'Gran Torino' holding strong in top markets

Nicolas Cage’s “Knowing” gained knowledge of first place at the international box office, topping a moderate frame with $9.8 million at 1,711 playdates in 10 markets.

Three other entries — “Gran Torino,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “Marley and Me” — finished within $2 million of “Knowing,” according to Sunday estimates. “Slumdog Millionaire” and French comedy “Coco,” both which topped $10 million last weekend, may also contend for the top slot.

Summit Intl. reported “Knowing” scored first-place launches with $3.55 million in the U.K., including previews and matching “National Treasure 2,” and $1.4 million in Australia. The sci-fi thriller has cumed $14.7 million in foreign coin so far.

Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” led the rest of the pack with $8.4 million at 2,800 in 45 markets, with holdover territories dropping only 20%. As with other Eastwood titles, Warner’s “Torino” has shown solid traction in foreign markets with a cume of $73.7 million, led by France with $21.1 million after five weeks.

Sony’s “Paul Blart” rang up a respectable $8 million at 1,610 in 14 markets, led by a $4.2 million German launch and $1.5 million in its second Brit frame. “Blart” has cumed $14.3 million early in its foreign run.

Fox’s “Marley and Me” also continued fetching decent biz outside the United States with $7.9 million at 3,064 in 41 markets, led by a $2.5 million third weekend in the U.K. and a $1.9 million Japanese launch. Foreign cume for “Marley” has hit $72.7 million.

“Duplicity” stayed moderate with $6.9 million at 1,809 in 19 markets. led by a $2.5 million French launch and a $1 million Russian launch.

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” turned in $4.9 million at 2,017 in 41 markets for a foreign cume of $44.7 million, or slightly ahead of the disappointing domestic total. Spain opened with $800,000 while South Korea launched with $750,000.

“Watchmen” continued to fade fast outside the United States with $4.6 million at 3,727 in 60 markets, led by a moderate $1.2 million Japanese opening. With the property largely unknown overseas, the dark superhero pic’s cumed $68 million internationally.

Domestic winner “Monsters Vs Aliens” also took in another $4.6 million overeseas from 830 locations in eight markets. Most of the coin came from its second frame in Russia, where biz declined 35% to $3.8 million.

The toon should kick start overall biz next weekend when it launches in many major markets such as Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.

Fox’s “Dragonball: Evolution” scared up $2.1 million at 1,726 in nine markets, including the studio’s biggest opening weekend ever in Indonesia with $785,134. Foreign cume for the actioner’s at $21.4 million with the Stateside launch in two weeks.

Warner Bros. announced that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” still playing with $927,000 at 1,862 in 51 markets, had crossed the $200 million milestone in foreign grosses. “Button” also sewed up $127 million in domestic take.

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