"Dark Knight" back atop international box office

Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:04pm EDT
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By Frank Segers

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Batman triumphed on the international circuit during the weekend as "The Dark Knight" reclaimed the No. 1 slot with an estimated $42.4 million from 7,700 screens in 60 markets, pushing its foreign gross to $328.6 million.

Thanks in large part to robust first-place openings in France, Spain and Russia, Warner Bros.' "Dark Knight" returned to the top spot for the first time since late July. So far, the Caped Crusader's global box-office receipts stand at $800.1 million.

Placing No. 2 was Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," which had been the top international draw for the previous two weekends. The third "Mummy" adventure drew an estimated $32.6 million from 6,853 screens in 56 territories, hiking its overseas gross total to $196.6 million.

The No. 3 title, "Mamma Mia!," cheerfully broke through the $200 million international gross mark (its overseas total is $204.6 million) thanks to a $16.8 million weekend from 2,750 sites in 24 markets. The feature version of the stage musical is the first Universal title this year to exceed $200 million overseas, and is 2008's ninth-biggest box-office hit internationally.

In the United Kingdom, the largest foreign market for Hollywood studio films, "Mamma Mia!" remains gangbusters. Universal says it is in the No. 1 spot in its sixth weekend, grossing an estimated $4.1 million from 536 screens for a market total to date of $89.2 million, making the musical the biggest title to play the U.K. in 2008.

Pixar/Disney"s "WALL-E" wound up fourth for the weekend with an estimated $13.8 million from 3,824 locations in 29 markets, pushing its overseas total to $146.2 million. The animated title had six No. 1 openings.

No. 5 was the Adam Sandler comedy from Sony, "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," which opened overseas on June 8 and had little box-office traction until this weekend. Thanks to solid openings in the U.K. (where it ranked No. 3), Germany, Austria, Brazil and Turkey, its weekend tally jumped to $11.2 million from 1,475 screens in 24 territories for an international gross to date of $40.8 million.

The weekend's No. 1 domestic title, DreamWorks/Paramount's "Tropic Thunder," the comedy-satire from actor-director Ben Stiller, opened overseas in two markets, laughing all the way to $2.5 million from a combined 437 screens in Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Actor Christian Bale signs autographs at the UK premiere of "The Dark Knight" in Leicester Square in central London July 21, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>