March 9, 2009 / 7:39 AM / 11 years ago

"Watchmen" rules overseas boxoffice

Cast member Jeffrey Dean Morgan poses at the party following the premiere of the movie "Watchmen" in Hollywood, California March 2, 2009. The movie opens in the U.S. March 6. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter)- “Watchmen” easily finished No. 1 at the weekend box office overseas, mirroring its North American bow.

Director Zack Snyder’s superhero fantasy, the first big worldwide launch of 2009, grossed an estimated $27.5 million from 45 markets. Its tally is the biggest since “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” earned $31.1 million in early January.

“Watchmen” opened at No. 1 in the U.K. ($4.6 million), Russia ($2.3 million), Australia ($2.3 million), Italy ($1.6 million), Korea ($1.4 million), Brazil, Mexico and the Netherlands. Its North American total was $55.7 million, falling short of industry expectations.

“Gran Torino” was No. 2 with $12 million from 17 territories, good for a total of $33.4 million. It opened at No. 1 in Spain with $2.7 million.

Thanks to openings in 16 markets, “Marley & Me” generated $8.3 million from a total of 27 markets, enough to rank at No. 3. First-place openings in Germany ($2.9 million) and Austria helped, as did a No. 3 bow in France ($2.4 million).

In fourth during the weekend was “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which had been No. 1 internationally for the past month. The weekend tally was $7.8 million from 61 markets, good for a foreign haul of $189.2 million.

“Bolt” ranked fifth with $4.2 million from 27 markets for a total of $171.6 million. An opening in animation-friendly Japan is due in August.

Pushing past the $100 million mark internationally was best picture Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire,” now playing in 32 territories. Regionally, Europe has provided about $70 million so far; the U.K., where the film was No. 2 this weekend, leads the pack with about $42 million. Asia-Pacific has kicked in more than $20 million, mostly from Australia ($11 million) and India ($6.5 million).

Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters

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