'Monsters' attacks Russia, Ukraine

Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” tied with “Marley and Me” for the top weekend slot at a generally mild foreign box office with $8.8 million each.

The frame saw impressive biz from Paramount’s “Monsters vs. Aliens,” which debuted a week ahead of its domestic launch with $6.9 million at 632 in Russia and the Ukraine. The Russian launch represented the fourth-highest of any animated pic in that market; the 115 venues equipped with 3-D delivered a sizzling $17,000 per location average.

“Monsters vs. Aliens” will expand into most key foreign markets in April.

The frame marked the first in nearly a year without a pic topping the $10 million mark, though revisions to Sunday estimates could change that. The last weekend without a film cracking the eight-figure level came on April 18-20 when gambling drama “21″ led with $9.95 million.

As with its domestic launch for “Duplicity,” Universal generated only moderate biz for the Julia Roberts vehicle with $4.2 million at 998 in 11 markets, led by third-place launches in Spain with $1.5 million and in the U.K. with $1.2 million.

Gran Torino,” playing at 2,500 in 38 markets, saw its top figures in Spain as its third weekend led the market with $1.8 million and its second Italian frame with $1.7 million, off only 24%. “Torino” has been showing decent overseas traction with $60 million midway through its run.

“Marley,” with led last weekend, had a nearly identical footprint to “Torino” as it played at 2,909 in 38 markets. The doggie tale dug up its top grosses in the U.K. with $2.9 million in its second frame, off over 50%, and in Spain with a $1.4 million launch.

“Watchmen” remained a player with $7 million at 4,338 in 58 territories, declining 47% in its third frame. The dark superhero pic hasn’t been able to generate significant traction overseas with the foreign cume now at $60.1 million — $38 million behind the domestic total.

Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” led the rest of the pack with $4.6 million at 1,000 — most of that from a $4 million Japanese launch. The WW2 thriller’s cumed $106 million overseas, or $23 million more than its domestic take.

Disney’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic” snapped up $4.3 million at 2,062 in 11 markets, led by its $1.2 million in its second Australian weekend. The Isla Fisher vehicle’s totaled $37.9 million internationally early in its foreign run.

Sony’s “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” pulled in $3.7 million at 985 in eight markets, mostly from a $1.9 million British opening and a $1 million Australian launch. “Blart” has just started its foreign run with a $5.2 million cume, while its domestic total is an astounding $141 million.

Adam Sandler’s “Bedtime Stories” checked in with $2.6 million at 2,047 in 22 markets, taking the foreign cume to $101.7 million to match “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” as Sandler’s top performing pic in overseas markets.

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