Universal musical takes top spot for fifth frame
Universal’s “Mamma Mia!” again reigned over an increasingly scattered international circuit with an estimated $14.1 million from 4,406 screens in 47 markets, hiking its cumulative overseas take to $377.2 million.
The weekend saw a rush of single-market or limited runs launched on behalf of nearly 10 fresh titles. The most popular new Hollywood studio contribution was Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” which premiered No. 1 at the domestic boxoffice.
The talking-dog comedy opened day-and-date in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa and Colombia to an estimated $4.8 million from 810 screens. That was enough to qualify for the No. 5 spot internationally.
The weekend’s best solo-market bow was Paramount’s U.K. release of FilmFour’s “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People.” The comedy, based on Toby Young’s account of his struggles as a young British writer working in New York for Vanity Fair magazine, opened No. 1 in the market with $2.1 million from 449 screens.
Taking the top spot internationally for a fifth-straight frame, “Mamma Mia!” benefited from a first-place opening in Italy, where it lured $2.8 million from 302 sites for a per-screen average of $9,272. That was quite a feat, Universal noted, because the Italy market usually is resistant to musicals.
Pixar/Disney’s “WALL-E” claimed the weekend’s second spot internationally with $10.9 million from 3,583 screens in 35 territories, hiking its overseas cume to $230.3 million — $9.5 million more than the animation title’s domestic take. The big contributor was Germany, where “WALL-E” beat its opening weekend by 10% with an estimated $5.4 million from 780 locations.
In third place was DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Eagle Eye,” which garnered $8.3 million from 2,038 screens in 31 territories during its second weekend, raising its international cume to $15.2 million. The action-thriller opened No. 1 in Singapore and drew $2.1 million during its Russia debut on 438 screens.
Paramount’s “Tropic Thunder” placed fourth with $5.2 million from 1,824 screens in 36 markets, raising its overseas cume to $49.2 million. Its big contributor was the U.K., where the Ben Stiller satire ranked No. 3 with $1.8 million from 425 locations.
Sony released “Lakeview Terrace” in France, where the drama, starring Samuel L. Jackson as a racist Los Angeles police officer, ranked fifth with $1.1 million from 189 screens. Paramount premiered “The Duchess,” starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, in Australia, where the period drama drew $880,000 from 181 spots. Disney opened Miramax’s “Brideshead Revisited” in the No. 8 spot in the U.K., drawing $710,000 from 255 locations.
New Line’s “Appaloosa” opened No. 4 in Paris and its suburbs and garnered $1.5 million from the overall France market. As of late last week, Ed Harris’ Western, also starring Jeremy Irons, Viggo Mortensen and Renee Zellweger, had grossed $400,000 overseas.
Sony opened “Righteous Kill,” a Robert De Niro-Al Pacino crime drama, in Spain to $1.6 million from 315 locations. In the U.K., “Kill” ranked sixth with $930,000 from 380 screens.
20th Century Fox got solid results from “Mirrors,” a horror film starring Kiefer Sutherland, which opened strong in Spain and garnered $4.6 million during the weekend from 1,500 screens in 27 territories, increasing its overseas cume to $18.8 million. Fox’s “Taken” scored $4 million from 1,000 sites in 18 markets, upping its international cume to $30.4 million. The crime drama, starring Liam Neeson, was No. 2 in the U.K. during its second weekend in that market, drawing $2.2 million from 398 locations.
Disney’s release of Miramax’s “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas,” set to open Nov. 7 in the U.S., scored $3.1 million from 435 screens in the U.K. and Spain. The period drama’s overseas cume stands at $11.5 million, from only those two territories.