'Watchmen' rules overseas boxoffice

Zack Snyder's film tops weekend with $27.5 mil haul

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 $25.9 million from 5,079 screens in 42 markets, easily finishing No. 1 overall.
An adaptation of a comic book 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" in 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 $11.6 million from 1,700 screens in 17 territories, good for a cume of $33 million. It opened at No. 1 in Spain ($2.7 million from 248 sites), making "Torino" the biggest opening weekend to date in the market for an Eastwood film. A No. 1 France second weekend provided $4.2 million from 446 sites.
Thanks to openings in 16 markets, Fox's "Marley & Me" generated $8.2 million from 1,467 screens in 25 markets, enough to rank No. 3 for the weekend. First-place openings in Germany ($3 million from 546 screens) and Austria helped, as did a No. 3 bow in France ($2.3 million from 348 locations).
In fourth during the weekend was Warners' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which had been No. 1 on the international circuit for the past month. The weekend tally for the David Fincher-directed film starring Brad Pitt was $7.3 million from 4,240 screens in 61 markets, good for an international cume of $189.6 million.
Ranking fifth overall was Disney Animation's "Bolt," which continues to thrive internationally with a weekend tally of $4.2 million from 3,385 screens in 27 markets for a cume of $171.6 million (vs. a domestic total of $114 million). An opening in animation-friendly Japan is due in August.
Pushing past the $100 million mark internationally was best picture Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire," now playing in 32 territories. Regionally, Europe has provided about $70 million so far; the U.K. leads the pack with an estimated $42 million cume to date after nine frames in the market. The Asia Pacific region has kicked in with more than $20 million, mostly from Australia (cume: $11 million from 12 stanzas) and India (about $6.5 million in seven frames).

For the weekend, "Slumdog" finished at No. 2 in the U.K. with an estimated $1.9 million from 437 locations. In France, it finished sixth in its eighth frame with an estimated $1.6 million from 310 screens for a market cume of 12.8 million.
Focus Features/Universal's "Milk," with a best actor nod for Sean Penn, had a solid opening in France, ranking No. 7 and generating $1.5 million from 243 locations in the market. The overall weekend produced $2.2 million from 700 screens in 25 territories for an international total of $14.6 million to date.

The Weinstein Co.'s Nazi war crimes drama "The Reader," starring Kate Winslet, has accumulated $7.8 million in 10 U.K. frames. It placed No. 2 in Germany on the weekend with $2.9 million from 456 sites for a cume over two stanzas in the market of $7.5 million.
Universal's "Frost/Nixon" nudged its international cume to $7.6 million after a $183,000 weekend from 214 screens in 26 markets. The Eastwood-directed "Changeling," also from Universal, has accumulated $70.9 million internationally thanks to a $1.4 million weekend from 1,026 locations in 33 territories.
United Artists/Fox's "Valkyrie" bagged $4 million during the weekend from 2,800 screens in 44 markets for a cume of $99.3 million. The Jerry Bruckheimer comedic production "Confessions of a Shopaholic," from Disney, bagged $3.4 million from 1,490 sites in 17 territories for a cume of $24.1 million.
MGM/Sony's "The Pink Panther 2" opened to $670,000 in Italy on 203 screens and garnered $3.6 million overall during the weekend from 2,440 locations in 61 markets; its cume is $27.4 million. Sony's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" grabbed $1.1 million from 775 screens in 27 territories for a cume of $26 million.
A solid opening for Disney's "Bedtime Stories" in Spain generated $2 million from 250 screens. Overall, the Adam Sandler comedy grossed $3 million from 1,029 screens in 24 markets for a cume of $95.8 million. DreamWorks/Paramount's "Hotel for Dogs" barked up $2.4 million from 2,153 locations in 43 markets for a foreign cume of $32 million.
Sony's cross-border banking thriller "The International" garnered $1.9 million from 1,525 screens in 32 markets for an overseas cume of $14.6 million. Universal's horror outing "The Unborn" pushed its overseas cume to $14.8 million thanks to a $2.1 million weekend from 796 screens in 17 markets.
In France, Pathe's "LOL," a mother-daughter drama starring Sophie Marceau, finished No. 4 in the market with $2.2 million from 520 screens, down just 21.7% from the previous weekend. Its cume after five frames is $22.4 million.
Other international cumes: New Line's "He's Just Not That Into You," $46.3 million; DreamWorks/Paramount's "Revolutionary Road," $49.6 million; Universal's "Mamma Mia!," $454.8 million; Paramount's "Friday the 13th," $19.7 million; Sony's "Seven Pounds," $94.7 million; Universal's "Role Models," $22.9 million; New Line's "Inkheart," $32.3 million; Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux," $31.4 million; MGM/Sony's "Quantum of Solace," $407 million; New Line's "Four Christmases," $42.7 million; Focus/Universal's "Coraline," $7 million; Fox's "Bride Wars," $51.3 million; New Line's "Appaloosa," $7.3 million; Fox's "Australia," $154.5 million; New Line's "Pride and Glory," $14.3 million; Warners' "Yes Man," $127.5 million; and New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $128.2 million.