'Fast & Furious' tops overseas boxoffice

Film takes $45.6 mil to push 'Monsters' into second place

'Hannah Montana' rocks domestic boxoffice

Propelled by first-place openings in 18 fresh markets, Universal's "Fast & Furious" handily out-muscled DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens" on the foreign circuit, capturing the No. 1 spot over the Easter weekend with an estimated $45.6 million from a total of 5,034 sites in 53 territories for an impressive $9,058 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 reteaming Vin Diesel and Paul Walker as an ex-con and street racer who infiltrate a drug ring recorded the biggest weekend gross overseas so far in 2009.

The "Fast & Furious" international cume stands at $90.1 million for a worldwide total of $206.7 million.

"Monsters," the last round's No. 1 title overseas, dropped to the second spot this stanza with an estimated $23.7 million collected from 6,530 locations in 50 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. Cume overseas now stands at $88.3 million.

Premiering particularly well in Russia, "Fast & Furious" tallied $8.6 million from 545 locations, the ninth-biggest market weekend opening ever. The No. 1 U.K. weekend bow produced $7.2 million from 364 sites, representing an estimated 33% market share. The Friday opening day was Universal's biggest in the U.K. and the biggest recorded by any distributor in the market so far this year.

France provided $6 million from 485 locations, while in holdover Germany, "Fast & Furious" 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 in Singapore ($1 million from 27 locations for a $37,037 per-screen average) were especially muscular.

Universal said the latest "Fast & Furious" has already outgrossed the worldwide total of 2006's "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (which tallied $158.4 million globally) and surpassed 2001's "Fast and Furious" ($207.4 million) on Monday. The worldwide gross total of 2003's "2 Fast 2 Furious" ($236.3 million) is expected to be eclipsed by "Fast & Furious" by the weekend. Openings in six more markets, including Italy, Australia and China, are due this week.

No. 3 on the weekend was Summit International's "Knowing," which generated $12.2 million from 3,120 locations in 29 markets, pushing its overseas cume to $41.4 million and its worldwide tally to $109.4 million. The time-capsule thriller with Nicolas Cage opened No. 1 in Spain ($2.3 million from 329 screens) and No. 2 in Germany ($1.5 million from 440 spots).

20th Century Fox International opened in 28 markets "Dragonball Evolution," the live-action adaptation of a popular Japanese manga series, for an estimated $10.3 million from a total of 4,600 screens in 35 markets. That was enough to take the No. 4 weekend spot. Overseas cume stands at $36.9 million.

Finishing fifth was Disney's "Race to Witch Mountain" with Dwayne Johnson, which premiered in seven markets for $5.2 million overall from 2,075 screens in 23 markets. International total to date stands at $15 million. The biggest of the new markets were Australia ($1.2 million from 270 locations) and the U.K. ($1 million from 400 spots).

In Japan, two titles from notable directors opened to impressive single-market returns. John Woo's China-financed epic costume drama "Red Cliff: Part II" premiered at No. 1 on 729 screens via Toho-Towa/Avex for a mighty $6.7 million. Second place in the market went to Toho's release of Takashi Miike's "Crows Zero II," the Japanese director's latest manga adaptation, which tallied $5.7 million from 314 spots.

Oscar-laden "Slumdog Millionaire" has pushed well past the $180 million mark internationally, and its worldwide tally is an estimated $320 million. U.K. cume stands at $45.3 million; India, $7.5 million; France, $20 million; and Germany, $9.8 million in four frames (with No. 4 market weekend action at $1.1 million from 408 sites).

In France, Disney opened (at No. 3 in Paris and environs) Hayao Miyazaki's animated family adventure, "Ponyo on the Cliff," in 183 locations for $1.1 million. The Studio Ghibli production, which Toho distributed to boxoffice of $164 million in Japan last year, won't open domestically via Disney until August.

Bowing smartly in both the U.K. and Australia was New Line's "17 Again," a comedy with Zac Efron and Matthew Perry, which laughed all the way to $3.8 million from 407 screens in the former market and another $2.8 million from 218 screens in Australia. Opening at No. 3 in Australia and New Zealand while holding the No. 4 spot in the U.K. was Universal's release of Working Title Films' "The Boat That Rocked," which grossed $2.5 million from 761 screens in the three markets for a cume of $7 million.

Warners' "Gran Torino" with Clint Eastwood raised its overseas cume to $88.6 million thanks to a $4.6 million weekend playing 2,240 screens in 49 territories.
Fox's "Marley & Me" raised its overseas cume to $90.6 million thanks to a $3 million weekend from 1,850 sites in 23 markets.

Universal's "Duplicity" with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen continues to struggle, grossing $2.7 million from 1,442 locations in 22 markets for a cume of $21 million. Sony's Kevin James comedy "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" grabbed $2.3 million from 1,279 spots in 20 territories for a cume of $24.6 million.

In France, Pathe's "Safari," a comedy about French tourists in Africa, remained the No. 1 local-language title in the market, grossing $2.4 million from 558 locations for a cume of $7.4 million. The biggest newcomer, ranking at No. 5 in the market, was Wild Bunch's "Erreur de la banque en votre faveur," a comedy about a fired bank employee who scams his former employer to finance a new restaurant. The opening take was $1.4 million from 400 spots.

Other international cumes: Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," $20.4 million; Paramount's "Watchmen," $73.2 million; Fox's "Notorious, $6.1 million; United Artists/Fox's "Valkyrie, $113.2 million; Paramount's "Watchmen," $73.5 million; Fox's "12 Rounds," $2.4 million; DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," $414.7 million; Disney's "Confessions of a Shopaholic," $52 million; Paramount's "The Duchess," $5.7 million; Fox's "Bride Wars," $55.7 million; Sony's "The International," $25.2 million; and DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel for Dogs," $40.7 million.
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