Animation ruledthe international waves for the second consecutive weekend as DreamWorksInternational's Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-rabbit grossed an estimated $26.4m through UIP,powered by a mighty $11.3m UK launch.
The UK debut in502 sites did not include $4.9m in previews and according to UIP executivesgenerated 96% more than the UK launch of Chicken Run, 74% more than Madagascar, and 25% more than Shark Tale.
Wallace &Gromit opened top inFrance on $2.9m in 538 sites and should prosper there as the country preparesto go into school holidays. Germany and Austria also opened top on $2.3m and $225,000respectively.
Decent secondweekend holdover business elevated the running totals in Spain, Brazil andMexico by $725,000 for $2.4m, $400,000 for $1.5m, and $1m for $2.7mrespectively.
Charlie AndThe Chocolate Factory addeda further $5.6m through Warner Bros Pictures International to raise theinternational running total to $244.2m.
Key highlightswere an excellent $737,000 launch in Greece that was expected to rank numberone. The family title defied an exhibitor strike in Italy last Friday to add$1.1m from 310 prints and raise the cumulative gross there to $11.1m.
The strike overgovernment funding cuts was led by Roberto Benigni, whose The Tiger And TheSnow delayed its launchby one day but still reportedly opened top through 01 Distribution. The openinggross will be reported here on Screendaily this week.
Charlie AndThe Chocolate Factorywas expected to remain the number one title in Japan in its sixth weekend afteradding $2.1m on 364 prints for a superb $38.7m running total.
Warner's local languageco-production Little Polar Bear 2 raised its total in Germany by $608,000 on 635 prints for $4.3m.
Universal'sformer UK champion Pride And Prejudice fell to second place in its fifth weekend behind Wallace& Gromit,nevertheless it continued to generate strong business through UIP and added$1.1m from 400 venues for an excellent $22.7m UK cumulative total.
The period dramaopened on $140,000 from 36 in Belgium. So far Pride And Prejudice has grossed $24.5m through the UK,Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. There are 50 territories still toopen including Australia and Germany this week, and the international prospectslook very strong indeed.
Focus Features'political drama The Constant Gardener directed by local hero Fernando Meireilles opened in thirdplace in Brazil on $412,000 on 113, and also launched in Mexico in eighth placeon $190,000 on 120.
Universal's sci-fi adventure Serenity added $1.7m in 750 sites in Australia, the UK,Portugal, Russia and the Ukraine to raise the running total to $6m.
Comedy The 40Year-Old Virgin grossed$4.7m in 1,700 venues in 26 territories this weekend for $34m. It added $1.2mfrom 216 sites in its second weekend in Australia for $3.4m for an unconfirmedsecond place, and ranks second after three weekends in Germany on $5.8m.
Meanwhile AprilSnow has become thebiggest grossing South Korea picture ever to be released in Japan after itadded $600,000 in 300 through UIP for $20.4m after five weekends.
Sony PicturesReleasing International's (SPRI) courtroom drama The Exorcism Of Emily Rose added $1.2m on 324 prints; it rankedsecond in its second weekend in Italy for $4m.
Sony's locallanguage Brazilian hit Two Children Of Francisco continued its amazing run in itshomeland. The picture stayed top for the ninth consecutive weekend as it added$500,000 on 265 prints through SPRI for a magnificent $13.9m running total.
The localcurrency total of 31.1m units is the biggest for any release in Brazil thisyear, outselling such titles as Madagascar and War Of The Worlds, Two Children Of Francisco now ranks as the biggest grossingBrazilian picture of all time.
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo added $1.5m on 815 prints for $19.5m. It opened topin Singapore on $250,000 on 22 prints, top in the Philippines on $240,000 on55, and top in South Africa on $75,000 on 40. The Brazilian launch producedseventh place on $265,000 on 100.
Bewitched added $1.5m on 1,650 prints in 43territories through SPRI for a $65m international running total.
Buena VistaInternational's (BVI) Flightplan added $2.6m for a $10.5m running total, powered by number onelaunches in Hong Kong on $625,000 and Denmark on $150,000.
The thrillergrossed $992,000 in Mexico for $6.2m and ranks third, and remained top inArgentina for the second weekend in a row after adding $175,000 for $530,000.
The footballdrama Goal! grossed$2.4m for an early $6m running total. It opened second in Mexico on $978,000and launched in France on $1m for an unconfirmed ranking. Goal! stands at $3.2m in the UK after threeweekends.
Latestcumulative grosses issued by BVI put Cinderella Man on $43m and Kinky Boots on $4.2m in the UK after two weekends.
FoxInternational's sibling comedy drama In Her Shoes launched in its first major market ofAustralia at the weekend on $1.6m on 290 screens.
The adventuretitle Into The Blue openedfourth in Mexico on $556,000 on 250; it has amassed $3.1m from the early stagesof its run. Action sequel The Transporter 2 launched in second place in Spain on$1.1m on 235; it stands at $11.4m overall.
Russian fantasytitle Night Watch tookmore than $600,000 for an $11.3m running total through Fox International; it hastaken more than $27.3m through all distributors. It opened in Italy on $300,000on 134 and launched in Australia on $269,000 on 113.