'Furious' holds fast atop overseas b.o.

Universal's film takes $36 million in second weekend

'17 Again' easily takes domestic crown

By Frank Segers

Universal's "Fast & Furious" zoomed to the top of a diffuse international boxoffice circuit during the weekend, decisively claiming the No. 1 spot for a second consecutive stanza with $36 million from 5,076 screens in 59 markets.

Placing second was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens," which drew $17.6 million from 6,371 locations in 49 markets, pushing its international gross to $126 million (vs. $162.7 million domestic). Paramount said 3-D venues for "Monsters" in the U.K. -- where the No. 1 weekend tally overall was $2.98 million from 517 locations -- are throwing off a per-screen average of $9,000 compared with $3,000 for conventional sites.

Opening in six markets, "Fast" established Universal's biggest opening-day tally in Australia and that market's biggest April opening weekend to date. Its four-day gross there was $5.75 million from 345 sites for a substantial per-screen average of $16,667.

The fourth title in the action franchise, starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, was No. 1 in Italy ($4.2 million from 285 dates for a $14,737 per-screen average), New Zealand (36% market share), Portugal, China and Taiwan. Its international total stands at $145 million, with Universal projecting the film will pass $300 million worldwide during the coming week.

Otherwise, the weekend was highlighted by limited overseas engagements for several fresh titles including Working Title/Universal's "State of Play," which opened at No. 2 domestically. The Russell Crowe vehicle, based on a BBC series about reporters investigating the murder of a congressman's mistress, collected $2 million from 375 screens in Spain, Latvia and Turkey, with its No. 1 Spain bow providing $1.84 million from 329 locales.

Placing third on the weekend overseas was Summit's "Knowing," which opened at No. 1 in Korea with $1.49 million from 433 screens. The overseas weekend tally for the time-capsule thriller, starring Nicolas Cage, was 9.5 million from 3,685 sites in 31 markets, raising its international cume to $57.1 million and its worldwide total to $130.8 million.

The No. 4 title overseas was New Line's "17 Again," which premiered in the U.K. and Australia a week before its No. 1 domestic bow and opened in seven mostly midlevel overseas territories during the weekend. Its overseas tally on the frame was $5.7 million from 819 screens in nine territories.

The comedy, which revolves around a middle-aged man who wakes up a teenager, co-stars Zac Efron, star of the "High School Musical" series, and Matthew Perry. It scored best in its holdover U.K. market, finishing third with $2.6 million from 410 sites to raise its market cume to $11 million. "17 Again's" early international cume is $18.4 million.

Other openings included U.K. (where it ranked fourth) and Ukraine intros for DreamWorks/Paramount's "I Love You, Man" with Paul Rudd, which registered $1.65 million from 370 screens. U.K. figure was $1.6 million from 336 sites.

Premiering in Poland, Disney's teen-rock saga "Hannah Montana: The Movie" grossed $385,000 from 90 locations. The Miley Cyrus vehicle debuted in Israel and Lebanon during the previous weekend and has rolled up an early international cume of $500,000.

The weekend's No. 5 title overseas was Disney's "Race to Witch Mountain," starring Dwayne Johnson, which opened at No.2 in Spain with $1.82 million from 308 spots. The film's international tally on the weekend was $5.5 million from 2,426 screens in 27 territories, raising its cume to $24.3 million.

20th Century Fox's "Dragonball Evolution," a live-action adaptation of Japanese manga, generated $3.7 million from 4,200 screens in 40 markets to raise its overseas cume to $43.9 million.

Working Title/Universal's "The Boat That Rocked," a pirate-radio comedy from director Richard Curtis, drew $3.8 million from 1,635 situations in a dozen markets, 10 of them new. Its international cume stands at $12.8 million.

Warner Bros.' "Gran Torino," directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, pushed its overseas gross to $94.5 million thanks to a $3.75 million weekend from 2,080 screens in 49 markets. A Japan opening is set for this week.

Disney's release in France of Hayao Miyazaki's animated family adventure "Ponyo on the Cliff," held nicely in its second weekend with $1.2 million from 147 sites for a market cume of $3.1 million.

Sony's "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" registered $2.26 million from 1,262 screens in 20 markets to raise its six-frame overseas cume to $28.7 million. Universal's "Duplicity," starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, came up with $2 million from 1,599 situations in 24 territories to raise its overseas cume to $24.6 million.

Weekend grosses for local productions were especially strong in France. Topping the market was Gaumont's latest in a series, "OSS 117: Rio ne repond plus," starring comedian Jean Dujardin as an out-of-touch secret agent. Its opening tally in the territory was a mighty $7 million from 588 locations for a formidable $11,905 per screen average. Holding at No. 3 in its third weekend in France was Pathe's "Safari," a comedy about French tourists in Africa, which generated $2.4 million from 572 situations to raise its cume to $11.4 million.

Premiering at No. 4 in France, though No. 2 in Paris, was TFM Distribution's "In the Electric Mist," Bertrand Tavernier's English-language mystery set in New Orleans and starring Tommy Lee Jones. Its opening tally in the market was $2 million from 219 screens.

Opening at No. 1 in Germany was Lionsgate/Lakeshore Entertainment's "Crank: High Voltage." The action title, starring Jason Statham, played on 405 screens in the territory and earned $3.2 million. Its U.K. intro was less impressive, $804,119 from 319 spots, still enough for a No. 5 market ranking.

"Slumdog Millionaire" opened No. 5 in Japan – the only non-Asian production to make the market's top 10 – with $1.17 million from 119 screens. The eight-time Oscar winner easily crossed the $185 million mark overseas (its tally as of Friday was $183.9 million) pushing the film's worldwide total past $325 million.

"Slumdog's" top territory remains the U.K., the home market for the Danny Boyle-helmed title ($45.1 million cume), followed by France ($18.6 million), Australia ($13.1 million), Spain ($12.8 million) and Germany ($11.5 million). Its boxoffice cume in India is $7.4 million.

Other international cumes include Paramount's "Watchmen," $74.2 million; Sony's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans," $43.2 million; New Line's "He's Just Not That Into You," $66.2 million (vs. $92.6 million domestic); Fox's "Marley & Me," $96 million; New Line's "Inkheart," $37.8 million (vs. $16.2 million domestic); Fox's "12 Rounds," $3 million; New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $129.4 million (of which 42% has come from the 14% of locations playing the film in 3-D); Sony's "The International," $ 26.4 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel for Dogs," $41.3 million; Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," $21.2 million; Fox's "Bride Wars," $ 55.9 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Revolutionary Road," $51.7 million; and Fox's "Notorious," $6.2 million.