'Sex' on top overseas

Claims No. 1 spot with estimated $38.2 mil

Women power exerted itself internationally as "Sex and the City" edged out "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" over the weekend, claiming the No. 1 spot with an estimated $38.2 million from about 5,645 screens in 40 markets.

In just 12 days out overseas, the New Line Cinema release of the feature version of the hit HBO TV series has accumulated $91.3 million in total international boxoffice. Paramount's "Crystal Skull" has accumulated overseas boxoffice of $326 million over a 19-day period, thanks to an estimated $36 million over the weekend from 8,352 sites in 60 territories.

Worldwide, "Crystal Skull" has a cume to date of $579 million. "Sex and the City," meanwhile, has racked up $190.6 million globally.

The No. 1 domestic title, DreamWorks/Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda," debuted day-and-date in nine overseas markets for an animated $20.7 million from 1,398 screens for a muscular $14,806 per-screen average. It ranks third on the weekend followed closely by Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."

"Panda," the action saga of an overweight panda (voiced by Jack Black), set boxoffice records for an animation title in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines and grossed a stunning $9.2 million from 569 locations in Russia, as well as $7.5 million from 550 screens in South Korea.

Another weekend newcomer was "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," the Adam Sandler comedy, which tallied $2 million from 406 screens in Mexico and Iceland. The Sony release was No. 1 in Mexico, the best opening to date of a Sandler title in a market where his film play particularly well.

No. 5 on the weekend was Fox's romantic comedy "What Happens in Vegas," which logged an estimated $7.8 million from about 3,000 screens in 62 markets, hiking its overseas cume past the $100 million mark ($107.9 million).

"Sex" broke out in 25 fresh markets after its limited opening last weekend. It finished No. 1 in 13 of the new territories, with Australia leading the pack with a stunning $7.7 million from 452 sites for a per-screen average of $17,129. South Korea, Denmark, Mexico and Greece all provided weekend grosses of at least $1 million.

"Crystal Skull," which ranked No. 1 overseas for the previous two weekends, dropped almost 50% from its prior frame. Its numbers might have been adversely affected by the opening of the European Cup soccer championship season, which might have drained part of its male audience in Europe. Nonetheless, "Crystal Skull" held well in France, Spain, Germany and the U.K., where it tallied $5.6 million from 522 sites for a market cume of $65.2 million.

Buoyed by No. 1 openings in eight territories, "Caspian" bounced up 12% from last weekend, recording $20.3 million from about 5,500 screens in 28 markets and hiking its international gross total past the $100 million mark to $102.2 million.

The biggest of the debuts was Australia, where the tally was $3.8 million from 265 sites for a lusty $14,340 per-screen average. "Caspian's" China bow provided $3.2 million from 500 screens, 40% more than the comparable gross in the market for 2005's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

"Caspian," which so far has not played in major European markets, has rolled up a worldwide total of $227 million.

Marvel Prods.' "Iron Man" drew $4.8 million, with $3.7 million coming from territories handled by Paramount. Its overseas cume stands at $249 million.

Sony's gambling-themed drama "21" opened in five territories, including France, where it ranked No. 3, for an estimated $4.4 million from 1,575 screens in 50 markets, pushing its overall cume to $59.3 million.

Sony's romantic comedy "Made of Honor" drew $2.9 million from 1,645 screens in 34 markets, raising its cume to $35 million. Meanwhile, Sony's "Prom Night" scared $2 million out of 780 sites in 23 territories for a cume of $6.8 million.

Miramax/Disney opened actor-director Ben Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone" at 250 screens in the U.K. for an estimated $900,000, finishing No. 5 in the market. In France, "A Christmas Tale" with Catherine Deneuve has rolled up a cume of $3 million over three weeks, while smash hit "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis" has accumulated $183.5 million over 15 weeks in the market.

Assorted international cumes: Warners' "The Bucket List," $79 million; Universal's "Leatherheads," $8.6 million; Summit/Universal's "Nim's Island," $31 million; Fox's "27 Dresses," $81.5 million; and Universal's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," $24.7 million.