'Hogs' a wild one at o'seas b.o.

Market expansion wins presummer lull with $11.5 mil

The lull before the summer blockbuster invasion brought a surprise top finisher internationally this weekend as "Wild Hogs" zoomed to No. 1 with an estimated $11.5 million from 3,046 screens in 38 markets, lifting its foreign gross total to $43.3 million.

A 15-market expansion propelled "Hogs" past Universal International's "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and Warner Bros. International's "300," which had been sharing first place in the overseas rankings for the past five weekends.

The suburban biker comedy starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy bowed strongly in 15 new markets including No. 1 openings in Germany (an estimated $2.9 million from 600 screens), Switzerland ($480,000 from 50 sites for a per-screen average of $9,600), Austria ($375,000 from 85 situations, more than the market's No. 2 through No. 4 titles combined) and in Singapore ($285,000 from 26 spots for a per-screen average of $10,961).

"Hogs," which has been playing for eight weekends in Australia (where its market cume is $12.7 million), also finished first in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In the U.K., also in its second weekend, the Buena Vista International comedy was No. 1 with an estimated $1.9 million from 400 screens for a market cume of $6.3 million.

"Holiday" finished at No. 2 with an estimated $10.5 million from 3,900 screens in 48 territories, hiking its overseas running total to $142 million. A No. 1 opening in France (via Studio Canal) produced an estimated $800,000 from 300 situations, while the slapstick comedy with Rowan Atkinson yielded an estimated $1.7 million from 480 screens in the U.K. for a 24-day market cume of $39 million.

Placing third on the weekend was SPRI's release of Revolution Studios' "Perfect Stranger," which lured an estimated $8.9 million from 3,300 screens in 58 markets. The biggest of the film's four new territories was Russia, where the psychological thriller with Halle Berry and Bruce Willis finished No. 1 with an estimated $1.7 million from 270 screens.

No. 4 is Paramount Pictures International's "Shooter," which targeted an estimated $8.6 million from 2,807 screens in 52 markets, hiking its overseas total to $19.1 million. The action film staring Mark Wahlberg bowed in six markets, most strongly in France (placing No. 2 with an estimated $1.4 million from 250 screens) and Australia (taking the No. 1 spot with $1.2 million from 173 locales).

Dropping from No. 2 last weekend to this stanza's fifth position is "300," the Zack Snyder-directed Spartans-vs.-Persians epic, which fought its way to an estimated $7.5 million from about 4,600 screens in 59 territories, lifting its running international total to $216.8 million.

Warners' "The Reaping" scared up an estimated $6.5 million from about 2,600 spots in 39 territories, lifting the overseas cume for the Hilary Swank horror title to $19.3 million.

Notable single-market action included the U.K. opening of New Line's "Fracture" day-and-date with its U.S. bow via local distributor Entertainment Film Distributors Ltd. The weekend estimate for the thriller with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling is $1.6 million from 360 screens.

In Italy, Warners released a Cattleya local-language production, "Mio Fratello e Figlio Unico," a comedy costarring Elio Germano and Riccardo Scamarcio. The opening weekend estimate was $2.3 million from 59 situations for a humongous $38,983 per-screen average.

20th Century Fox International's "Sunshine," director Danny Boyle's sci-fi thriller, garnered an estimated $5.9 million from 3,200 screens in 44 markets, of which 15 were new. "Sunshine's" international total stands at $18.6 million.