'Mamma' tops overseas boxoffice

'Dark Knight' falls to No. 2

Universal's "Mamma Mia!" grabbed the No. 1 spot on the overseas circuit for the first time, grossing an estimated $15 million during the weekend from 3,493 screens in 39 markets to best Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" by about $3.2 million.

The surprise smash musical adaptation of the stage hit opened at No. 1 in Portugal with an estimated $804,000 from 65 sites for a per-screen average of $12,369. In Korea, it premiered at No. 2 (after the local-language "Divine Weapon") with an estimated $5.5 million from 370 screens. In both markets the film registered the biggest opening gross ever for a musical title.

With an international gross of $280.1 million, "Mamma Mia!" has eclipsed Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" -- which has accumulated $275.1 million overseas and $416.1 million worldwide -- to become 2008's fifth-biggest boxoffice hit overseas. It has 16 markets to play and opens this weekend in France, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong and India.

Warners' latest Batman installment, which had been No. 1 for three consecutive frames and four overall, compiled an estimated $11.8 million on the weekend from more than 5,100 screens in 62 markets. "Dark Knight's" take is $437.2 million internationally and $949.4 million worldwide.

The weekend's No. 2 domestic title, DreamWorks/Paramount's "Tropic Thunder," grossed an estimated $2.6 million from 832 screens in 16 markets, good for an overseas cume of $18 million and a worldwide total of $114.8 million. Playing in four markets, Sony's "Step Brothers," a comedy starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, finished at No. 4 in the U.K. and tallied $2.4 million overall from 550 screens in four markets for an early overseas cume of $7.6 million.

In the U.K., "RocknRolla," a crime drama that recently played the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, opened in the U.K. to an estimated $2.9 million from 362 screens. Warners projects the Guy Ritchie film to finish No. 1 on the weekend in the U.K.

Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" pushed its overseas cume to $255.4 million thanks to a $11.6 million weekend from 5,265 screens in 56 territories, finishing at No. 3 overall. China was the big driver as the film, starring Beijing-born Jet Li, drew $7.9 million in its opening there from 1,158 screens, enough for a No. 1 market rank. The title is Universal's biggest opening ever in China.

With a strong Germany opening ($3.2 million from 446 sites), Universal's "Wanted" landed in the fourth spot and enlarged its international cume to $146.8 million. Its full weekend tally was $6.5 million from 1,802 situations in 32 markets. At No. 5 was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda," which collected $6.3 million from 2,922 screens in 64 territories to hoist its international gross to $397 million.

Pixar/Disney's animated "WALL-E" registered No. 1 openings in Sweden and Finland and $6.2 million overall from 3,375 situations in 36 markets. It has grossed $402.5 million so far worldwide, of which $184.5 million comes from overseas.

Sony's Adam Sandler comedy "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" opened at No. 1 in Greece and drew $5.4 million overall on the weekend from 2,185 sites in 37 markets, good for an overseas cume of $78.3 million. With 30 territories to play, Universal's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" has accumulated $48.1 million internationally so far thanks to a weekend take of $5 million from 1,825 screens in 22 markets.

Sony's "Hancock" continued to churn out the grosses with an estimated $4 million from 1,110 screens in 37 markets, with its second Japan weekend providing $3.5 million from 454 situations. Its international cume is $362.6 million.

"Bangkok Dangerous," the weekend's No. 1 domestic title, opened at No. 10 in the U.K. with an estimated $600,000. In Paris and suburbs, the Pang brothers' action remake with Nicolas Cage fell to the No. 8 spot in its second weekend with an estimated $700,000 from the market overall.

Another mixed-rights title, "Babylon A.D.," starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Gerard Depardieu, grossed $2.3 million via 20th Century Fox International from 875 sites in a dozen markets for a Fox-only cume of $4.4 million. In Paris and environs, it dropped to No. 9 with an estimated $650,000 from the territory.

Disney is releasing two Spanish-language titles: "Un Novio Para Mi Mujer" in Argentina, where the Juan Taratuto comedy finished No. 1 for the fourth consecutive weekend for a market cume of $3.5 million, and director Jorge Nisco's musical title "High School Musical: El Desafio," which debuted at No. 1 in Mexico with an estimated $2.3 million from 400 screens.

Although "Dark Knight" finished No. 1 in France, the local-language "Comme les autres," a comedy directed by Vincent Garenq about a gay male couple weighing adoption of a child, opened a strong No. 2 with an estimated $1.6 million from about 700 screens. The Anne Fontaine comedy "La fille de Monaco," a Warners local production, finished No. 5 in Paris and suburbs and tallied an estimated $1 million in the territory overall.

Other international cumes: Warners' "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," $26 million; Fox's "What Happens in Vegas," $138 million; New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $53 million; Fox's "Meet Dave," $31.4 million; New Line's "Sex and the City," $248 million; Fox's "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," $42.2 million; Universal's "Nim's Island," $22.6 million from 10 Universal territories; Warners' "Get Smart," $91 million; Fox's "Taken," $16.4 million; Universal's "The Strangers," $6.9 million from the U.K., Australia and New Zealand; Fox's "Shutter," $20.8 million; Fox's "Rocker," $218,672; and Fox's "Mirrors," $6.5 million.