Fantasy hits reaching new heights

Smash preems by “Monsters, Inc.” and “Ocean’s Eleven” in Europe and Asia stoked business over the weekend while Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Collateral Damage” proved he can still draw sizable crowds in Asia’s action markets.

Also noteworthy: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” scaled $600 million overseas and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” soared past $400 million.

“Monsters, Inc.” devoured $12.5 million on 500 screens in the U.K. (including $3 million from the prior weekend’s previews), the market’s third-highest opener in history behind the two fantasy phenoms, 10% better than the debut of “Toy Story 2″ and almost double that of “Shrek.”

Gain in Spain

In Spain, the Disney/Pixar toon “Monsters” rang up an estimated $1.9 million on 304, the second-biggest animated bow ever behind “Tarzan” and 35% ahead of “Shrek.” In four Scandinavian markets, the family pic minted a combined $1.3 million, close to the “Toy Story 2″ entry in that region. Launched Saturday in Hong Kong ahead of this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, “Monsters” fetched roughly $400,000 in two days on 38, eclipsing “Shrek” by 70%.

Buena Vista Intl. estimated its weekend haul at $20.4 million from 2,900 screens in 29 countries, hoisting cume to $81 million. Buoyed by word of mouth, pic eased by a mere 17% in Germany, where it has clocked $7 million in 11 days. It was No. 2 there behind “Rush Hour 2,” which belatedly went out via WB after New Line canceled its output deal with a Teutonic distrib, ringing up an estimated $2.5 million in three days on 728 locations.

‘Ocean’s’ money machine

“Ocean’s Eleven” hit the jackpot, winning $21 million from 3,800 engagements in 28 territories, according to Warner Bros.’ Sunday projections. Its cume jumped to $112 million, the third title to generate $100 million so far this year after “Harry Potter” and “Rings.”

The casino caper scored an estimated $5.3 million on 789 in France, trailing the soph session of local blockbuster “Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra,” some 10% better than “The Matrix” and 31% up on “Erin Brockovich.”

WB was expecting the ensemble comedy to rank at No. 1 in Belgium (nabbing $538,000 on 70), Taiwan ($939,000 on 51), Hong Kong ($500,000 on 27), Venezuela ($303,000 on 37) and Colombia ($246,000 on 45).

Setting forth day-and-date with domestic, “Collateral Damage” captured an estimated $582,000 on 86 in South Korea (in Seoul, ranked 21% bigger than “Eraser”), $458,000 on 110 in Thailand (the second best entry for an Arnie vehicle behind “Eraser”), $425,000 in Brazil, $218,000 on 33 in Singapore and $127,000 on 50 in Malaysia. While none of those results was exceptional, in sum they suggest Schwarzenegger’s star still shines more brightly abroad than at home.

WB reported “Harry Potter’s” cume hit $603 million, repping a staggering 117 million admissions, after earning $6.9 million over the weekend.

“Lord of the Rings” banked approximately $11.5 million, propelling its total to $412 million, New Line Intl. prez Camela Galano said Sunday.

Sailing into its first major offshore market, “The Shipping News” penned a solid $332,000 on 86 in Australia, where “Domestic Disturbance” was D.O.A.

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