‘Ice’ still mammoth

'Lord' reigns, 'Monsters' does frightfully well

“Ice Age” shattered numerous records while “Monsters, Inc.” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” crossed further milestones in their lucrative foreign journeys in a memorable frame last weekend.

Fox’s “Ice Age” is a veritable avalanche, racking up $21.7 million from a total of 3,300 prints in debuts in 25 territories and holdovers in another three. The CGI pic broke the animation opening records in Germany, ringing up $7.6 million on 794 screens, including previews, and in Austria, mustering $1.1 million on 95. In Germany it was Fox’s third-biggest opener behind only “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” and “Independence Day,” while Austria was a company high.

The prehistoric comedy captured $4.3 million on 423 in the U.K., including sneaks, $1.3 million on 219 in Australia, $950,000 on 292 in Brazil and $427,000 on 65 in Switzerland — deftly positioned to cash in on Easter/school vacations.

“Ice” flowed strongly in Scandinavia, minting a combined $1.1 million, although Sweden’s $300,000 on 114 was less than stellar. Pic snowballed in Mexico, recording the biggest second weekend in industry history, elevating the local total to a socko $8.6 million in 10 days.

‘Ali’ a KO in Blighty

In Blighty, the Fox/Blue Sky Studios toon was bested by “Ali G Indahouse,” the Working Title-produced laffer that scored a terrif $4.5 million on 396, including Thursday night sneaks — 59% better than “American Pie 2.”

“Monsters, Inc.” raced to $200.2 million — the 10th Disney toon to reach that pinnacle overseas. “Monsters” pocketed $11.2 million at the weekend, spurred by France’s lively $3.4 million opener on 809 (below “Toy Story 2,” which bowed during vacation) and Belgium’s juicy $600,000 on 105. In Italy, family pic eased by a trifling 1%, collecting $4 million in 10 days.

With $32 million in the till through its fourth outing in Japan, the top-ranked “Monsters” is due to overtake “Dinosaur” within a few days to rank as the most popular U.S. toon ever in that market.

“Lord of the Rings” vaulted to $502 million, fueled in part by Japan’s $35 million. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” set an industry record in Russia (unseating “Rings”), picking up $1.5 million on 83, and its cume hit $634.7 million.

Oscar boost for ‘Mind’

“A Beautiful Mind” advanced to $68.4 million in 25 territories, and many exhibs are expecting an uptick after its Academy Awards victories. Its scores include Italy’s $8.9 million, the U.K.’s $7 million, Spain’s $6.3 million and Germany’s $6 million.

“The Time Machine” reigned in Spain, clocking $1.4 million on 259, and in Singapore, fetching $280,000 on 30. But the Guy Pearce starrer wilted in the face of heavy competition in Germany, coming in at No. 5 with $940,000 on 500. The German-lensed zombie tale “Resident Evil” launched in second spot, taking $1.4 million on 316 in its first offshore appearance.

The Oscar gong for Halle Berry should help “Monster’s Ball,” which earned a fair $310,000 on 91 in France and saw healthy per-screen averages in Belgium and Switzerland.

“Return to Never Land” conjured up a solid $1 million on 318 in Mexico and a soft $400,000 on 370 in the U.K., in the latter overwhelmed by “Ice Age” and “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” which whistled up $768,000 on 390, including sneaks.

In generally promising soph sessions, “The Royal Tenenbaums” advanced to $2.3 million in the U.K. (off 28%), $1 million in France (despite a worrying 45% drop) and $780,000 in Germany (slipping by 13%).

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