'Shrek' takes most green o'seas

Sinks 'Pirates' with $46 mil; 'Thirteen' rolls No. 3

Captain Jack Sparrow took a back seat to that odiferous green ogre internationally during the weekend as "Shrek the Third" finished No. 1 with an estimated boxoffice of $46 million from 3,693 screens in 36 markets.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," which had been on top of the overseas heap for the previous three frames, finished No. 2 in its fourth weekend at 17,500 screens in 103 territories with estimated boxoffice of $32.6 million.

At No. 3 overall was Warner Bros. International's "Ocean's Thirteen," which in its second weekend pulled an estimated $26.3 million from about 5,000 screens in 38 markets, lifting its overseas cume to $67 million and $136.8 million worldwide.

Director Steven Soderbergh's star-laden caper bowed in six markets, of which Australia (No. 2 with an estimated $3.4 million from 356 locales) and Korea (No. 1 with $3.3 million from 190 sites) stood out. Its biggest market remains the U.K., with an estimated take of $4.5 million from 699 sites for a market cume of $14.2 million. This week brings openings in France and Brazil.

A more crowded international marketplace for the weekend saw the bow of 20th Century Fox International/Marvel Enterprises' "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," which opened No. 1 domestically but landed at No. 4 internationally.

The latest in the adventure franchise grossed an estimated $25.4 million from 3,292 screens in 32 markets. The strongest territory for "Silver Surfer" was the U.K., where it finished No. 1 with an estimated $8 million from 474 screens for a per-screen average of nearly $17,000. Its early worldwide tally stands at $82.8 million.

DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Shrek" began a gradual foreign rollout May 17 and is hitting its stride this month by adding 36 new openings to its overseas run by June 30.

"With school holidays yet to come in most international markets, 'Shrek the Third' looks set for a fantastic international run this summer," PPI president Andrew Cripps said.

"Shrek" bowed in 13 territories during the weekend, breaking records and/or finishing No. 1 in at least eight. The biggest opening was France, where it placed No. 1 with a weekend tally of an estimated $12 million from 724 screens, which is 21% ahead of the comparable opening market figure for 2004's "Shrek 2."

The third "Shrek" has grossed $107 million overseas so far and $404 million worldwide. The overseas gross for "Shrek 2" is $480 million; the original "Shrek" made $210 million.

Buena Vista International's "At World's End" bowed in China for a mighty $6.8 million from 979 screens, the biggest BVI opening in the market. The first in the series, 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," drew $1.2 million in its China bow; last year's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" did not play in the territory.

The overseas gross for "At World's End" is $547 million, making it the 10th most popular overseas release ever. Its $821 million worldwide cume ranks it as the 16th-biggest hit ever on a global basis.

Finishing at No. 5 for the weekend was Sony's "Spider- Man 3," which raised its overseas gross to $543.9 million on the strength of a $3.1 million weekend at 4,300 screens in 77 territories.

Sony's latest animation entry, "Surf's Up," has accumulated an overseas tally of $4.5 million thanks to a $945,000 weekend from 400 screens in Russian and Ukraine.

Sony also opened (for producer Lionsgate) "Hostel: Part II" in Spain, Germany and Austria. Overall, the 10-market exposure for the horror sequel yielded $2.1 million on the weekend from 730 screens for an overseas cume of $2.7 million.