Yet another big "Knight" at overseas box office

Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:53pm EDT
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By Frank Segers

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Batman easily dominated a torpid late-summer weekend on the international circuit as "The Dark Knight" grossed $34 million -- nearly three times its closest competitor's take -- from 7,700 screens in 62 markets.

A No. 1 opening in Germany for the Warner Bros. film provided $9.2 million, a five-day market tally that beats the total taken in Germany by 2005's "Batman Begins" by 10 percent, the distributor said.

There were strong No. 1 finishes as well in second weekends in France and Russia. The Batman saga's international receipts to date total $381.2 million; worldwide, the tally is $870.4 million.

The weekend's top grosser domestically, DreamWorks/Paramount's "Tropic Thunder," opened at No. 1 in Australia, where the Ben Stiller comedy drew $2.6 million. Its overall weekend tally was $4.8 million from 803 spots in just eight markets.

"Tropic's" box-office total stands at $8.7 million overseas and $74.4 million worldwide.

Reaping an estimated $12.8 million during the weekend from 6,200 playdates, Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" sailed past the $200 million overseas gross total, to a cumulative figure of $222.4 million, and ranks No. 2 overall for the weekend. Japan provided a fifth-place market ranking and $2 million from 326 screens for a market total of $12.6 million.

The largest overseas market for studio films, the U.K., continues to be generous to the weekend's No. 3 title, Universal's "Mamma Mia!" which now stands as the 11th-biggest hit ever to play the territory. The overall international weekend tally for the hit musical is $12.5 million from 2,800 screens, raising its international box office total to $232.5 million; in its seventh U.K. stanza, "Mamma Mia!" tallied $3 million from 480 screens, ranking No. 2 in the market.

At No. 4 was Sony's Adam Sandler comedy "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," which opened in seven territories. The best was in Spain, where it premiered at No. 1 with an estimated $3.4 million from 334 screens, the biggest-grossing Sandler title to bow in the market. Its overall weekend take was $10.5 million, pushing its overseas total to $56.6 million.   Continued...

<p>British actor Christian Bale (L) and U.S. actors Maggie Gyllenhaal (C) and Aaron Eckhart pose during a photocall for "The Dark Knight" film in Barcelona July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino</p>