Indiana Jones back on top overseas

Strong opening in Japan propels film to $25 mil weekend

Propelled by a powerhouse opening in Japan, Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" reclaimed the No. 1 spot overseas it held two weekends ago with an estimated gross of $25 million from 5,877 screens in 62 markets, lifting its total foreign take to $392 million.

The weekend's No. 1 domestic grosser, Warner Bros.' "Get Smart," dipped its toes in overseas waters, grossing an estimated $5.7 million from 1,082 sites -- a per-screen average of $5,268 -- in what Warners describes as "mostly smaller markets." The best of those was Brazil, where the update of the 1960s TV series finished No. 1 with $1.3 million from 239 situations.

Hovering close in second place overall was Marvel Prods.' "The Incredible Hulk," with an estimated take of $23.4 million from 4,700 situations in 50 territories -- 12 of them new -- and raising its totals to $63.3 million overseas and $159.8 million worldwide. Territories handled by distributor Universal International accounted for $57 million of the total international take.

Dropping 55% from its No. 1 opening frame, 20th Century Fox International's "The Happening" wound up fifth for the weekend with an estimated $14.2 million from 5,500 sites in 64 markets for an early cume of $57 million overseas and $107.3 million worldwide.

New Line's "Sex and the City," which opened in seven markets, finished a close No. 3 for the weekend with an estimated $21.4 million from 6,554 screens in 52 territories. Its foreign cume stands at $170 million. The biggest of the opening markets was Russia, where the film version of the HBO TV series grossed an estimated $4.2 million for a lusty per-screen average of $8,546.

Opening at No. 1 in Mexico and registering the fourth-biggest market debut of all time for an animation title ($5.9 million from 427 locations) was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda," which finished No. 4 for the weekend. Its overall tally was an estimated $19 million from 2,860 screens in 18 territories for a cume-to-date of $66.5 million foreign and $221.1 million worldwide.

"Crystal Skull" had been the No. 1 international title two frames ago before being displaced by "Sex" and then "Happening" the previous week. A No.1 Japan bow revived the latest in the Indiana Jones series with a huge $13.1 million from 325 sites -- a per-screen average of $40,308.

Sony's "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" had six solid openings, including No. 1 finishes in Australia ($4.1 million from 244 screens) and Singapore. The weekend take for the Adam Sandler comedy was an estimated $7.8 million from 1,110 situations in 11 markets for a cume of $13.1 million.

Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," poised to open major European territories with this weekend's conclusion of the quadrennial European soccer championships, bagged $7.3 million from 4,191 situations in 30 markets. Its overseas cume is $137 million.

Romantic comedies continue to chug along, with Sony's "Made of Honor" drawing $3.5 million from 1,920 screens in 38 markets for a cume of $43.8 million. Fox's "What Happens in Vegas" won $2.2 million from 2,000 screens in 34 markets, good for a cume of $121.1 million. Sony's gambling-themed "21" is hanging in with $2.7 million from 1,370 sites in 45 markets for a cume of $67.4 million.

In France, the only local-language title to break the top five is "La personne aux deux personnes," which nabbed the No. 4 spot in Paris and suburbs. The musical comic-fantasy starring Daniel Auteuil about a shy accountant with a split personality grossed about $1 million marketwide.

Cumes for other big French-language titles include "Sagan," a biopic of French novelist Francoise Sagan, $2.5 million in two frames; "A Christmas Tale," with Catherine Deneuve, $4.4 million in five stanzas; and the smash hit "Bienvenue chez les ch'tis," $193 million over 17 weeks.

Additional international cumes: "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," $29.1 million (thanks to a $1.8 million weekend from 750 sites in 19 markets); Marvel Prods./Paramount's "Iron Man," $250.8 million; Walden Media/Universal's "Nim's Island," $14.6 million (Universal territories only); and Warners' "Speed Racer," $39.8 million (thanks to a $1.4 million weekend from 1,192 situations in 39 territories).