'Fast' hits overseas overdrive

Universal sequel races to $46 mil and leads the way in 18 markets

Propelled by first-place openings in 18 fresh markets, Universal's "Fast & Furious" handily outmuscled DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens" on the foreign circuit, capturing the No. 1 spot during the Easter weekend with an estimated $46.5 million from 5,118 sites in 50 territories for an impressive $9,086 per-screen average.

Easter holiday business was strong in most markets in Europe and in Latin and South America. In taking the top spot for the first time, the fourth title in the action franchise starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker recorded the biggest overseas weekend so far in 2009.

The international cume for "Fast" is $91 million, good for a worldwide total of more than $200 million.

"Monsters," the previous frame's No. 1 title overseas, dropped to No. 2 with an estimated $26.5 million from 7,400 locations in 52 markets. The biggest of five new markets was Hong Kong, where "Monsters" claimed the No. 1 spot with $573,000 from 38 spots for a per-screen average of $15,078. Its cume overseas stands at $92.7 million.

Premiering particularly well in Russia, "Fast" tallied $8.6 million from 545 locations, the ninth-biggest market-weekend opening to date. Its No. 1 U.K. weekend bow produced $7.5 million from 362 sites, representing an estimated 33% market share. The Friday opening was Universal's biggest in the U.K. and the biggest by any distributor in the market this year.

France provided $6 million from 485 situations, while in holdover Germany, "Fast" retained the top spot with $3 million from 614 screens for an 11-day cume of $10.7 million. On strictly a per-screen average, the film's returns in United Arab Emirates ($1.1 million from 25 sites for a $44,000 per-screen average) and Singapore ($1 million from 27 locations for a $37,037 per-screen average) were especially muscular.

Universal said "Fast" already has outgrossed its predecessors in six markets. Openings in six more markets, including Italy, Australia and China, are due this week.

At No. 3 on the weekend was Summit International's "Knowing," which generated $11 million from 2,284 locations in 27 markets, pushing its overseas cume to $40.4 million and worldwide tally to $108.4 million.

In fourth place, Fox International opened "Dragonball Evolution" in 28 markets for an estimated $10.6 million from 4,500 screens in 35 markets. (partialdiff)
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