'Museum' displays another No. 1

Regains top spot at int'l b.o. with $13.7 mil weekend

After five of six No. 1 weekends, 20th Century Fox International's "Night at the Museum" reclaimed the top spot overseas during the weekend with an estimated box-office gross of $13.7 million from 4,800 screens in 43 markets.

The international take for the Ben Stiller comedy is an estimated $230.8 million, almost as much as its $232 million domestic cume.

"Museum" made its way back on top thanks largely to a No. 1 opening in France (an estimated $4.3 million at 676 screens), a No. 1 second weekend in Italy ($3.6 million from 537 spots for a market cume of $10.1 million) and a strong return from Spain ($2 million in its third weekend at 474 locations for a market cume of $12.7 million).

In the U.K., where a continuing spat with exhibitors over Fox's decision to tighten DVD release windows has resulted in "Museum" being yanked from hundreds of screens, the film still managed an estimated $196,000 at about 190 sites. Overall, it has pulled $40.3 million from the market.

Finishing at No. 2 for the weekend was Warner Bros. International's "Blood Diamond," which nabbed an estimated $12.3 million from about 3,800 screens in 58 territories, hiking its cume to $63.4 million. The action drama, starring Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, opened No. 1 in Spain with an estimated $2.2 million from 350 screens.

The previous weekend's overseas leader, Sony Pictures Releasing International's "The Pursuit of Happyness," launching in 22 mostly small markets, finished in the No. 3 spot overall with an estimated $11.6 million from 2,880 screens in 43 territories. Its international total is $89.7 million.

Of the new markets, Belgium provided a No. 1 ranking and an estimated $280,000 from 28 sites for a solid $10,000 per-screen average. The biggest of the holdover territories is Japan, where the Will Smith drama slipped a benign 24% from a week ago with an estimated $1.9 million from 272 suites, enough for a No. 2 market ranking.

In the fourth spot was Fox's "Rocky Balboa," which debuted at No. 1 in Germany (estimated $3.4 million from 552 screens) and Brazil ($775,000 from 168 sites) and finished the weekend with an estimated $7.1 million from 2,500 screens in 27 markets. Its overseas total is $55.6 million outside of Scandinavia, which is handled by other distributors.

Opening second in the U.K. for the weekend — grossing an estimated $3.5 million in the market from 488 screens — was Paramount Pictures International's "Charlotte's Web," the weekend's No. 5 title. The animation film tallied an estimated weekend total of $6.3 million from 2,171 locations in 40 markets, boosting its overseas cume to $32.4 million.

WBI's "Music & Lyrics," a romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant, opened at No. 1 in the U.K. with an estimated $3.7 million from 503 screens. Fox's satirical comedy "Epic Movie" bowed at No. 3 in the U.K., grabbing an estimated $2.7 million from 327 sites; its overall weekend estimate is $3.6 million from 600 locations in nine markets for an overseas cume of $9 million.

Universal International's "The Holiday," with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, bowed in a half-dozen territories, including Italy (placing No. 3 in the market with an estimated $2 million from 288 screens) and Taiwan (opening No. 1 with $295,000 from 51 sites, a $5,784 per-screen average). Overall, it gathered an estimated $3.5 million from 1,308 screens in 40 markets for the weekend, lifting its international total to $120.4 million.

Buena Vista International's German-language "Die Wilden Kerle 4" (Wild Bunch 4) scored an estimated $2.9 million from 878 screens in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. The overall cume for the family film is $9.5 million.

With its eight Oscar nominations, DreamWorks/PPI's "Dreamgirls" also came up with an estimated $2.9 million from 1,037 screens in 16 territories, lifting its cume to $14 million.

As predicted, Sony's "Casino Royale" surpassed 2002's "Spider-Man" and now occupies the No. 21 slot on the all-time international boxoffice chart thanks to an estimated $2.8 million on the weekend from 1,305 screens in 33 markets. The overseas total for the latest in the James Bond series is $420.9 million.

Oscar-related titles included Summit Entertainment/PPI-Vantage's "Babel," which grossed an estimated $1.9 million from 742 screens in 14 PPI territories, for a PPI cume of $32.4 million. Fox's Searchlight/DNA's "Notes on a Scandal," which emerged at No. 1 in its first full week in the U.K., grabbed an estimated $1.6 million in its second weekend at 298 screens, for an international cume of $5.1 million.

BVI's "The Guardian," a Coast Guard rescue saga starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher, bowed nicely in Japan, securing an estimated $1.6 million from 175 screens, ranking No. 3 in the territory. The total cume from all BVI territories (co-producer Beacon Pictures is handling in Italy and France) is $35 million.

Lionsgate's "Saw III" continues to find a warm reception in Germany, landing in the No. 3 spot in its second weekend with an estimated $1.4 million from 436 screens, good for a market total of $4.7 million. Its overall weekend take was an estimated $1.9 million from 38 markets, raising the international total for the horror title to $73.4 million.

BVI's "Deja Vu," with Denzel Washington, raised its international total to $102.5 million thanks to an estimated $1.1 million weekend at 1,392 screens in 27 territories. With China and Japan still ahead, BVI projects a final overseas gross total near $110 million.

Universal's crime action title "Smokin' Aces" hiked its overseas total to $10.8 million with an estimated $1 million for the weekend at 610 locations in eight markets.

Sony says "Click," with a worldwide gross of $235.8 million and still playing in South Korea, has surpassed 1999's "Big Daddy" as the highest-grossing Adam Sandler title. The overseas portion of the total tally stands at $98.4 million.

Other cume updates: Fox's "Apocalypto," $10.7 million (from Fox territories in Latin American and Southeast Asia); WBI's "Letters From Iwo Jima," $41.1 from the Japan market; Universal's "Children of Men," $33.5 million; Fox's "Eragon," $167 million; Lionsgate's "Employee of the Month," $6.9 million; Fox's "Borat," $120 million (thanks to a $59,000 weekend in Argentina at 22 sites); WBI's "Happy Feet," $168.3 million; Fox's "John Tucker Must Die," $23.5 million; WBI's "The Departed," $144.8 million; and Fox's "The Last King of Scotland," $10.1 million (thanks to an estimated $1.1 million weekend at 514 screens in 26 territories).