‘Beowulf’ wins overseas box office

'American Gangster' continues strong run

“Beowulf” easily conquered the foreign box office, dominating the weekend with $26 million at 5,400 playdates in 43 markets for its second straight international victory.

The frame also saw continued solid offshore performance on far fewer screens by “American Gangster” with $11 million at 1,569 in 16 territories — including wins over “Beowulf” in head-to-head competition. Domestic leader “Enchanted” posted a respectable day-and-date foreign debut with $7 million at 1,000 in eight markets.

Disney’s “Ratatouille” hit a milestone as it cooked up $3.9 million at 3,032 in 26 markets to push its foreign take to $401.3 million. It became the 28th pic to go past $400 million in foreign grosses and the fifth this year along with the third iterations of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Spider-Man 3” and “Shrek the Third” and the fifth “Harry Potter” pic.

With that quintet banking $2.6 billion in foreign grosses, the six leading Hollywood studios have already broken last year’s $8.6 billion record with more than a month left.

“Beowulf,” which more than doubled its foreign run, scored best in its Russian launch with a first-place $4.3 million, 20% better than “Van Helsing.” It notched second-place finishes in its Spanish opening with $3.2 million, trailing “Enchanted,” and its second British weekend with $3 million behind the soph sesh of “American Gangster.”

In a French frame held down by a public transport strike, “Beowulf” put the bite on $2 million in its launch but trailed the second frame of “American Gangster” and the “Saw IV” debut. It won in Mexico with a $1.9 million opening, stayed in first in South Korea with $1.4 million and trailed “American Gangster” for the second weekend in a row in Germany with $1.4 million.

The animated re-telling of the epic poem, handled by Warner Bros. internationally, has cumed $48.5 million overseas for a combined worldwide total of $105 million. With little competition on the action front until “I Am Legend” opens in mid-December, “Beowulf” should remain a decent draw for several more weeks with openings next frame in Australia, Brazil and Japan.

“American Gangster” showed impressive holding power in its second frames in the U.K. with $3.7 million, off 29%; in France with $2.5 million, down 29%; and in Germany with $2.1 million, down 24%. The Denzel Washington-Russell Crowe drama also won in openings in Norway and Sweden and has cumed $30.7 million in the early part of its foreign run.

“Enchanted” conjured up a first-place $3.7 million in Spain, $1.8 million in Russia and $706,000 in Singapore. Disney’s opting for a gradual release, going into France and Switzerland next weekend and opening in most markets by the end of the year.

Paramount’s “The Heartbreak Kid” continued to perform decently overseas with $7.5 million at 2,006 in 43 markets, led by a first place Australian launch of $2.1 million. “Kid” has hit $62 million internationally, or 26 million above the disappointing domestic cume.

U’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” stayed along a similar track, reigning in $4.7 million at 1,582 in 20 markets to push foreign cume to $28.8 million, nearly double the Stateside total.

Fox continued to see only moderate international returns for “Lions for Lambs” with $4.4 million at 2,500 in its third foreign frame. Offshore cume has hit $25 million, $11 million higher than the dismal domestic total.

“Saw IV” scared up another $4 million in 29 markets, led by its French launch, to push its foreign cume to $42.5 million in the middle of its foreign run. The “Saw” quartet has combined for a solid $235 million internationally.

Scare fare also has worked overseas with “Resident Evil Extinction” taking in $2.2 million at 1,125 to lift the foreign cume to $89.6 million. The three “Resident” zombie pics have combined for $230 million overseas.

U’s “Bourne Ultimatum” also cleared a milestone with $2.4 million at 847 to push its foreign take to $207.8 million — more than the combined international take of the previous two “Bourne” pics.

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