'Horton' hears summer coming

Seuss pic remains atop o'seas b.o. as blockbusters loom

With the beginning of the summer blockbuster season a fortnight away, the international circuit logged another soft weekend that saw 20th Century Fox International's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" take the No. 1 spot for the fourth consecutive stanza with an estimated $9.7 million from 5,301 screens in 52 markets.

The animated comedy has rolled up a six-week overseas gross of $117.7 million.

"Horton" barely beat out the weekend's No. 2 title, Sony's "21," about MIT students applying mathematical skills to blackjack. Thanks to robust openings in four big territories including Russia, Brazil and Italy, it grossed an estimated $9.6 million from 1,729 screens in 21 markets for a cume of $20.8 million.

In third place overall was "Street Kings," a drama about a Los Angeles policeman (Keanu Reeves) accused of killing another officer. It drew an estimated $8.5 million from 2,429 spots in 37 markets. Co-starring Forest Whitaker, "Kings" has rolled up a total overseas gross of $10.3 million in 10 days.

Finishing fourth was Paramount's "The Spiderwick Chronicles," which raised its overseas cume to $74 million thanks to a $5.3 million weekend at 3,018 screens in 63 markets. At No. 5 was the smash French rural comedy "Bienvenue chex les ch'tis," which dropped from first to third in its eighth frame in France, grossing an estimated $5.1 million from about 800 sites for a market cume of $173.5 million. (The film's grosses from French-speaking Switzerland and Belgium were not available Sunday.)

Universal's release of co-producer Judd Apatow's romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," the weekend's No. 2 domestic film, opened day-and-date in Australia and Iceland for an estimated $1.7 million from 213 sites, good for an early global tally of $19 million.

Summit Entertainment/Universal's "Nim's Island," the No. 5 domestic title, grabbed an estimated $3.2 million overseas from 1,108 situations in seven territories. Sony's horror outing "Prom Night, which finished third domestically, raised its overseas tally to $1.8 million ($34.4 million worldwide) with a $510,000 weekend from 124 screens in Australia.

In the U.K., Summit opened director Mike Leigh's "Happy Go Lucky," the saga of a 30-year-old North London schoolteacher, at 77 situations for an estimated $657,000. Also in the U.K., indie Arclight Films premiered the Daniel Craig-starring "Flashbacks of a Fool" in the No. 11 market spot with an estimated $500,000 from 270 situations.

Disney released in Germany and Austria the SamFilm Produktion romantic comedy "Sommer," starring local teen idol Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht, to an estimated $2.8 million from a total of 410 screens. In Japan, Disney's "Enchanted" drew $800,000 in its sixth frame at 525 locations for an overseas cume of $210.9 million (vs. $127.7 million domestic).

Also in Japan, Fox opened "Lions for Lambs" for an estimated $1.6 million from 313 locations, lifting its overseas total to $43.6 million; meanwhile, Paramount's "Cloverfield" finished its third round in Japan with $1 million from 235 spots, good for a cume of $86.2 million.

Opening at No. 1 in Paris and its suburbs was director-actor Jean-Paul Rouve's "Without Arms, No Hate, No Violence," which looks like it will gross an estimated $6 million in France. Last stanza's No. 2 title in France, "Disco," fell to the seventh slot this time around with an estimated $2 million from 790 locations for a market cume of about $17.5 million.

Summit/Universal's "Step Up 2 the Streets" pulled an estimated $4.3 million from 1,749 screens in 36 markets for a cume of $76.3 million (worldwide, its cume is $133 million). Warner Bros.' "Fool's Gold," starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, drew $4.1 million from about 800 sites in 36 markets for a cume of $20.1 million. Disney's "The Game Plan" raised its overseas cume to $50.3 million (vs. $90.6 million domestic) thanks to a $2 million weekend at 1,429 sites in 13 markets.

DreamWorks/Spyglass Entertainment/Paramount's "The Ruins," a horror saga about tourists in the Mexican jungle, emerged with $1.7 million from 558 screens in nine markets for an early cume of $2 million. Universal's "Definitely, Maybe" raised its cume to $17.5 million with a $1.4 million weekend at 616 sites in 27 territories.

Other titles finishing with weekend estimates under $1.5 million include Sony's "Vantage Point," $1.3 million from 1,060 sites in 54 markets for a cume of $75.2 million; Universal's "In Bruges," $1.3 million from 274 locations (its cume is $5.5 million); and Universal's release of George Clooney's "Leatherheads," $1.2 million from 515 screens (cume: $4.7 million).