3-D charms worldwide audiences
The weekend of April 3-5 saw two titles — “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Fast and Furious” — jump the $30 million mark at the international box office as kids flooded out of schools for spring break.“Monsters,” from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount, grossed $33.5 million as it made its first major push abroad, playing in 7,467 runs in 47 territories. Toon is the first of a handful of 3-D event pics set to unspool this year at the worldwide box office. The 3-D runs for “Monsters” turned in a disproportionate amount of the gross, indicating that moviegoers overseas are just as willing as Americans to pay a premium to see a 3-D title. In the U.K., “Monsters” opened No. 1, grossing $6.5 million from 643 locations. The per-location average for the 172 3-D locations was $17,000 — compared to a per-location average of $7,000 for the 564 conventional runs. Per-location average was even more impressive for the seven Imax runs, clocking in at $43,285. These stats were repeated in other territories, including Australia, where the per- location average for the 50 3-D locations was $20,000, vs. $7,000 for the 241 2-D runs. The two Imax locations enjoyed a per-location average of $48,500. Domestically, “Monsters'” gross was $111.5 million through April 8 for a worldwide tally of $158.5 million. Paramount execs believe the pic will continue to benefit from kids being on spring vacation. While “Monsters” may have won the frame, Universal’s “Fast and Furious” was an undeniable crowd-pleaser as it opened day and date around the globe. The fourth outing in the action franchise, film grossed a robust $30.7 million at the international box office from 3,269 runs in 32 markets. Domestically, film opened to $71 million, the best bow ever for April and essentially tying with “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” for best Universal opening ever. The reteaming of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster for the first time since the first film did the trick. Overseas, it opened No. 1 in almost every territory it played, including Germany, Austria, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, India, Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia. “Fast 4″ did furious business in Germany, earning $6 million from 605. It repped the third-best opening of the year after “Twilight” and local laffer “Maennersache.” “It’s a perfect spring movie for young moviegoers — sexy and action-packed,” said one exhib. The big question now is how much the film drops. “Fast” also sped past expectations in Spain, where it topped the charts with $3.6 million from 335 sites. The film also played well to Latin audiences in Mexico and South America. Family pics like “Monsters” usually perform best in Mexico, but “Fast 4″ was able to beat the toon. “Fast 4″ grossed $4 million from 453 for a 42% marketshare, compared to $3.2 million from 547 for “Monsters.” “Repeating with the original cast was a very wise move,” a Spanish booker noted. “Monsters” and “Fast 4″ should continue to dominate at the foreign B.O. David Hayhurst in Paris, Emilio Mayorga in Madrid, Ed Meza in Berlin and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.