'Ocean's' and 'Monsters' scare up big numbers

Animated monsters, the all-star cast of “Ocean’s Eleven” and the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Collateral Damage” gave the foreign B.O. plenty of heft this past weekend.

It was a tie for top grosser between BVI’s “Monsters, Inc.” and Warner Bros.’ “Ocean’s Eleven,” with each amassing $21 million.

“Monsters, Inc.” screamed into the U.K. with $13.2 million on 503 screens (including $3.8 million from the prior weekend’s previews), making it the market’s fourth-highest opener in history behind “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” The “Monsters” bow was 15% better than that of “Toy Story 2″ and almost double that of “Shrek.”

In Spain, the Disney/Pixar toon rang up $1.9 million on 312, the market’s second-biggest animated debut ever behind “Tarzan” and 30% ahead of “Shrek.” In four Scandinavian markets, the family pic minted a combined $1.3 million, beating “Toy Story 2″ in Sweden and setting a toon record in Norway. Launched Saturday in Hong Kong ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations, “Monsters” fetched $407,000 in two days on 38, eclipsing “Shrek” by 70%.

The cume for “Monsters” jumped to $81.4 million in 29 countries, also spurred by Germany’s lucrative $6.8 million in 11 days (easing by a trifling 17%). It was No. 2 in Germany behind “Rush Hour 2,” which belatedly went out via WB, snaring a dandy $4 million on 774, hoisting its cume to $103 million.

On a streak

“Ocean’s Eleven” continued to roll sevens as its total topped $111 million in 32 territories. The Steven Soderbergh-helmed Las Vegas romp scored $5.8 million on 789 in France (in Paris, 16% better than “The Matrix” and 38% up on “Erin Brockovich”), $885,000 on 70 in Belgium, $939,000 on 32 in Taiwan, $454,000 on 27 in Hong Kong, $274,000 on 24 in Switzerland and $268,000 on 45 in Colombia.

In Japan, the ensemble comedy raked in an estimated $5.1 million in its second turn on 350 (dipping by just 5%, excluding the first weekend’s sneaks), for a socko market total of $17.7 million.

Launching day-and-date with domestic, “Collateral Damage” nabbed $622,000 on 89 in South Korea (in Seoul, it ranked 26% bigger than “Eraser”), $459,000 on 117 in Thailand (the second-best entry for an Arnie vehicle behind “Eraser”), $435,000 on 237 in Brazil (45% ahead of “True Lies”), $190,000 on 35 in Singapore and $122,000 on 50 in Malaysia.

Odds are the Andrew Davis-helmed actioner will outperform its U.S. result abroad, as happened with “The Sixth Day” and “End of Days.”

‘Cleopatra’ sails on

In France, local laffer “Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” reigned, digging up a whammo $11.6 million in its second excursion (dropping just 16%), lifting its cume to $30.5 million.

“Harry Potter” hit $602.3 million, repping more than 117 million tickets, after earning $6.1 million at the weekend. With $24 million in the till in Spain, the wiz is now the third-biggest title of all time there, overtaking “The Others” and “The Sixth Sense.”

“Lord of the Rings” banked $13.4 million and its cume levitated to $412 million, spurred by Russia’s superb $1.5 million in four days on 77 and Argentina’s $2.6 million and Hong Kong’s $1.7 million, both in 11 days.

‘Shipping’ buoyant

Sailing into its first major offshore market, “The Shipping News” penned an impressive $323,000 on 86 in Australia, posting the highest per-screen average in the top 10.

“Vanilla Sky” advanced to $82.3 million, buoyed by a $6.7 million frame on 2,921 screens in 25 markets. But bad word of mouth sent the thriller tumbling by 41% in Italy and by 50% in Spain, for 10-day tallies of an OK $4.3 million and a lousy $1.6 million, respectively.

Early in its foreign campaign, “Black Hawk Down” stumbled in Italy, scraping up $494,000 on 220 — a contrast to its solid runs in the U.K. and Southeast Asia.

The omens aren’t great for “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” which whistled up a pint-sized $315,000 on 397 in France, its first major market abroad. But UIP will be looking for healthier figures when the midterm school vacations start later this month in Europe.

(Liza Klaussmann in Paris contributed to this report.)

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