Another strong summer stanza on the international circuit saw a reshuffle at the top during the weekend, when Transformers emerged as the new No. 1 title with an estimated $43.6 million gross from 3,503 screens in 29 territories.
Although not as muscular overall as the previous weekend's exceptionally strong showing -- when a half-dozen titles grossed more than $10 million, compared with three this stanza -- the weekend's action reinforced the view that summer 2007 remains sizzling overseas for the major U.S. studios.
Sony Pictures Releasing International said Sunday that the international boxoffice for its films this year passed the $1 billion mark faster than ever before in the distributor's history, making Sony the first studio to reach that milestone in 2007.
Sony's previous international record was set last year on Aug. 24. (By the end of 2006, Sony generated $1.634 billion overseas, its biggest year to date.) The biggest of Sony's titles overseas so far this year are Ghost Rider ($103.9 million gross), The Pursuit of Happyness ($120.1 million), Casino Royale (which grossed $87.9 million of its $428 million total in 2007) and, of course, Spider-Man 3 ($549.4 million, $215 million more than its domestic gross).
Transformers, the sci-fi/action film directed by Michael Bay and based on the popular toy line and animated TV series, broadened its international rollout in its second weekend by opening in 19 new territories, finishing No. 1 in Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Turkey. The DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International release has an international gross of $93.6 million; it has grossed $246.1 million worldwide.
The biggest Transformers market was Russia (an estimated $8.3 million from 394 screens), followed by Spain ($5.2 million from 706 sites) and the Netherlands ($1.4 million from 111 situations).
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