'Mummy' returns big o'seas
Sequel's $59.5 mil start takes top spot from 'Dark Knight' at int'l b.o.Opening at No. 1 in 26 markets from Mexico to Thailand, Universal International's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" topped the international circuit during the weekend, grossing an estimated $59.5 million from 3,559 screens for a thumping per-screen average of $16,718.
The third film in the series, this one co-starring Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello and Michelle Yeoh, played in 28 markets overall. Universal said it substantially outpaced comparable openings for 1999's "The Mummy" ($16.7 million) and 2001's "The Mummy Returns" ($21.5 million) in the same markets. The Rob Cohen-directed adventure title's worldwide weekend tally is $102 million.
Thanks largely to "Mummy's" strong showing, Universal had a sensational weekend overseas, registering a total gross of $84.3 million from its five titles.
"Mummy" set opening records for the distributor in Korea (drawing $13.3 million from an unspecified number of screens), Russia ($12.7 million), Spain ($6.7 million) and Thailand. In Latin America, it registered Universal's biggest opening weekend in the region and was tops in eight territories. Mexico registered $5.1 million, and Brazil contributed $3.1 million.
Dropping to No. 2 after topping the charts the previous weekend was Warner Bros.' latest Batman saga, "The Dark Knight," which drew $37 million from 6,468 screens in 51 markets. The overall drop from last weekend was 39%, which Warners considered "excellent."
Its international cume stands at $202.5 million; worldwide, its $597.4 million.
Finishing third on the weekend was Pixar/Disney's "WALL-E," which drew an estimated $15.7 million from 3,100 screens in 24 markets for an overseas cume of $95 million and $293 million worldwide. In France, the animation title opened at No. 1 with $7.2 million from 750 screens; it also premiered in first place in Holland and Belgium. "WALL-E" is expected to cross the $100 million overseas gross mark by Tuesday.
At No. 4 is Universal's "Mamma Mia!" which boosted its international total to $140.7 million thanks to a $14.6 million weekend at 2,310 screens in 22 markets, down just 10% from the previous stanza. The musical's worldwide tally is $228.7 million. Its best market was the U.K., where "Mamma Mia!" ranked second and drew $6.1 million from 495 sites for a 24-day market total of $63.8 million.
Ranking fifth overall is Sony's Will Smith superhero saga "Hancock," which pulled an estimated $11.9 million from 6,000 screens in 71 territories. Its international cume is $319.1 million. It finished fifth in Paris and suburbs and collected $2.1 million overall in the market, raising its cume there to $24 million.
Thanks to solid returns from France, Japan, Spain and the U.K., DreamWorks/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda" rounded up $11 million from 6,129 sites in 60 markets, good for an overseas cume of $328 million.
20th Century Fox International's "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" stayed steady in its second weekend with an estimated $9.2 million from 3,950 screens in 40 markets, hiking its cume to $22 million. It opened at No. 2 in Paris and suburbs and bagged $1.7 million from the market overall from 485 screens. The U.K. ranking was No. 4 thanks to another $1.7 million from 402 situations.
Buoyed by a strong Australian opening ($2.9 million from 195 spots), Universal's "Wanted" collected an action-packed $6.5 million from 2,162 situations in 39 territories, raising its overseas cume to $115.6 million.
Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," which has racked up an international cume of $246 million, is expected by midweek to become 2008's fourth-biggest overseas grosser, following "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "Panda" and "Hancock." It drew $6.1 million for the weekend from 3,700 screens in 30 markets, moving its worldwide tally to $387 million.
Solo-market action included a $900,000 Australia opening at 191 spots for Paramount's "The Bank Job." In its second U.K. weekend, the same distributor's teen comedy, "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging," finished at No. 5 with $1.5 million from 383 screens for a market cume of $5.8 million.
In France, "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" was the top-ranked local-language title. Director-writer Remi Bezancon's drama finished No. 6 in its second weekend in Paris and suburbs and grossed an estimated $1.8 million from the market overall.
Other international cumes: Universal's "The Incredible Hulk," $111.5 million (thanks to a $2.4 million weekend from 1,233 situations in 40 markets); Paramount's "Indiana Jones," $459 million; Fox's "The Happening," $92.2 million (thanks to a solid $1.5 million second weekend in Japan from 310 sites); Sony's "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," $28 million; Fox's "Meet Dave," $16 million (thanks to a $1.6 million weekend from 1,500 screens in 28 markets); Universal's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," $24.6 million; and Paramount's "The Love Guru," $3.6 million. (partialdiff)