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'I, Frankenstein' Back From the Dead With Strong Russian Bow

The horror-actioner, starring Aaron Eckhart, opens to $7 million in Russia and delivers solid box office across Eastern Europe.

Stuart Beattie's I, Frankenstein appeared DOA on its domestic release, with the $65 million genre actioner starring Aaron Eckhart earning just $8.3 million on its first weekend. But Frankenstein is showing signs of life overseas, particularly in Eastern Europe, where it earned some $8 million this past weekend, scoring No. 1 spots in Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria.

I, Frankenstein debuted to $7 million in Russia through Monday, leaving behind other new releases including The Legend of Hercules and local title Champions to take the top slot. Indie distributor A Company bowed the film on 1,846 screens across Russia and, together with its local distribution partners, on more than 2,300 screens across its footprint, which includes the rest of CIS, Eastern Europe and Vietnam.

Internationally, the adaptation of the graphic novel by Underworld co-creator Kevin Grevioux has proven more suitable to local tastes. Splendid Films, which released I, Frankenstein together with Sony in Germany, earned a respectable $1.2 million on its opening weekend, taking the sixth spot. In Brazil, the film earned some $1.6 million and a further $2 million in Mexico.

I, Frankenstein was one of the hot sellers of the 2011 American Film Market for Lakeshore Entertainment, which financed and produced the film (Lionsgate released I, Frankenstein in North America). International distributors are hoping the film could be the start of a franchise akin to Underworld, whose four films have made more than $450 million worldwide. Given I, Frankenstein's weak domestic bow, that seems unlikely. The film rolls out this weekend in several territories, including the U.K., France and the Netherlands.