'Watchmen' rules o'seas


It was all "Watchmen" on the international circuit during the weekend as director Zack Snyder's sci-fi fantasy, launching simultaneously with its domestic debut, grossed an estimated $27.5 million from 5,097 screens in 45 markets, easily finishing No. 1 overall.

An adaptation of a comic books series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the Warner Bros./Paramount/DC Comics production, distributed overseas by Paramount, is the first big worldwide launch of 2009. Its overseas weekend tally is the year's biggest since the $31.1 million rolled up by DreamWorks/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" during the first weekend of January.

"Watchmen" opened at No. 1 in the U.K. ($4.6 million from 420 sites), Russia ($2.3 million from 582 locales), Australia ($2.3 million from 222 locations), Italy ($1.6 million from 266 spots), Korea ($1.4 million from 293 screens), Brazil, Mexico and the Netherlands.

"Gran Torino" jumped to the No. 2 spot overall by grossing $12 million from 1,685 screens in 17 territories, good for a cume of $33.4 million. It opened at No. 1 in Spain ($2.7 million from 235 sites), making "Torino" the biggest opening weekend to date in the market for a Clint Eastwood film.

Pushing past the $100 million mark internationally was best picture Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire," now playing in 32 territories. For the weekend, it finished No. 2 in the U.K. and sixth in France.