Zombies debut in second at foreign box office

Three-quel “Resident Evil: Extinction” had no trouble taking up early residence at the overseas box office, indicating international auds haven’t forgotten about the film franchise, which is based on the popular survival horror vidgame.

“Extinction” scored $7.6 million from 942 runs in a handful of markets over the Sept. 21-23 frame, putting it at No. 2 overall.

Universal’s “The Bourne Ultimatum” led the weekend internationally, with $14.1 million from 48 markets, a tidy sum, considering it was a relatively mild weekend in terms of moviegoing. Pic’s overseas come is $145.6 million.

In the U.S., Sony-Screen Gems’ “Extinction” opened at $24 million, besting the opening number for either of the first two pics. Film, penned by franchise scribe Paul W.S. Anderson, returns Milla Jovovich to the bigscreen in the character of Alice.

Overseas, “Extinction” debuted in a select number of territories, but its showing was impressive, led by a Russian launch of $4.4. million. In Mexico, the horror pic took in a haul of $2.1 million, the biggest opening of the year. Taiwan pulled $1.1 million off 110 screens.

Three-quel should be looking at a plentiful run as it rolls out slowly overseas. First two films each took in more internationally than Stateside. “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” grossed $78.1 million overseas; $51.2 domestically in 2004. Original “Resident Evil,” released in 2002, made $62.3 million overseas; $40.1 million in the U.S.

“Extinction” was set to bow in Austria, German and India over the Sept. 28-30 weekend.

Universal’s Adam Sandler laffer “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” came in No. 3 internationally, grossing $5.09 million from 1,778 runs in 30 markets for an international cume of $26.9 million.

Fox’s “The Simpsons Movie” came in No. 4 at $5.02 million from 2,000 runs for a boffo foreign cume of $332 million, far outpacing expectations.

Placing No. 5 was Sony’s raunchy R-rated comedy “Superbad,” which grossed $4.9 million from 1,060 runs for a cume of $9.9 million in its second week in release overseas.

Not surprisingly, American-centric comedies like “Superbad” and “Knocked Up,” another raunchy laffer, are faring best in English-speaking territories.

Generally speaking, it was a subdued frame at the European box office, although there was good holdover biz in Blighty, led by homegrown laffer “Run, Fat Boy, Run.”

Although Keira Knightley starrer “Atonement” — also from U — has not won any of the three weekend frames, it is doing bumper biz in the week and has a better overall take than “Fat Boy”: $13.6 million.

“Fat Boy,” starring Simon Pegg and helmed by David Schwimmer in his directorial debut, slipped just 22% over the Sept. 21-23 weekend to $2.4 million at 401 screens for a cume of $12.8 million.

Michael Winterbottom’s Pakistan-set Angelina Jolie starrer “A Mighty Heart” did not connect with Brit auds on its opening, despite strong reviews. The Par release took $307,693 at 158 screens for a not-so-mighty screen average of $1,948.

While biz was up in the U.K., it was down by 12.5% in Germany, where houses had to once again cope with 10 new releases.

“Bourne Ultimatum” held out at No. 1, declining 33% to $1.7 million. At No. 2 and No. 3 were Senator’s “Room 1408″ ($1 million) and Sony’s toon “Surf’s Up” ($875,000).

New at No. 4 was U’s “Disturbia,” which grossed $787,000. Local “Ein fliehendes pferd,” released by Concorde, came in at No. 5, with $549,000.

The only weekend surprise at the Spanish B.O. was the perf of Warner’s “No Reservations,” which took the top spot with $1.5 million in its first frame, with a copy average of $5,051.

In Italy, “The Simpsons Movie” soph sesh dominated, as expected. But the big surprise was Frank Oz comedy “Death at a Funeral,” which opened in third place, ahead of “Atonement,” “Superbad” and local teen title “Scrivilo sui muri.”

“Bourne Ultimatum” remains a runaway hit in Gaul, cuming $7.4 mil after two frames.

Archie Thomas in the U.K., David Hayhurst in France and Christian Koehl in Germany contributed to this report.

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