'Iron Man' beats 'Narnia' overseas

'Narnia' sequel still improves over precursor

Paramount's "Iron Man" maintained a tenuous hold on the top overseas boxoffice spot over the weekend, grossing an estimated $25.6 million from about 7,500 screens in 62 territories, and narrowly besting newcomer "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" and the romantic comedy "What Happens in Vegas."

The second title in the franchise based on C.S. Lewis' series of fantasy novels, "Prince Caspian" opened in just 12 non-European markets to an estimated $20.7 million, which distributor Disney said is a "27% improvement above the first 'Narnia' in the same bucket of markets over the comparable release frame."

Precursor "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was released in 2005 and accumulated about $420 million overseas, becoming the 18th-biggest international hit ever. Combined with its No. 1 domestic gross on the weekend, "Prince Caspian" has an early worldwide cume of $77.3 million.

"Vegas," co-starring Aston Kutcher and Cameron Diaz, bagged an estimated $20 million in its sophomore session playing 4,200 screens in 56 markets for an international total to date of $55 million.

A broader release pattern (an increase of some 20 screens) plus cooler temperatures across northern Europe, where "Vegas" is particularly strong, helped hold the second frame dip for the Fox release to a mere 17%. The comedy's worldwide cume stands at $95.3 million.

No. 4 on the weekend was Warner Bros. International's "Speed Racer," which dropped 44% in its second round at 4,700 sites in 39 territories to an estimated $7 million. The Wachowski brothers' adaptation of the animated Japanese TV series has accumulated a disappointing $24.4 million overseas.

Fifth was Sony's romantic comedy "Made of Honor," which hiked its international total to $19.6 million thanks to a $5.7 million weekend playing 2,085 screens in 25 markets. Sony's gambling-themed drama "21" drew an estimated $3.8 million from 1,415 sites in 40 markets for a cume of $46 million.

Meanwhile, "Prince Caspian" drew significantly higher returns that did the first "Narnia" in eight of the territories it played; the biggest of these was Mexico, with an estimated $7.5 million from 740 screens, 36% better in the market than its predecessor. In Russia, the tally was $5.6 million from 600 sites, 53% better than the first "Narnia." "Prince Caspian" opens in Japan, a strong "Narnia" market, on Wednesday.

"Iron Man" maintained its overall No. 1 position for the third consecutive frame. Noteworthy was its strength in the U.K. with an estimated $3.7 million from 479 locations for a market cume of $25.6 million. The overseas total for the Marvel Comics superhero stands at $206 million. The film's worldwide cume is $428.5 million.

Universal International's romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" claimed an estimated $1.5 million from 694 sites in 10 UI territories for a cume of $21.8 million. Warners' "The Bucket List," with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, chugged along to $1.4 million from 560 screens in 25 markets, hiking its international total to $72.5 million.

"Vegas" topped the France, earning $1.3 million from 306 situations. Pushed to No. 4 and No. 5 in Paris and suburbs were recent hits "Deux Jours A Tuer" and "Cash," with Jean Reno. Market newcomer "The Cleaner," director Renny Harlin's crime drama with Samuel L. Jackson, opened in the No. 3 spot in Paris and suburbs.

Assorted international cumes: Sony's "Prom Night," $3.3 million; Fox's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" $136.8 million; Universal's "Doomsday," $1.5 million (U.K. only); Fox's "Street Kings," $29 million; Universal's "Definitely, Maybe," $20.5 million; Fox's "Shutter," $15.5 million; Summit/Universal's "Nim's Island," $10.5 million (UI territories only); Fox's "The Darjeeling Limited," $21 million; Universal's "In Bruges," $9 million (U.K. only); Summit/Universal's "Step Up 2 the Streets," $85 million; and Universal's "The Other Boleyn Girl," $32.8 million (UI territories only).