $3.5 million on the weekend from 1,400 screens in 10 markets for an international cume to date of $18.5 million.

DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Blades of Glory," the comedy that finished first domestically this weekend, opened in the U.K. at No. 2, earning $2.1 million from 362 situations. The other international newcomer is "Are We Done Yet?" Sony Pictures Releasing International's comedy starring Ice Cube, which managed $745,000 from 425 screens in Mexico and Australia.