The new DreamWorks Animation extravaganza won't open stateside until Friday, but it's already tearing up the wickets elsewhere.
DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens," made its overseas debut in Russian and the Ukraine a week before to its domestic bow. The 3-D animated film finished at No. 1 in both markets, registering a total of $6.9 million from 632 spots.
At 755 screens at 560 sites in Russia, the tally was $6.6 million, the fourth-largest market opener for an animation title. The gross was, per Paramount, 15% ahead of last year's "Kung Fu Panda" and 80% bigger than that of Oscar winner "WALL-E." Ukraine tally was $350,000 from 72 screens.
The 115 3-D screens played in Russia produced a $17,000 per-screen average, "well ahead of the $6,700 average for conventional 2-D screens," Paramount said. All "Monsters vs. Aliens" showings at three Imax venues were sold out. In all, 32% of the total business came from 3-D venues, which comprised only 15% of the total prints ...
So this 3-D thing, it looks like it might catch on, yes? And DreamWorks Animation appears to have yet another hit on its hands. We'll know what kind of hit by next Sunday ...
Meanwhile, the continuing takes of other 'toons in overseas venues is not half shabby.
Disney Animation's "Bolt" -- $177 million
Universal's "The Tale of Despereaux" -- $32.7 million
Universal's "Coraline" -- $8 million
DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" -- $406 million
Let's review, shall we? The French entry Despereaux approaches the $100 million marker; Madagascar Deux is a runaway smash hit, clocking in at over half a billion in total international moolah; Coraline is either just beginning to roll out ... or underperforming (methinks the former),.
And The White Doggie is closing in on $300 million ($177 million overseas plus $114 million domestic equals $291 million and change.)
All in all, animation seems to be doing nicely in this time of trouble and woe.