'Battle' beats 'Demons' for top spot

“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” topped “Angels and Demons” at the weekend’s international box office, as the comedy sequel scored $37.2 million at 9,000 playdates in 100 markets.

China turned in the top “Museum” number with a launch of $7.4 million, the biggest Fox opening ever in that market. Second frame of the Ben Stiller vehicle finished first in the U.K. with $3.5 million, second in Germany to “Angels” with $2.8 million and first in Australia with $2.6 million.

“Museum” has cumed $106 million on the foreign front, about $700,000 ahead of the domestic total.

Sony’s “Angels and Demons,” which has led the foreign box office for the past two frames, followed with $32.9 million at 10,145 in 101 markets for an international total of $251.7 million. The religious thriller’s performed far better overseas, taking in more than double the domestic cume of $104.8 million..

That’s a similar pattern to 2006’s “The Da Vinci Code,” which also starred Tom Hanks and was directed by Ron Howard from a Dan Brown novel. “Da Vinci” took in $217 million in the U.S. and $540 million overseas.

Germany’s been by far the best “Angels” foreign market with $4.8 million in its third weekend for a territorial cume of $30.1 million, followed by Japan with $3.2 million for a total of $22.1 million.

“Terminator Salvation” led the rest of the pack with $13 million, including Sony’s $8.6 million at 673 in seven Asian market launches and another $4.4 million from the second frame in South Korea, which is handled by a local distrib. Sony takes “T4″ into most major markets next weekend.

Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” put its claws on $8.1 million at 5,000 including $4.4 million from its delayed Mexican launch for the top 2009 opener in that market. “Wolverine” has cumed $170.1 million outside the United States, nearly matching the domestic total.

Paramount’s “Star Trek” beamed up $8 million at 4,869 locations in 59 territories, led by a $2.2 million Japanese launch. Foreign cume — by far the best of the 11 “Trek” films — has reached $101.5 million, pushing the worldwide total to $310 million.

Disney’s “Up,” which dominated the domestic box office, soared to $4.2 million at 560 in its Russian opening. That represented the top launch in that market for a Pixar entry, beating “Wall-E” by 10%.

The Mouse House has opted for a staggered foreign release on “Up,” much as it did on “Wall-E” and Ratatouille,” with launches next weekend in five markets including Mexico and the Ukraine. France and Spain will see “Up” openings in late July with Australia, Germany and the U.K. going in October and Japan waiting until December.

U’s “State of Play” took in $2.6 million at 1,150 in 27 markets, led by a third-place Australian launch of $1.5 million. “Play” has cumed $22.4 million outside the United States with two dozen markets still to launch.

“State of Play” has cumed a modest $36.6 million in its domestic run.

Mandate International reported “Drag Me to Hell” scared up $4.4 million at 700 in day and date launches in the UK, Israel and France.

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