Homer outruns 'Bourne' at foreign box office

International moviegoers gave Homer Simpson the edge over Jason Bourne as “The Simpsons Movie” topped a healthy foreign box office for the fourth straight weekend with $23.4 million at 7,000 playdates in 61 markets.

Fox’s toon — propelled by solid launches of $5 million in Russia and $3 million in Brazil plus respectable Euro holdover biz — has continued to show impressive traction overseas. International cume is $270 million, or 62% of the $435 million worldwide total.

Should Sunday’s estimates hold, “The Simpsons Movie” will become the only 2007 summer tentpole to take first place on four straight weekends, besting the three-peats achieved by “Shrek the Third,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Spider-Man 3.” The toon will have also posted the longest winning streak at the foreign box office since Fox’s “Night at the Museum” won five frames in a row early in the year.

“The Simpsons Movie” dominated in Brazil with a 55% share in the best toon launch of the year, and it set an opening-day record in Holland for an animated film. Pic remained powerful in the U.K., where its fourth frame declined only 30% to $3.1 million to push Brit biz to $68.6 million, and in France, off a mere 20% to $2.1 million.

“The Bourne Ultimatum” showed plenty of pop in its first major offshore launches with $22 million at 1,470 — a muscular $14,966 per location average. The three-quel opened with a boffo $13 million in the U.K. for a beefy 39% share, doubling the debut of “The Bourne Supremacy.” And a strong Spanish launch of $5 million in its first six days puts it on track to eclipse final cumes of the previous “Bourne” pics in a few days.

“Ultimatum” also opened in first in Denmark, Finland and Singapore, well above its two predecessors. With three dozen markets left, including Russia and Brazil next weekend, “Ultimatum” appears likely to finish well ahead of the $112 million final foreign cume for “Supremacy.”

A trio of holdovers — “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” “Ratatouille” and “Transformers”– also kept overall biz humming far above last year’s record-setting pace as the top five films combined for $90 million. That’s a solid performance for a late-summer frame, dwarfing the same weekend in 2006, when the top five (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Miami Vice,” “Garfield 2,” “Superman Returns” and “Monster House”) took in $60 million.

Warner’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” conjured up $16.2 million at 6,800, down a decent 37% and led by China’s soph sesh of $4 million. With a $594 million foreign cume, it’s about to become the eighth pic to gross more than $600 million overseas, joining “Titanic,” “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” the last two “Pirates of the Caribbean” and the first, second and fourth “Potter” pics.

Disney’s “Ratatouille” cooked up $15.4 million at 3,483 in 30 markets, led by a tasty $7.1 million in France in a third frame in which it declined just 19%. The Paris-set toon dominated French biz as it outgrossed the next three pics and moved its territorial total to $34.7 million.

“Ratatouille” declined only 27% in holdover markets, and its $1 million Portuguese launch was the second best after that of “Shrek the Third.” The comedy’s performing in line with previous Pixar pics, already cuming nearly $150 million with half the major markets still to launch.

Par’s “Transformers” added another $11.8 million at 4,750, led by its third Japanese frame of $2.5 million. Michael Bay’s actioner, which has far exceeded studio forecasts overseas, has cumed $354 million outside the U.S.

With the largest summer tentpoles playing out, the frame saw a wider variety of new entries, such as “Rush Hour 3,” which sped to the top slot in Germany with $4.3 million. The comedy finished third in its U.K. soph sesh with a 40% decline to $3 million.

Frame saw continued moderate foreign performance from a pair of domestic disappointments: Sony’s “Surf’s Up” made a midsized splash with $6.8 million at 2,170, led by a fourth-place Spanish opening of $2.5 million; Universal’s “Evan Almighty” remained less than omnipotent with $5.9 million at 3,600, led by a ninth-place $1.1 million in its third Brit frame, a mild French launch of $1 million and an eighth-place $590,000 in its German soph sesh.

“Surf’s Up” has cumed $24.6 million in 44 markets. “Evan” has totaled $33 million in 30 markets with 22 more to open; by contrast, “Bruce Almighty” scored a solid $241 million outside the U.S.

Fox’s summer action pics — “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” and “Live Free or Die Hard” — combined for another $10 million. “Surfer” added $5.5 million at 1,900 to boost its foreign take to $133 million, and “Die Hard 4.0,” as it’s known overseas, captured $4.5 million at 2,200 to push the international total to $213 million.

Paramount’s “Stardust” continued to show respectable traction overseas with $4.6 million at 667, including $2.35 million in its South Korean launch and $1.7 million in its second Russian frame.

Warner’s “Ocean’s Thirteen” added $3.4 million, mostly from the second Japanese frame, to hit $179 million overseas; U’s “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” took in $2.3 million at 375, mostly from a No. 1 launch in Australia with $1.9 million; and Par’s “Shrek the Third” added $1.4 million at 1,961 for a foreign cume of $415 million, $64 million short of “Shrek 2.”

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