A local Russian hit and a Hollywood paranoia thriller knocked Mamma Mia off its perch after a grand five-week reign as international champion.
The Russian market has yielded mighty returns this year for local titles in particular and the trend continued as Fox International opened Channel 1/Solyaris' Admiral (Kolchak) in Russia on an estimated $11.35m and the Ukraine on $1.47m for a combined haul of $12.8m.
The film is directed by Andrei Kravchuk and stars Konstantin Khabensky as the naval commander who fought the Bolsheviks after the revolution. For more on The Admiral click here.
Close behind in second place was DreamWorks-Paramount's paranoia thriller Eagle Eye on $11.2m from 3,113 sites in 41 territories through PPI, a solid haul that raised the tally to an even $30m in what are still the early stages.
The film opened in ten territories led by number one launches in South Korea on $3.1m from 310 and Germany on $1.1m from 339. Eagle Eye registered several other notable launches, among them Spain on $926,000 from 341, the Netherlands on $460,000 from 65 and Austria on $248,000 from 75.
Another title from the DreamWorks stable, Tropic Thunder, added $3.2m from 1,687 venues in 44 territories for $54.3m. There were eight new releases led by Denmark on $190,000 from 30 locations and Chile on $43,000 from 19. The biggest hold came, as it did last weekend, from the UK where $943,000 from 362 sites following a 46% drop raised the tally to $14m.
Staying with the UK, the Toby Young comedy adaptation How To Lose Friends And Alienate People starring UK comedian Simon Pegg added $1.4m from 447 following a 28% drop in its second weekend for $4.6m. DreamWorks Animation's hit Kung Fu Panda grossed $538,000 from 873 locations in 64 territories for $413.6m.
Mamma Mia! may have been dethroned but remained unbowed as it continued to surge towards the $400m mark thanks to an $8m haul from 4,100 venues in 48 territories through UPI that raised the tally to $390.5m. Universal chiefs said they expect to reach $400m next weekend.
The musical adaptation took a further $2m from 278 sites in Italy in the second weekend for $5.6m and sustained its historic run in the UK with an $810,000 (£470,000) gross from 363 that brought the running total after 14 weekends to $124.8m (£65m). Mamma Mia! is closing in on Harry Potter And the Sorcerer's Stone's £66.1m final total to become the second biggest release in the UK. Titanic, as in so many territories, remains the one to beat on £69m.
Mamma Mia! added $1m from 249 venues in its sixth weekend in South Korea for $22.4m. There are seven territories to go including Japan on January 30 2009. Next week the dancing queens touch down in Egypt, Chile and Peru.
Universal acquired limited rights to the Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading from Focus Features International and proved that being selective can reap rewards. The dark comedy opened top of the table in Spain through UPI on $2.7m from 318 sites for the filmmakers' best launch in the territory. This was also the second biggest debut for a Working Title film in Spain behind Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason. Universal will open Burn After Reading in Australia, New Zealand and the UK next weekend and also holds rights in Latin America.
Wanted is also on the brink of crossing a major milestone after adding $3.8m from 1,536 in 24 territories for $193.9m. Universal top brass expect it to reach $200m within a fortnight. China, the final territory to receive the graphic novel adaptation, delivered a $2.4m number one openiing weekend from 454 sites. A $950,000 haul from 323 raised the tally in Japan to $20.5m after four weekends.
The action remake Death Race added $1.5m from 989 locations in 20 territories for an early $19.9m international running total. It opened in third place in Belgium on $125,000 from 30 and raised the tally in Spain by $545,000 from 245 to $2m after two weekends. The Jason Statham vehicle has mustered $3.4m in the UK after three weekends and will switch on the ignition in 37 territories over the next two months including France, South Korea and Brazil next weekend.
The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor stands at $288.7m following a $1.3m weekend gross from 2,176 sites in 34. Greece was the final territory and the adventure sequel launched at the top on a robust $300,000 from 54 sites. Brendan Fraser and friends have amassed $6.6m in Italy after three and $7.6m in Australia after five.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army added $700,000 from 965 in 33 for $65.5m. The adventure fantasy arrived in four new territories and the highlight was a sixth place launch in Argentina on $90,000 from 40 locations. South Korea has produced $2.2m after three weekends and there are 12 territories to go including Germany and Switzerland next weekend.
Wild Child stands at $15.4m and ranks ninth in its fourth weekend in Australia on $3m and has grossed $9.4m in the UK after nine. The teen romance will open in several European territories including Germany, Austria and Belgium in December during the holiday season.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's (WDSMPI) Wall-E grossed $5.8m from 33 territories for $238.6m. Weekend business was powered by several solid holds as the animated feature stayed top in Germany for the fourth weekend in a row on $2.3m from 685 screens for $16.6m. It was a similar story in New Zealand, where the film held on to its number one ranking for the fourth consecutive weekend as $240,000 from 70 following a 25% drop raised the tally to $2m. In the fourth weekend in Australia Wall-E added $530,000 from 250 for $13.2m. The gutsy little droid opens in Italy next weekend and Japan later in the year.
Family title Beverly Hills Chihuahua maintained its number one status in North America and took $3m from 935 theatres in seven overseas territories for an early $10.3m international running total. It stayed top in its second weekend in Mexico on $1.5m from 450 following a 15% drop for $4.3m.
The second weekend in Australia yielded $780,000 following a 34% drop for $4m and there was a number one hold in the second weekend in Colombia, where $240,000 raised the tally to $800,000 and was enough to beat the combined results of the films ranked two to seven. Beverly Hills Chihuahua opened top in Argentina on $260,000 from 60 and beat the combined results of the films ranked two to nine.
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas continued to perform impressively in Spain and the UK and grossed a further $2.1m from 435 screens for an excellent $14.7m early running total. The Holocaust drama added $1.6m in its third weekend in Spain following a 32% drop for a terrific $8.7m and took $515,000 from 180 screens in its fifth weekend in the UK for $5.9m following a 31% drop. It opens in the US on November 7.
Sony Pictures Releasing International's comedy The House Bunny starring the much admired Anna Faris grossed $5m from 1,585 screens in 25 markets for an early $8.6m cumulative score. The film launched at the top in the UK on $1.7m from 352, fifth in Spain on $900,000 from 251 and seventh in Germany on $725,000 from 216. The House Bunny opened in France on $400,000 from 115 and launched in ninth or tenth place in Belgium on $130,000 from 80. The comedy stands at $1.8m in Australia and $390,000 in New Zealand after three weekends.
You Don't Mess With The Zohan added $1.3m from 950 screens in 33 markets and stands at the brink of $100m on $99.425m. Italy led the way with a $760,000 gross from 222 that raised the tally to $2.7m after two weekends. Germany clearly likes Adam Sandler and produced $60,000 from 189 for $17.6m after nine.
Hancock added $590,000 from 555 in 14 for $395.6m, fuelled by a $265,000 gross in Japan from 350 screens to rank seventh after seven on $28.4m. Lakeview Terrace, a thriller starring Samuel L Jackson as a creepy police officer, added $550,000 from 192 from France for $1.8m. France is the only territory so far.
Warner Bros Pictures International's terrorism thriller Body Of Lies opened day-and-date with North America in Australia as well as New Zealand and five Asian markets and grossed $3.2m from 656 screens. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe and launched at number one in Australia on $1.5m from 292 screens.
Next up was Taiwan, where Body Of Lies grossed $560,000 from 95, including previews. Hong Kong generated $335,000 from 25 and was locked in a race for the number one spot with a local title. Key upcoming releases include South Korea on October 23, France on November 5, Spain on November 7 and the UK on November 21.
The Richard Gere-Diane Lance romance Nights In Rodanthe added $1.8m for $6.9m while the comedy Get Smart raised its running total to $98.1m. Latest figures put Star Wars: The Clone Wars on $32.1m and The Dark Knight on $463.1m, several million dollars behind the year's biggest overseas release to date, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
In other releases from Fox International, the German fantasy drama Krabat launched in third place in Germany on $2.2m from 359 screens while Fernando Meirelles' mystery Blindness, which has dropped out of sight in North America after only two weekends, added $261,000 from 96 in Brazil for $3.1m.
Horror title Mirrors added $4.4m from approximately 1,700 screens in 23 markets for $25m, led by a solid $1.5m UK launch on 342 screens that ranked third. Spain yielded a further $1.4m from 300 in its second weekend following a 19% drop in the second weekend to rank third. The revenge drama Taken added $2, from roughly 800 in 17 for $33m through Fox International while Babylon AD grossed $1.6m from roughly 900 in 23 for $16.3m through Fox.