Universal sequel "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" roared to life at the international box office over the Aug. 1-3 weekend, grossing $61.9 million from 3,559 playdates in 28 markets.

"Dragon Emperor" -- returning the action-adventure franchise to the bigscreen after a seven-year hiatus -- easily took the No. 1 spot at the foreign B.O. Its stellar per-screen average of roughly $17,000 was well ahead of the domestic figure ($10,670 per screen), pointing to the franchise's enduring popularity abroad.

Pic did its biggest biz in South Korea, where it grossed $13.3 million. That's the best bow of the year for a non-local pic. "Dragon Emperor" varies from the first two films in moving the action to China, versus Egypt.

"Dragon Emperor" set records for a Universal title in a number of territories. It rang up $12.7 million in Russia and $6.7 million in Spain, the best ever openings for a U title in either territory. Film also brought U its best bows in Latin America, led by a $5.1 million opening in Mexico and a $3.1 million debut in Brazil.

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