Universal/UPI’sFast & Furious maintained pole position at the international box office as an estimated $36m weekend haul confirmed it as the biggest international and worldwide film in the action series on $145m and $281m, respectively.

DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters Vs Aliens added $20m for through PPI for $126m, while Summit International’s sci-fi thriller Knowing was the third biggest Hollywood film in active release overseas and grossed $9.5m to sweep past $57m.

Fast & Furious will cross $300m worldwide next week and is poised to become the action franchise’s biggest domestic hit within days when it boosts from $136.7m to overtake The Fast And The Furious’ $144.5m record.

The $36m international weekend haul came from 5,076 sites in 59 territories. In Australia, Universal recorded its biggest opening day in history and the biggest opening day of the year-to-date as the film grossed $5.7m from 227 over four days.

Fast & Furious debuted in first place in China with an unspecified gross, and also launched in first place in Italy on $4.2m from 285 with 51% market share, New Zealand on $617,000 from 55 with 36% market share, and Portugal on $543,000 from 54 over four days.

The film added $3m from 378 in the UK after a 58% drop from Easter weekend for $15.3m. It ranks second in Germany after $1.8m from 605 after a 47% drop raised the tally to $13.4m, and maintained its number one status in the third weekends in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. There are four territories to go in May – Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Serbia/Montenegro.

The BBC miniseries adaptation State Of Play complemented a solid number two launch in North America with three decent launches overseas. The thriller opened top in Spain on $1.7m from 308 and was also believed to have opened top in Turkey and Latvia. The film grossed $2m from all three territories and arrives in the UK next weekend.

The Boat That Rocked opened in ten further territories, grossing $3.8m from 1,635 venues in 12 overall for an early $12.8m international running total. The drama opened in seventh place in Germany on $769,000 from 496 and ranks sixth in the UK on $7.9m after three weekends. The crime caper Duplicity added $2m from 1,599 sites in 24 territories for $24.6m.

In its third weekend of widespread release Monsters Vs Aliens raised its tally by $20m through PPI from 7,058 locations in 58 for $126m. The family film held well in the UK where $3.3m raised the score to $24.2m. It added $2.7m for $8m in France, $2.3m for $11m in Australia, and $1.3m from 762 in Germany for $4.9m. PPI sources said 3D screenings continued to prove particularly popular, with a location average of $9,000 compared to $3,000 for conventional screens in the UK.

Comedy I Love You, Man opened well in the UK and Ukraine, grossing a combined $1.9m from 379 locations. The film delivered $1.8m from 336 UK sites.

Summit International’s Knowing grossed $9.5m from 3,685 venues in 31 markets boosted by a $2.2m number one launch in South Korea from 433 sites that included previews and a number one debut in Hong Kong on $646,000 from 50 screens. The film stands at $57.1m internationally and $130.8m globally.

17 Again has raced to $18.4m after the comedy and number one North American release added a further $5.9m through New Line International from 819 screens in nine territories. The release added $2.6m from 407 in the UK where it ranks second and stands at $11.2m, and also ranks second in Australia, where $1.2m from 218 raised the tally to $5.9m.

Race To Witch Mountain added $5.5m from 2,426 screens in 27 territories through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International to raise the tally to $24.3m. Weekend business was fired up by a $1.8m number one launch in Spain on 300 and a 1% climb in the third weekend in Australia that delivered $932,000 from 274 for $3.3m.

The family action release added $705,000 from 415 in its second weekend in the UK for $2.8m and scored the biggest debut of Dwayne Johnson’s career in Indonesia on $345,000 from 90.

Hannah Montana The Movie ventured into its first international market and grossed $385,000 from 90 in Poland ahead of a big launch on May 1 in the UK, Mexico, Italy and Scandinavia, among others. Ponyo On The Cliff added $1.5m in its second weekend in France for $2.5m there, while Confessions Of A Shopaholic and Beverly Hills Chihuahua stand at $54.7m and $50.7m, respectively.

Gran Torino added $3.8m from approximately 2,080 screens in 49 territories through Warner Bros Pictures International to stand at $94.5m. It will cross $100m when it opens in Japan on April 25.

Fox International’s Dragonball Evolution took $3.8m from roughly 3,500 screens in 40 markets for $44m, while Marley & Me added $1.3m from approximately 1,000 screens in 14 markets for $95m, and 12 Rounds has grossed $3m from the early stages of its run.

Sony Pictures Releasing International’s comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop added $2.2m from 1,295 screens in 20 markets for $28.9m. Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans launched in fourth place in Brazil on $475,000 from 154 and has grossed a total of $43.3m internationally through all distributors.