Easter holiday, spring break lift top pics

Day-and-date entries led by Warner Bros.’ 3D epic “Clash of the Titans,” high-profile early bows such as Universal’s “Kick-Ass,” and 3D holdovers “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Alice in Wonderland” made the most of an Easter holiday frame that also benefitted from moviegoers on spring break.

“Clash” finished the weekend victorious, slashing its way through multiplexes with a total $45 million from 4,270 engagements in 15 territories. The film’s 3D component, a contentious topic given Warner’s last-minute conversion, repped 54% of the weekend take on approximately 30% of the total screen count.

Studio announced in early February it would convert “Clash” to 3D, leaving fans skeptical as to the pic’s 3D quality. Many Stateside critics responded with negative reactions, while U.K. newspaper the Guardian argued that the success of “Avatar,” which also toplined Sam Worthington, may have wooed auds to theaters.

Blighty repped one of the top markets for “Clash,” with $8.5 million in 752 arenas; Spain saw the same results in 549. “Clash” should continue to hold in the Ibero market until it collides with the debut of “Alice” on April 16.

“Clash,” repped by Warner Intl., is a remake of the 1981 film, which tells the story of Perseus (Worthington) who battles Hades to save the Greek city of Argos. Pic co-stars Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.

Other notable territories for the film were South Korea, where “Clash” grossed $6.8 million from 591 engagements; and Australia, where auds showered the gods with $5.8 million on 349, of which 166 were 3D-equipped. “Clash” became the highest-grossing Easter opener in that territory, surpassing Warner’s “300” and 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age.”

The frame’s other day-and-date release, Disney’s Miley Cyrus-starrer “The Last Song,” opened in Oz with $1.4 million on 244 screens, 12% off the bow of with Nicolas Sparks’ “Dear John,” which opened in Oz with $1.7 million.

Disney plans a staggered regional holiday release, which should bode well for midweek performances.

Also looking to kick ass during the holiday was Universal’s superhero comedy “Kick-Ass,” which bowed early in several territories, including the U.K., where it grossed $5.7 million on 402 screens.

U hopes “Kick-Ass,” about a comicbook fanboy who decides to become a real-life superhero, will benefit from positive word-of-mouth. Pic continues its steady rollout overseas, debuting in Australia this weekend.

Lionsgate plans to distribute the film Stateside on April 16.

Overseas holdovers were led by Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon,” which earned $41.3 million on 7,349 screens in 51 territories. Entering its soph sesh, the toon’s international cume stands at $97.5 million.

“Dragon” bowed in 19 additional markets, including France and the U.K. In Blighty, it earned $7.8 million on 716 screens. The toon’s 3D component accounted for 76% of opening revenue in the U.K.

French auds showed lukewarm interest in “Dragon,” with $4.7 million on 743 screens. “Dragon’s” less-than-fiery performance reps a less-than-stellar start in the territory for the 3D pic, especially given that French auds typically show considerable warmth for toons.

In France, “Dragon” placed second to Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which earned $8.7 million through 737 looking glasses in its soph sesh. French cume for “Alice” is a stellar $25.8 million.

Overall weekend gross for “Alice” was $34.2 million on 8,443 screens in 51 territories, dropping 33% in its fifth frame.

France and China accounted for almost half of the film’s weekend take, totaling $16 million, with China’s share at $7.3 million on 1,477.

“Alice’s” international cume has reached a royal $422.3 million, making it the Mouse House’s seventh most profitable film overseas. The film’s worldwide total stood at $732.1 million through April 4.

Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona, Mark Schilling in Tokyo, Clifford Coonan in Beijing, Ed Meza in Berlin, Lauren Seligman in Paris and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.

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