Another overseas victory sweetens 'Ratatouille' pot

Worldwide b.o. reaches $552 mil

Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille" rounded out a full month as the international circuit's No. 1 boxoffice hit during the weekend, grossing an estimated $21.9 million from 4,770 screens in 31 overseas territories.

The family animation title that centers on Remy, a French rat with culinary ambitions, raised its international gross to $346.8 million and worldwide total to $552 million. It now is the 10th-biggest film to be released by Disney (behind 1998's "Armageddon," at $553.7 million) and the third-most-successful Disney/ Pixar collaboration after 2003's "Finding Nemo" and 2004's "The Incredibles."

Disney is confident that by Tuesday, "Ratatouille" will surpass "Armageddon" and 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" to become the company's eighth-biggest international hit. It now ranks 39th all time overseas for any studio.

Playing strictly holdover markets at this point after opening overseas June 28, "Ratatouille" recorded No. 1 finishes during the weekend in the U.K., China, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and Poland. The U.K. led the pack with an estimated $8.2 million — up 31% from the previous weekend — at 533 screens for a market cume of $36.3 million.

Finishing second was the weekend's No. 1 domestic title, Lionsgate's "Saw IV," which opened simultaneously overseas in 15 markets, garnering an estimated $12.6 million from about 1,600 screens. The fourth in the grisly horror film series played especially well in the U.K. (No. 2 with an estimated $5.2 million from 395 sites) and Spain ($2.7 million from 300 situations). Its worldwide cume is $44.7 million.

Thanks to assured openings in France, Spain, Japan and Belgium plus continued strength in the U.K., Paramount Pictures International's "Stardust" finished No. 3 overall with an estimated $11.2 million from 2,860 screens in 54 markets. The overseas cume for the adventure fantasy, starring Claire Danes, is $60 million.

At No. 4 is Sony Pictures Animation's family comedy "Surf's Up," which has been playing abroad for some time and is hitting its stride. Its weekend estimate is $5 million from 2,212 screens in 36 markets — with a No. 2 opening in France providing nearly $3 million from 627 screens — for an overseas total of $64.6 million.

Ranking fifth overall is Warner Bros. International's release of the local-language "The Orphanage," which remains No. 1 in Spain for the third consecutive week with an estimated $4 million from 373 spots, good for a solo market cume of $20.6 million.

Opening internationally on a solo-market basis was Universal International's "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." It premiered at No. 2 in Italy with an estimated $1.8 million from 290 locations.

Other single-market action was lively as the fourth-ranked domestic entry for the weekend, Disney's "The Game Plan," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, finished No. 1 in Mexico for the third consecutive weekend (an estimated $925,000 from 300 screens for a cume of $5.2 million), while Dimension Films/Paramount's Stephen King-based outing, "1408," opened at No. 2 in Mexico ($780,000 from 280 sites).

At No. 1 in Brazil is "Tropa de Elite," a local-language action-crime drama co-produced by Universal that lured $1.1 million from 250 screens for a 24-day cume of $8 million. Universal's "Eastern Promises," from director David Cronenberg, snagged an estimated $300,000 from 162 screens in its fourth Spain stanza for a market cume of $3.8 million.

Sony/Summit Entertainment's "Resident Evil: Extinction" scared up an estimated $3.5 million for the weekend from all territories handled by the co-distributors, good for an overall cume of $54.9 million.

20th Century Fox International's "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" premiered in 16 small markets and squeezed out an estimated $2.9 million from about 2,000 screens in 32 territories. Its overseas cume is $10.8 million. Sony's "Superbad" grossed an estimated $2.8 million from 1,458 situations in 34 markets for an international total of $36 million. u