US mega-hit Shrek took the UK box office by storm at the weekend when it opened with $6.6m (£4.7m) from 470 sites, an average of $14,023 per site. Although this figure included preview figures of $1.3m (£902,736) it wouldn't change its claim to the top spot in the UK chart and as the fourth highest opener of the year so far, behind Hannibal, The Mummy Returns and Bridget Jones's Diary.
The film is the seventh biggest opening for distributor UIP in the territory and the highest for a DreamWorks SKG production, ahead of Chicken Run's $5.4m (£3.8m), distributed in the UK by Pathe, which opened the same weekend last year. The computer-animated hit, which headlines an all-star voice cast of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow, has opened in 18 non-US territories so far with an international gross to date of $26.7m. The film has further openings this week including France (July 4), Germany and Hong Kong (both July 5).
Another US hit also continued its roll-out this week. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which passed $100m domestically at the weekend, opened to number one slots in Germany, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Korea.
Germany saw the most impressive opening of the action/ adventure with a $3.7m (DM 8.5m) four-day weekend, while in two-days in Seoul it grossed a mighty $809,000 from 59 screens for a screen average of $13,700.
The Angelina Jolie film, based on the Eidos computer games, also holds the top spots in Spain and Australia and reaches several other territories, including the UK, Hungary, Brazil and Mexico, this weekend. However the film failed to take the top spot in Sweden where its $217,494 three-day opening was narrowly beaten by local production Beck - Revenge with $230,329. Revenge is the third Swedish theatrical release in the popular Beck franchise from Columbia TriStar, after 1997's Beck and Beck - Subway.
Two films crossed the $100m international box office benchmark this week. On release for five weeks, Pearl Harbor has now taken a solid $112.4m and is still going strong in many territories as well as having yet to open in others. Spain and Poland are next to receive the film this Friday (July 6). However the World War II epic is still a far cry from reaching the figures taken by previous Michael Bay directed blockbusters Armageddon and The Rock. 1998's Armageddon, which starred Bruce Willis and Pearl Harbor's Ben Affleck, took an international gross of $347.6m and The Rock $200.3m in 1996. All the previous Michael Bay-Jerry Bruckheimer collaborations, which also includes 1995's Bad Boys, have seen higher international grosses than their domestic gross, a feat Harbor is yet to achieve.
Meanwhile Sandra Bullock has scored her biggest international hit since 1997 with Miss Congeniality, which has taken $103m so far in the international market. Although the comedy hit is slowing now it has surpassed her 1995 success While You Were Sleeping ($100.9m) and should beat 1997's Speed 2: Cruise Control ($105.2m). Bullock's biggest international hit, Speed, remains unchallenged having taken $161.6m internationally in 1994.