War of the Worlds continued to dominate theinternational marketplace this weekend with an estimated gross of $60.5m. Butthe Tom Cruise-Steven Spielberg blockbuster was knocked out of the top chartspot in a few major markets by new international opener Fantastic Four.
The tally for War of the Worlds, distributedinternationally for Paramount by UIP, included contributions from the two majorterritories in which the film did not open last weekend during its $102.5m(from five days in many markets) international debut.
The second weekend gross brings the running internationaltotal for the sci-fi thriller, co-produced by Paramount and DreamWorks, to$201m after 12 days.
War of the Worlds opened to an estimated $11m from848 locations in France. That was the second biggest UIP opening of all timeand the biggest for Paramount and Cruise.
In Korea, it opened with an estimated $6.8m from 300locations over three days and $8.5m over four, the biggest ever opening inKorea for UIP, Paramount, Cruise and Spielberg.
In Belgium, the film became the biggest July opener ever,with $1.4m from 85 locations. And in Portugal the first weekend gross $750,000from 70 locations, the biggest opening of the year.
UIP also reported fairly modest declines in some of thefilm's holdover territories.
The UK gross was down 40% to an estimated $8m, enough toretain number one spot and bring the running total for the territory to $32.3m.
War also stayed top in Germany, dropping 44% to anestimated $3.7m, for a running total of $13.4m.
In Spain, the gross was down 49% to $2.9m (total - $13m) andin Italy it dropped 46% to $2.3m (total - $11m).
In Australia, War dropped 47% to $2.7m (total -$10.7m) and lost top spot to Fantastic Four. And in Japan, it declinedonly 37% to $5.2m (total - $26.7m) but was easily out-grossed by Star Wars: EpisodeIII.
In line with its impressive US launch this weekend, FoxInternational's Fantastic Four made a strong day-and-date internationaldebut, grossing an estimated $16m and opening at number one in almost all ofits 15 (mostly smaller) markets.
In Mexico, the movie version of Marvel Comics' longestrunning series grossed an estimated $5.6m from 951 screens. That was Fox'sbiggest opening weekend ever in the territory.
In Australia, Fantastic Four took $2.7m from 303screens, almost as much as Fox/Marvel's first X-Men movie and 81% of theopening achieved by sequel X2.
And in Brazil, Fantastic Four made $1.9m from 413screens, 87% of the opening achieved by X2 and 133% of X-Men'stally.
Strong performances in smaller markets included an estimated$1.1m from 290 screens in Thailand, $1m from 170 in Taiwan, and $959,000 from184 in the Philippines.
Fox International's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge ofthe Sith, meanwhile, brought its huge international haul to $391m with astellar opening in Japan, the film's last major territory.
Sith's estimated $17m (including the take from lastweek's previews) from 757 screens was the third biggest opening weekend ever inJapan, said Fox, and the studio's biggest ever in the territory. The tally is119% of the opening for Episode II and 127% of that for Episode I.
Fox International also noted a strong opening -- thestudio's fourth biggest in the territory -- for Mr & Mrs Smith inChina. The action comedy, which has now amassed a total of $117m from the internationalterritories handled by Fox, grossed an estimated $2.2m from 450 Chinesescreens.
Overall, Mr & Mrs Smith grossed around $4m fromseven territories over the weekend, $1.3m of it coming from a good fourthweekend in Korea.
UIP's Madagascar had another strong weekend, openingin Argentina and several other Latin American markets and taking an estimated$15m, for a running international total of $103m.
The animated DreamWorks movie dropped off only 15% in France(to $2.9m for a $13.5m total), 30% in Australia (to $1.5m for a $16.8m total),and 33% in Spain (to $1.1m for a $12.8m total).
In its fourth weekend, Warner Bros Pictures International's BatmanBegins dropped 44% to take an estimated $8.8m. With a $132m running totalthe film has now surpassed the international totals of Batman Returnsand Batman and Robin.
Batman Begins was off 42% in the UK to $1.4m (total -$25.1m); 35% in Australia to $823,700 (total - $10.1m); 50% in France to$737.2m (total - $10.1m); 37% in Japan to $629,100 (total - $10.6m); and 29% inGermany to $604,900 (total - $5.8m).
The film also recorded fall-offs of 50% or less in Korea,Spain, Brazil and Italy.
Universal reported an updated international total of $77.6mfor The Interpreter, now in its thirteenth week and distributed in mostterritories by UIP.
Estimates for the openings of Sony Pictures InternationalReleasing's Bewitched in Australia and Man of the House in Spain,and for Fox International's Flight of the Phoenix in Germany, were notavailable at time of writing.