'Knight' tops overseas with $19 mil

Takes top spot for fourth weekend

The summer season concluded on the international circuit with more whimper than bang as Warner’s latest Batman adventure, "The Dark Knight," finished No. 1 with an estimated $19 million – a 45% drop from the prior stanza – from 6,580 screens in 62 markets.

In taking the top spot for the third consecutive frame (fourth weekend overall), "Dark Knight" pushed its international gross total past the $400-million mark ($416.7) and rallied its worldwide take to near $1 billion boxoffice territory ($919.1 million).

Ranking No.3 on the weekend domestically, "Dark Knight" finished No. 2 in Germany in its second market weekend with an estimated $4.4 million from 955 sites. In France it finished No. 1 for the third weekend in a row with an estimated $3.3 million from 820 screens.

"Babylon A.D.," with Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Gerard Depardieu, which opened No. 2 domestically, wound its second weekend on the international circuit with an estimated $3.2 million. 

About $1.5 million of that came its second weekend in France where Studio Canal released the sci-fi action vehicle directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. 20th Century Fox International drew an estimated $1.3 million from 377 screens in four other markets including the U.K., where the title ranked No. 7 on the weekend.  Universal contributed another $375,000 from just 33 screens (for a per-screen average of $11,364) in Belgium.

In a solid No. 1 opening at 365 screens in the U.K., Sony’s "Step Brothers," the comedy costarring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, racked up an estimated $3 million. DreamWorks/Paramount's satirical comedy, "Tropic Thunder," the No. 1 domestic title, grossed an estimated $3.5 million from 1,061 screens in 11 markets, hoisting its early overseas cume to $14.1 million. Worldwide, the tally is a hair under $100 million ($97.9 million).

Finishing No. 2 overall was Universal’s "Mamma Mia!," which registered $12.1 million from 2,933 dates in 33 markets, raising its international cume to $258.3 million. The adaptation of the hit stage musical has now eclipsed "Iron Man" (cume, $256 million) as the sixth biggest overseas hit this year. Worldwide, "Mamma Mia!" has grossed $391.2 million.

A muscular No. 1 opening in Italy -- $6.6 million from 580 screens – pushed DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda" into the No. 3 spot with an estimated $9.1 million on the weekend overall from 3,332 situations in 62 markets.  Overseas cume now stands at $385 million.

Fourth was Sony's "Hancock," Sony’s superhero outing with Will Smith, which nabbed $8.9 million from 1,445 screens in 44 territories for an overseas cume of $353 million. A No.1 Japan opening provided $7.9 million from 450 sites.

Tied for the No. 5 slot were Pixar/Disney’s "WALL-E" and Sony's "You Don’t Mess With the Zohan," each with an estimated $7.7 million. "WALL-E" played 3,472 screens in 36 markets, opening No. 1 in Singapore, Norway and Denmark, and grossing $175 million so far overseas (worldwide $392 million).  The Adam Sandler comedy played 2,330 screens in 36 markets and raised its international total to $69.2 million.

Nearly tied were a pair of action adventure releases from Universal:  "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" ($7.4 million from 1,500 screens in 17 markets for a cume of $40.7 million) and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" ($7.3 million from 4,681 sites in 53 territories for a cume of $239.1 million).  The same distrib’s "Wanted" drew $4.2 million from 1,522 screens in 35 markets for a cume of $138.7 million.

Warner’s digitally animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" raised its overseas cume to $22.5 million thanks to a $4.8 million weekend from 4,266 sites in 35 markets. In Paris and suburbs, it opened No. 4 and took an estimated $1.4 million from the France market overall.

Thanks to a No. 3 U.K. bow, Universal’s "The Strangers" tallied $2.3 million from 397 sites in just two markets (the other is Australia).  Cume stands at $3.7 million. Fox’s "Taken" took $1.9 million from 1,069 sites in four Fox territories for a Fox-only cume of $13.8 million.

In France, "Bangkok Dangerous," the crime-action vehicle with Nicolas Cage opened No. 3 via TFM (after "Dark Knight" and "WALL-E") in Paris and environs, and looked to gross $1.4 million in the market overall. "Doomsday," director Neil Marshall’s sci-fi outing, premiered via Medusa No. 3 in Italy, and grossed an estimated $500,000 overall in the market.

Other international cumes: Warner’s "Get Smart," $87.5 million (thanks to a $2.7 million weekend from 1,289 screens in 41 markets); Fox’s "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," $41 million; Universal’s "Death Race," $2.4 million; Fox’s "Meet Dave," $30 million ; Universal’s "Wild Child," $9 million (from U.K., Netherlands and United Arab Emirates only); Fox’s "Mirrors," $5.2 million; and Disney’s "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," $273 million (worldwide, $415 million) thanks to a $1.9 million weekend from 2,038 screens in 23 markets.
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