'Marley' knocks off 'Watchmen' o'seas


Thanks to nine new market openings, notably a No. 1 premiere in the U.K. that generated $6.5 million from 467 locations, Fox International's "Marley & Me" grabbed the top spot on the international circuit during the weekend, edging out "Watchmen."

The David Frankel-helmed family drama, based on John Grogan's book about an obstreperous 100-pound dog, grossed a family-friendly estimate of $13.9 million from 2,708 screens in 34 markets, also including a first-place opening in Russia that provided $1.7 million from 517 locations. "Marley's" cumulative international gross is $51 million.

Paramount's "Watchmen," from director Zack Snyder, faded to second place with $13.5 million from 5,309 screens in 54 markets for an international cume of $49.5 million. The adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic-book series had opened at No. 1 during the previous frame with a $26.6 million gross.

Finishing third on the weekend was Warner Bros.' "Gran Torino," starring Clint Eastwood, which stepped up its international pace with a No. 2 opening in Italy ($2.1 million from 323 screens, the biggest bow in that market for an Eastwood film). A Holland opening provided $215,000 from 34 spots, also a market record for an Eastwood title. On the weekend, "Torino" grossed $11.4 million from 2,200 sites in 27 territories, and its overseas cume stands at $47.7 million.

At No. 4 overseas, Fox's "Dragonball Evolution" premiered in eight Asian markets before its April 8 domestic opening.
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