'Simpsons' marches to own toon

No. 1 o'seas for 3rd week; 'Rush Hour' eyes 2nd spot

Limited international openings of "Rush Hour 3" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" hardly dented "The Simpsons Movie," which remained No. 1 overseas for the third consecutive weekend with an estimated gross of $23.2 million from 5,806 screens in 59 markets.

"Simpsons" bowed respectably in four new markets — Hong Kong, Hungary, Thailand and Taiwan — and continued to clean up in holdover European territories plus Australia. The international gross for "Simpsons" landed at $230 million during the weekend, said 20th Century Fox International. The film's worldwide tally is $382.2 million.

New Line's "Rush Hour," which bowed No. 1 domestically, opened in the U.K., Israel, Sweden, India, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and the West Indies. Based on its No. 1 market debut in the U.K. — where it grossed an estimated $5.6 million — the latest in director Brett Ratner's action series co-starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker looks to be on track for an estimated $10 million weekend overall.

Universal International's "Ultimatum," in the second spot domestically, made its overseas debut at 350 screens in 11 markets in Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, grossing an estimated $3.8 million. According to Universal International, the third in the "Bourne" series is tracking 97% ahead of 2002's "The Bourne Identity" and 58% ahead of 2004's "The Bourne Supremacy."

The Matt Damon thriller finished at No. 1 in Taiwan (an estimated $1 million from 56 sites for a per-screen average of $17,857) and in Thailand ($790,000 from 49 locations for a per-screen average of $16,122). "Ultimatum" opens in 10 markets this weekend, including the U.K. and Spain. The film's early worldwide gross is $136.1 million.

"Stardust" made its international debut in Russia simultaneously with its domestic opening. The weekend tally for Matthew Vaughn's adventure fantasy was an estimated $3 million from 435 locations for a nearly $7,000 per-screen average.

"Simpsons" continued gangbusters in its third U.K. weekend, grossing an estimated $4 million from 502 spots for a market cume of $60.2 million. In France, the third-weekend tally was $2.6 million from 699 sites, good for a market cume of $19.6 million. In Germany, the third-weekend gross was $2.7 million from 890 screens for a cume of $29.7 million.

Finishing at No. 2 for the weekend was Warner Bros. International's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which garnered an estimated $21 million from about 8,200 prints in 61 territories. The international cume for "Phoenix" stands at $550 million, of which nearly $200 million emanates from the U.K., Germany and Japan.

"Phoenix's" lone bow during the weekend was in Turkey, where it placed No. 1 with an estimated $1.3 million from 165 sites for a $7,879 per-screen average. The film's next notable market opening is Greece on Aug. 23.

At No. 3 for the weekend was Disney/Pixar's "Ratatouille," which grossed an estimated $19.2 million from 3,687 screens in 27 territories, hiking its international gross to $120 million. The animated title about Remy, a rat with culinary ambitions, qualifies as the 54th Disney title to gross more than $100 million internationally, a record for any studio.

With a worldwide gross of $322 million, "Ratatouille" also becomes the 17th animation title from Disney to cross the $300 million gross mark globally. It remains gangbusters in its second weekend in France, where it finished No. 1 for the weekend with an estimated $9.3 million from 721 screens for a market cume of $25.3 million in 12 days.

Finishing fourth overall is DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's "Transformers," which grossed an estimated $16.3 million from 5,239 screens in 56 markets, lifting its overseas gross to $328 million. The biggest market for the Michael Bay-helmed thriller was Japan, where "Transformers" drew an estimated $3.4 million from 616 sites in its second weekend for market cume of $12.7 million.

Fifth during the weekend was Fox's "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," which re-energized its overseas run by playing 1,815 screens in 11 markets for an estimated $11.4 million, lifting its international total to $123 million. The biggest of the film's six openings was France, where the tally was an estimated $4.8 million from 750 sites.

Grossing an estimated $6 million each were Fox's "Die Hard 4" (playing 2,852 screens in 38 markets), Universal International's "Evan Almighty" (playing in 28 territories) and WBI's "Ocean's Thirteen" (at about 1,400 locations in 45 markets). "Die Hard's" international gross stands at $203 million, while "Evan" has accumulated $22.8 million.

"Thirteen" benefited from a strong Japan opening, eliciting an estimated $5 million (including previews) from 463 screens. Its international cume stands at $169 million.

Sony's animation outing "Surf's Up" pushed its international cume to $12.9 million thanks to an estimated $4.9 million weekend at 1,565 screens in 31 territories. DreamWorks/PPI's "Shrek the Third" grabbed an estimated $2 million for the weekend from 2,780 locations in 54 markets, lifting its international cume to a lofty $412 million.

Overseas cume updates: New Line's "Hairspray," $22 million; Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," $649 million ($957 million worldwide); Universal International's "Knocked Up," $16.9 million; WBI's "No Reservations," $3.5 million (thanks to an estimated $1.1 million weekend playing 471 screens in nine markets); and Universal International's "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," $2.6 million.