Simpsons Movie: Smash Overseas

August 6, 2007–“The Simpsons Movie” had a good weekend at the international box office, adding $47.3 million from 6,627 runs in 75 markets to bring the toon's worldwide take to a tidy $315.5 million in 12 days.

Summer business remained robust as four other pictures — “Transformers,” “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” “Ratatouille” and Korean monster pic “D-War” — combined for another $100 million. The record dwarfs the same frame last year, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” led with $57 million, while the next four (“Superman Returns,” “Miami Vice,” “Cars,” “Garfield 2”) combined for a mere $27 million.

“The Simpsons” moved way past “Transformers” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” to tally $187 million overseas to date. The 20th Century Fox picture showed decent traction with a $7,148 per-location average and declines in the 50% range in most markets following its stellar $96.8 million launch.

A surprise from the weekend was the showing of Showbox's “D-War.” Picture, centered on a massive snake destroying downtown L.A., turned in a monstrous bow at the local box office with an estimated $19.2 million at 530 screens. Should estimates hold, “D-War” could break the $18 million Korean launch record set in May by “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.” The English-language pic's set for a Stateside release next month as “Dragon Wars.”

For the Hollywood majors, foreign business has stayed strong throughout the year, with box office now 20% ahead of the same point in 2006. For the first time, five studios have crossed the billion-dollar mark with Sony hitting the milestone first, followed by Warner, Disney, Fox and Paramount a week ago.

“The Simpsons Movie” turned in its top number in the U.K. with $8.7 million, off 53%, for a Brit cume of $49.5 million. “Simpsons” logged a solid $7 million Mexican launch, 19% behind “Ice Age 2,” which set the animated record in Mexico last year. Its steepest declines came against launches by rivals, including a 62% hit to $5.4 million in Germany, where the “Transformers” edged it for the top slot, and a 60% drop in France to $3.8 million as “Ratatouille” opened strongly.