In a narrow victory DreamWorks/Paramount's Shrek The Third wrestled the overseas crown from The Bourne Ultimatum and raised its international running total by an estimated $17.2m to $436m.
The weekend result struck a blow for the more traditional staggered release pattern in a season where the more spectacular opening grosses
generated by day-and-date launches have dominated the headlines.
The family sequel opened top through Paramount Pictures International
(PPI) in Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, led by a mighty
$10.8m launch in Italy that included previews but nonetheless registered the biggest animated launch in the market.
Elsewhere the film took $1.4m in Sweden and exceeded the launched of Shrek 2 by 109%, and $1.9m in Norway to open 12% ahead of its
It grossed $1.8m in Denmark for the biggest animated launch in history, and took $538,000 in Finland, which was 58% bigger than the launch of Shrek 2. All results included previews.
Disturbia grossed $3.8m for $20.1m. The thriller opened in South Korea on $1.8m and launched in Brazil on $300,000.
Transformers added $3.2m for $374.4m, and Stardust took $900,000 for $14.2m.
PPI opened the horror film 1408 in the UK on $2.1m, which it said was
approximately 90% ahead of Vacancy, 78% ahead of Identity and 7% ahead of Premonition.
The Bourne Ultimatum continued to consolidate well in the relatively early stages of its run as $15.1m through Universal/UPI from 2,404 sites in 31 territories raised the tally to $75m.
Weekend business was buoyed by six number one launches including
Australia, where a magnificent $5.1m opening from 252 venues took 60% market share and produced the biggest August opening and Universal's second biggest launch in history.
The result finished 250% ahead of the opening of The Bourne Identity
and 52% ahead of The Bourne Supremacy.
The film grossed $300,000 from 42 in Argentina, instantly overtaking
the $240,000 lifetime gross of The Bourne Identity and taking three times as much as the opening of Supremacy.
It stayed top in the UK for the third consecutive weekend on $4.6m
from 468 after dropping a mere 19% for a $35.1m running total, and
vaulted two spaces to the top in Spain in the third weekend on $1.1m
from 340 after a 34% drop to $10.5m.
The Bourne Ultimatum has overtaken the lifetime grosses of the first two instalments in Brazil after falling 35% on $620,000 from 180 in the second weekend for $2.1m.
It ranks top in New Zealand and has similarly passed the lifetime tallies of the first two films after falling 31% and adding $420,000 from 52 for $1.3m.
The spy thriller has yet to open in 24 territories and touches down in Mexico on Sept 7, France on Sept 12 and Japan, through Toho, on Nov> 10.
The comedy Knocked Up had no new openings but held solidly, adding
$6.4m from 1,600 venues in 19 territories for $37.5m. It ranks top in
Germany for the second consecutive weekend after climbing 2% on $2m
from 569 sites for $5.1m.
It also ranks top in Austria for the second weekend after slipping a mere 3% on $420,000 from 93 sites for $1.3m.
The film ranks second in the UK as a 6% fall on $2.9m from 424 raised
the tally after two weekends to $9.2m, and ranks fifth in Mexico after
the same amount of time following a 21% fall on $308,000 from 181 that
resulted in $900,000.
There are 40 territories still to go including Brazil on Sept 21, the
Netherlands on Sept 27, and France on Oct 10.
Two other comedies remain active. Evan Almighty raised its tally by
$3.5m from 2,440 sites in 38 territories to $47.6m, fuelled by Spain,
which generated $900,000 from 317 venues after a 49% fall and ranks
fourth on $3.5m after two weekends. There are 11 territories to go
including Australia on Sept 20.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry added $1.6m from 610 sites in 12 for an early $9.4m. The film opened in six territories including France, where it grossed $275,000 from 150 locations, and Belgium, where $230,000 resulted from 35 sites.
It stayed in third place in Australia in its third weekend after falling 49% on $580,000 from 2225 for $4.7m. There are 44 territories to go over the next three months including Russia on Sept 6, the UK on Sept 21 and Germany on Sept 27.
La Carta Esferica, an acquisition, opened well in Spain on $1m from
211 locations and ranks third.
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix overtook Harry Potter And
The Chamber Of Secrets' $617m tally to become the second highest
grossing film of the franchise internationally, and the sixth biggest
film ever released overseas.
Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) family adventure added
$6.5m in its eighth weekend from approximately 4,500 prints in 58
territories for $625m.
It ranks second in Japan behind the launch of local title Live: Tears
In Heaven and fell a mere 9% on $1.7m (¥195m) from 600 screens
nationwide for $72.4m (¥8.7bn) after seven weekends.
Harry stayed top in its second weekend in Greece after a 45% drop
grossed $571,000 (Eu419,000) from 120 prints nationwide for $2.8m
Latest figures put the UK on $98.2m, Germany on $60.8m, France on
$50.1m, Australia on $30.1m, Italy on $27.2m, Mexico on $25.2m, Spain
on $23.5m, and South Korea on $22.5m.
The romantic comedy No Reservations grossed an estimated $4.1m from
more than 1,250 prints in 20 markets for $12.6m.
It opened top in South Korea on $1.1m (KRW 1.08bn) including previews from 100 prints nationwide, and took $1m (£516,000) including previews in the UK from 346 prints nationwide.
Ocean's Thirteen grossed $1.6m from more than 650 prints in 38 markets for $188.3m. The caper added $1.4m (¥165m) from 311 screens nationwide in its fourth weekend in Japan to rank third on $22.1m (¥2.6bn).
Latest figures put Ocean's Thirteen on $26.1m in the UK, $16.7m in Germany, and a $13m final tally in France.
Sony Pictures Releasing International's animated feature Surf's Up
added $2.1m from 1,815 screens in 34 markets for $36.7m.
The film opened in fourth place in Iceland on $30,000 from six screens. It ranks second in Mexico on $500,000 for $4.5m after four weekends, and 11th in the UK on $7.3m after the same amount of time.
The Simpsons Movie crossed $300m as the Fox International comedy addd $7.7m from 5,700 screens in 49 markets to raise its tally to $303.2m.
The film stayed top in Brazil for the third consecutive weekend,
adding $1.2m from 443 for $6.8m.
Die Hard 4.0 grossed $1.4m from 1,500 screens in 22 markets for
$222.8m, while Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer raised its
tally by $1.8m from 1,300 in 14 markets for $141.5m excludiung
28 Weeks Later opened in seven markets and scored a fourth place
$940,000 debut in Germany from 302 screens. Overall the horror sequel
added $1.3m from 1.435 screens for a $27.8m international running
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International had not returned
calls at time of writing.