'Shrek 3' taps more o'seas green

Adds 7 markets, climbs back to No. 1 with $17.2 mil

The green ogre plodded over the competition on the international circuit during the weekend as DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Shrek the Third" reclaimed the No. 1 spot with an estimated $17.2 million from 2,110 screens in 24 territories, lifting its overseas gross total to $436 million.

The animated film that began its overseas rollout May 17 is finishing its final international surge with debuts in seven territories, including No. 1 openings in Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The biggest of the openers is Italy, where the odiferous green ogre grabbed an estimated $10.8 million, the best ever animation opening in the market, PPI said. Norway provided an estimated $1.9 million, 12% better than "Shrek 2's" comparable market gross.

In Denmark, the estimated gross was $1.8 million (including previews), while Sweden came up with $1.4 million (also including previews), a full 109% ahead of "Shrek 2" in the market.

Universal International's "The Bourne Ultimatum" finished second on the weekend, grossing an estimated $15.1 million from 2,404 screens in 31 markets.

The action sequel starring Matt Damon had six No. 1 openings, most notably in Australia where it grabbed a 60% overall market share with an estimated $5.1 million from 252 sites for a mighty $20,238 per-screen average. It was Universal's biggest opening weekend ever in Australia, and the biggest August opening weekend ever recorded by any distributor.

"Bourne's" first-place bow in Argentina produced an estimated $300,000 from 42 locations. A strong holdover in the U.K. yielded $4.6 million from 468 situations for an average of $9,829 per screen, enough to secure the No. 1 market spot for the third consecutive weekend. With 24 more overseas territories yet to play over the next three months, "Bourne" has accumulated a total overseas gross of $75 million. Its worldwide tally is $274.6 million.

No. 3 for the weekend was Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille," which consumed an estimated $10.1 million from 2,913 screens in 30 territories, lifting its international total to $189 million. The lone debut was in Singapore, where Remy the rat-chef whipped up an estimated $860,000 from 50 situations for a solid $17,200 per-screen average.

Set in France, "Ratatouille" is No. 1 in that market for the fifth consecutive stanza, grossing an estimated $5.2 million from 737 screens for a territory cume of $51 million. Disney expects that by this weekend, the animation film will overtake "Spider-Man 3" (market total about $55 million) as 2007's biggest single title to play France.

Finishing fourth overall is 20th Century Fox International's "The Simpsons Movie," which in its sixth weekend overseas has broken the $300 million mark in total gross (cume is $303.2 million). Of that, $74.9 million comes from the U.K., $26.9 million from France and $6.8 million from Brazil. The weekend tally for Homer and company was an estimated $7.7 million from about 5,700 screens in 49 markets.

At No. 5 was Warner Bros. International's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which recorded an estimated $6.5 million from about 4,500 screens in 58 markets. The international gross total is $625 million over eight frames, putting "Phoenix" ahead of 2002's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (which grossed $617 million) as the second-highest-grossing title of the franchise internationally, and the sixth-highest-grossing film internationally.

UI's romantic comedy "Knocked Up" grossed an estimated $6.4 million at 1,600 screens in 19 territories, down just 8% from the previous weekend. WBI's romantic comedy "No Reservations" drew an estimated $4.1 million from 1,250 locations in 20 markets, hoisting its cume to $12.6 million.