'Monsters' ekes out overseas win

Film takes $32.5 mil to outpace strong 'Fast & Furious' bow

'Fast & Furious' wins domestic boxoffice
 
The international circuit picked up the boxoffice pace during the first weekend of the year's second quarter as DreamWorks Animation/Paramount released "Monster vs. Aliens" in conventional, 3-D and Imax venues in 47 markets for an estimated $32.5 million on 7,467 total screens, good for the No. 1 spot overall despite underperforming expectations.
 
Meanwhile, the weekend's No. 2 release, Universal's "Fast & Furious," performed stronger than anticipated. Opening day-and-date with its No. 1 domestic bow, the fourth title in the action franchise reteaming Vin Diesel and Paul Walker generated $30.5 million from 3,174 locations in 32 markets. That resulted in a noisy $9,597 per-screen average and the best overseas opening tally of any title in the series.
 
"Monsters," the $165 million animation comedy about quirky monsters battling aliens bent on a U.S. invasion, grossed $6.3 million from 520 spots in the U.K., of which $2.9 million came from 3-D venues. In Mexico, the overall tally was $3.2 million from 547 locations, including $1.7 million from 3-D theaters. In Spain, $1.2 million was generated at 3-D screens; the total weekend in the market was $2.9 million from 537 spots.
 
"3-D screenings proved particularly popular," Paramount said. "In the U.K., the screen average of 3-D locations was $17,000, compared to only $7,000 for conventional cinemas. This statistic was echoed in Australia, Brazil and Germany among other territories."
 
In "Monsters' " No. 1 opening frame domestically March 27, about 56% of the $58.2 million weekend gross came from 3-D ticket sales.
 
Taking advantage of local school holidays and to counter piracy in the territories, "Monsters" opened in Russia and the Ukraine on the weekend ending March 19. Its early overseas cume is $46 million.
 
"Fast" premiered at No. 1 in 26 markets, with Germany leading the pack with $6.1 million from 606 situations, or 40% of the total weekend market, Universal said. Spain generated $3.6 million from 305 screens for a 30% market share. Mexico provided $3.6 million from 454 sites for a 42% market share. "Fast" opens in another 19 territories this weekend, including the U.K., France and Russia.
 
"Slumdog Millionaire" dashed past the $300 million gross mark worldwide during the week, of which about $169 million was generated overseas, including the $45 million cume registered on the weekend in the U.K., its home market.
 
For the weekend, "Slumdog" upped its Australia market total to $14 million over 16 frames and boosted the Spain cume to $12.6 million over eight rounds. The France market cume to $19.1 million thanks to a $765,700 take from 325 screens in its 12th stanza.

A China opening March 26 provided the Oscar-laden Danny Boyle title with about $3 million in its first four days, the biggest mainland opening for a non-U.S. foreign film in the past 10 years. In its third Germany round, "Slumdog" ranked No. 3 in the market with $1.6 million from 359 locations for a cume of $8 million.
 
At No. 3 for the weekend was Summit International's "Knowing," which raised its foreign gross to $24.7 million thanks to a $9.4 million weekend from 2,248 screens in 17 markets. France was a particularly strong territory for the Nicolas Cage starrer, No. 2 in the market with an estimated $3.1 million generated from 338 locations. In Paris and environs, "Knowing" was the top grosser.
 
In fourth place overall was Fox's "Marley & Me," which wound down its international run with solid openings in Italy and Turkey plus a durable holdover in Japan (No. 4 in the market with $1 million from 439 sites, cume $5.2 million). Its overall weekend take was $6 million from 2,860 screens in 33 markets, raising its overseas cume to $83.3 million.
 


Finishing fifth was Warner Bros. International's Clint Eastwood vehicle "Gran Torino," which raised its foreign gross to $81.4 million after a $5.4 million weekend at 2,500 screens in 47 markets. A Japan opening is due April 25.
 
"Paul Blart: Mall Cop," the Kevin James comedy from Sony, bagged $4 million from 1,430 screens in 14 holdover markets, raising its international cume to $19.8 million. With no new openings, "Duplicity," the Universal caper film with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, dropped about 50% from the previous frame, generating $2.9 million from 1,644 situations in 18 territories. Its cume is $17.1 million.

In the U.K., Universal opened Working Title Films' "The Boat That Rocked," director Richard Curtis' pirate-rock-radio-station comedy, which grabbed the No. 2 market spot with $2.7 million from 462 locations.
 
Fox's "Dragonball: Evolution," the live-action title based on a Japanese manga, opened in France, Russia and Ukraine after playing in Asian markets, drawing $2.5 million for the weekend, mostly from France ($1.2 million from 374 spots). Cume stands at $25.4 million so far.
 
Local-language comedies ruled the weekend in France. The No. 1 film marketwide (but not in Paris) was Pathe's "Safari," about French tourists on an African safari, which opened with $3.9 million at 558 screens.
 
At No. 4 was Mars Distribution's "La premiere etoile," about a financially distressed father who overpromises a family ski vacation. Its second-weekend take was $1.64 million from 350 locations for a cume of $5.3 million.
 
Finishing fifth in France was Studio Canal's "Coco," comedian Gad Elmaleh's directorial debut. Its third-weekend tally was $1.6 million from 670 screens for a cume of $21.1 million.
 
"Confessions of a Shopaholic," the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced comedy from Disney, bagged $2.5 million from 1,560 screens in 32 markets, raising its cume to $48.9 million.
 
Disney's "Race to Witch Mountain," starring Dwayne Johnson, produced $1.8 million from 1,025 situations in 13 markets for an overseas cume of $9.2 million. Openings in 10 markets are set for this week, including in the U.K., Germany and Austria.
 
Other international cumes: Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," $19.9 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel for Dogs," $39.9 million; Fox's "12 Rounds," $1.9 million; Universal's "Frost/Nixon," $8.2 million; Disney's "Bedtime Stories," $108 million; Sony's "The International," $23.9 million; Fox's "Bride Wars," $55.2 million; Paramount's "Watchmen," $71.5 million; Warner's "Yes Man," $131.3 million; Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," $49.1 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Coraline," $8.5 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," $414.1 million; Universal's "Changeling," $76.5 million; Disney's "Bolt," $179.2 million; Paramount's "Friday the 13th," $24.1 million; Universal's "The Unborn," $27.9 million; Warner's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," $202.3 million; Fox's "Se eu fosse voce 2," $21.3 million; Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $34.1 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Revolutionary Road," $51.5 million; and MGM/Sony's "The Pink Panther 2," $35.2 million.
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