'Watchmen' declines in 54 territories

“Marley and Me” fetched the spot at the weekend’s international box office, edging the second frame of “Watchmen” with $13.9 million at 2,708 playdates in 34 markets.

“Watchmen,” which isn’t well known outside the United States, saw its take decline by slightly over half its launch weekend to $13.5 million at 5,309 in 54 territories for a foreign cume of $49.5 million. Best take for the dark superhero saga — handled by Paramount in foreign markets — came in the U.K. with $1.9 million, off 58%, and in Australia with $1.1 million, down 53%.

“Marley” mauled rivals in the U.K. with a $6.5 million launch — more than triple the second frame of “Watchmen” — and finished tied for first in Russia with $1.7 million. Fox’s doggie comedy, which has dug up $51 million overseas while still early in its foreign run, saw solid second frame holds in Germany with $2 million and France with $1.3 million.

“Marley” goes into Spain next weekend and Japan the following frame. The foreign cume still trails the domestic gross by $90 million but should close much of that gap in coming weeks.

“Gran Torino” also continued to drive to decent international biz with $11.4 million at 2,200 in 27 markets as holdover markets slid only 25%. The third French frame led the way with $3.1 million, off 28%, followed by the second Spanish weekend with $2.3 million (down only 14%) and a $2.1 million ltalian launch in the biggest opening for a Clint Eastwood title in that market.

“Torino” has cumed $47.7 million overseas to go along with $143.8 million domestically. The solid holdover performances plus Eastwood’s strong track record internationally indicates “Torino” has plenty of gas in the tank.

Fox’s actioner “Dragonball: Evolution” hit the target in eight Asian markets with $10.1 million at 2,110, led by a $3.4 million launch in China and a $3.3 million opening in Japan. The Chow Yun-Fat starrer will launch domestically next month.

Disney’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic” registered a respectable $6.1 million at 2,200 in two dozen markets, lifting the comedy’s foreign cume to $41.8 million. Best numbers came from Australia, home to star Isla Fisher, with a $1.8 million opening and its $1.4 million German launch.

Awards season holdovers managed to stay players as “Slumdog Millionaire” maintained its remarkable run in the U.K with its 10th frame taking in $1.4 million for a Brit cume of $42 million. Foreign cume for “Slumdog” is well past $100 million.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” pulled in $4 million at 3,300, off 45%, for an international cume of $195.8 million to go along with a domestic total of $126.5 million. Japan has been the top foreign market for “Button” with $24.3 million, followed by France with $20.1 million and Germany with $19.4 million.

Paramount reported “Revolutionary Road” has topped $50 million internationally — more than double its domestic total — and Uni saw “Milk” add $1.5 million at 680 in 31 markets to push foreign cume to $16.7 million.

The frame saw only a smattering of day-and-date releases from domestic leader “Race to Witch Mountain” scaring up $750,000 at 150 in Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Disney’s opted for a gradual release pattern on the comedy with launches next frame in Greece and Turkey.

Sony’s “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” saw moderate returns in its first openings outside the United States with $875,000 at 365 in five markets — most of that from $600,000 in Mexico, where U’s “The Unborn” led with $1.4 million.

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