'Iron Man' fights off 'Prince'


Paramount's "Iron Man" maintained a tenuous hold on the top overseas boxoffice spot during 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 for the weekend, "Prince Caspian" has an early worldwide cume of $77.3 million.

"Vegas," co-starring Ashton 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.

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.

"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. Its overseas total stands at $206 million. (partialdiff)