‘Devil’ digs in its heels

Comedy wins fourth straight weekend at o'seas B.O.

The fashion gods love “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Comedy continues to dominate foreign moviegoing, having won its fourth straight weekend at the international box office with $16.7 million at 4,400 playdates.

Meanwhile, “The Departed” continued to show traction outside the United States with $7.7 million from 900 prints in 22 markets, led by a first-place Spanish launch with $2.3 million at 364 and an Italian opening of $1.9 million at 425. “The Departed” also led in Australia for the third straight frame with $984,000 at 217.

Pic has cumed $36.8 million internationally and $128 million worldwide.

Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers” debuted decently in its first foreign openings, finishing second in Japan with $1.7 million at 294 playdates and grossing $1.5 million at 425 in France.

As for “Prada,” the Fox comedy, which has kept the offshore biz healthy during mid-autumn, took in nearly the combined grosses of the next two films — family toon “Open Season” and German comedy sequel “Seven Dwarfs 2.” With $130 million in the bag overseas, “Devil” has gone past the quarter-billion milestone worldwide with $255 million.

“Devil” posted its top figure in a No. 1 South Korean launch with $2.9 million at 241 engagements. It also opened impressively in Belgium with $807,000 at 60.

But as with its Stateside success, “Devil” scored solidly via holdover biz in European markets led by Germany with $2.7 million at 607, down just 27% in its third frame for a $13.5 million cume. Its third weekend in Italy declined 32% to $2.3 million at 400; its fourth Brit frame fell 29% to $1.8 million at 446; and its fifth French weekend edged up 3% to $1.7 million at 467.

With Japan opening in mid-November and its impressive staying power, “Devil” should remain a decent player for the rest of the year.

Overall biz was respectable though down compared with the same frame of 2005 when “The Legend of Zorro” led with $26.4 million and “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” followed with $13.9 million. Year-to-date offshore receipts for the Hollywood distribs (BVI, Fox, Sony, UIP, Warner) remain far ahead of last year’s and on track to top 2004’s record of $8.5 billion.

Lionsgate saw boffo Brit numbers for its day-and-date launch of domestic powerhouse “Saw III” with $4.9 million at 373 — outpacing the combined total of the Nos. 2 and 3 pics (“Step Up” and “Open Season”) and a far higher take than the U.K. openings of “Saw” ($2.2 million) and “Saw II” ($3.9 million). The horrorfest opens next weekend in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia via BVI.

Sony’s “Open Season” finished a distant but decent second with $9.5 million at 3,400 in 40 markets, led by a first-place French soph sesh that edged up 4% to $2.4 million at 629 amid school holidays. “Season” also launched impressively in Russia with $2.24 million at 467, achieving the fourth-highest animated opening ever in that market, and held well in its third U.K. frame as it matched the soph sesh with $1.9 million at 457.

“Season,” which opens next month in Australia, Germany, Japan and Spain, has grossed $38.5 million overseas and $115 million worldwide.

UIP’s launch of “Seven Dwarfs: The Forest is Not Enough” was anything but smallish with $8.4 million at 930 as it led in the three German-speaking markets — $6.6 million at 770 and 35% share in Germany; $1.5M at 100 and 43% share in Austria; and $300,000 at 58 in German Switzerland. And the sequel’s prospects seem solid, given the $48 million German cume for the original “Seven Dwarfs” two years ago.

A quintet of pics — “World Trade Center,” “The Guardian,” “Barnyard,” “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Step Up” — cleared the $3 million barrier with “The Guardian” grossing $3.7 million at 2,174 in 17 markets, led by $600,000 at 500 in its German soph sesh, off 38%. “The Guardian” has cumed $15.4 million overseas for BVI and $65 million worldwide.

“WTC” also grossed $3.7 million at 2,263 in 50 markets, led by its fourth Japanese frame with $1.1 million at 320. Japan’s been by far the strongest international territory with a $15.4 million cume — 20% of the foreign cume of $77.2 million.

“Barnyard” took in $3.6 million at 2,029 in 22 markets, led by a strong second Brit frame rising 20% to $1.5 million at 449 and a first-place Mexican launch of $777,000 at 385. International cume has hit $16 million for a worldwide $88 million total.

“Step Up” kicked in $3.1 million at 1,078 — mostly from its Brit launch of $2.2 million at 308. Foreign cume for Summit/Universal has hit $19.8 million with worldwide at $85 million.

Three pics finished above $2 million — UIP’s “Children of Men” with $2.6 million at 862 in a dozen markets; UIP’s “Over the Hedge” with $2.3 million at 956, pushing the foreign cume past $170 million; and Sony’s “Click” with $2 million at 1,500 for an offshore total of $91.2 million or 40% of the worldwide gross — by far the best international perf for an Adam Sandler film.

Warners reported “Pan’s Labyrinth” grossed $1.5 million at 500 in Spain and Mexico for an $8 million cume. UIP’s “An Inconvenient Truth” racked up $1 million at 460 to push its foreign cume to $9.2 million; Fox’s “Little Miss Sunshine” also took in $1 million for a $17 million offshore total.

Fox saw quiet results from its ninth-place British opening of “A Good Year” with $791,000 at 285. The Russell Crowe drama launches Stateside on Nov. 10.

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