‘Ring’ leader o’seas

'Monsters' has strong bow at Japan B.O.

Despite school exams slated for this week, Japanese moviegoers flocked to the debuts of “Monsters, Inc.” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Combined two-day haul for respective distribs Buena Vista Intl. and Nippon Herald/Shochiku was $11 million.

“Rings” led the market despite running 180 minutes, almost double the 96 minutes of “Monsters, Inc.”

“Rings” earned $6.8 million on 600 screens, significantly lower than the bumper preliminary estimates after its strong showing at Saturday morning sessions.

Subtitled prints played better than dubbed prints, indicating pic is playing better with older auds. International cume is now $462 million with just three minor territories left to open.

Auds shelled out $4.4 million to see “Monsters, Inc.,” a new record for a non-Japanese animated feature. Its take is 10% and 40% higher, respectively, than BVI stablemates “Dinosaur” and “Toy Story 2,” and double the opening-weekend figures for “Shrek.”

Pic’s strong showing in Blighty, where in lap four it has already outplayed “Shrek’s” total by 12%, and Spain, where it has reaped almost $10 million, pushed worldwide B.O. this weekend past the $400 million milestone.

Meanwhile, “Ocean’s Eleven” passed the $200 million mark for international B.O. due to a broad slew of successful outings for Warners and Roadshow. Weekend gross of $15 million from 50 territories boosted pic’s estimated cume to $209.7 million, with only three minor Euro territories plus Egypt still to open.

‘Mind’ strong in Germany

“A Beautiful Mind” enjoyed strong premieres in Germany — $1.4 million from 349 in four days — and a handful of smaller Euro territories, boosting its international cume to $20 million from 20 territories since Feb. 13. In Australia, “sneak previews” on 280 prints over four days garnered top spot and $967,000, which was $150,000 more than “Black Hawk Down” in its second lap on the same number of screens. Strongest screen average in that territory was the Phillip Noyce-helmed “Rabbit Proof Fence,” which slipped from third to fourth in lap two but garnered $4,000 per screen from 95.

In Blighty, “Ocean’s Eleven” gamboled into top spot in its third weekend on 438 screens. Weekend gross of $3.8 million was down 29%, in part due to “A Beautiful Mind” broadening to 377 screens from a narrow platform the previous weekend. “Mind’s” Blighty cume is $2.2 million.

In Korea, “Ocean’s Eleven” debuted in top spot, with $2 million on 110 screens in three days, and was the market’s seventh-biggest opener ever, surpassing “Cast Away” by 9% and “Unbreakable” by 10%. B.O. for “Ocean’s Eleven” doubled the B.O. for “A Beautiful Mind” in its second lap on 20% fewer screens.

In Russia, “Ocean’s” 65-screen gamble paid a handsome $829,000, second only to that market’s biggest opening, “Lord of the Rings.”

“Black Hawk Down’s” weekend total of $3.2 million was generated by No. 1 debuts in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and South Africa and lap two holds in New Zealand (down 32%), Mexico (off 28%) and Chile (off 21%). Pic’s estimated foreign cume is $29 million from 1,942 screens in 29 territories.

Debuts of “The Shipping News” in France and Spain were outperformed by several other newcomers. In France “Ali” and local pic “Amen” and in Spain “From Hell” and “I Am Sam” debuted stronger but exact figures were unavailable.

“A Beautiful Mind’s” second week ensured “Kate and Leopold” didn’t see much action in its Italian debut; nevertheless, the romantic comedy took second spot with $116,000 on 38 screens.

“Thirteen Ghosts” opened No. 1 in Malaysia and the Philippines for Sony.

BVI’s Kevin Spacey starrer “K-Pax” continued its uneventful rollout, generating just $229,000 from 147 screens and a softer screen average than Fox’s “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist,” which nabbed $1,862,000 from 108.

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