This weekend Paramount Pictures International (PPI) should dominate the overseas arena when it unleashes DreamWorks Animation’sMonsters Vs Aliensin more than 45 territories. The distributor will face a stiff challenge from Universal Pictures International (UPI), however, which launches its action thrillerFast & Furiousin more than 31.

Monsters Vs Aliens
has grossed $13.3m so far and will add considerably to that amount when it opens in China on March 31, France, Switzerland, French-speaking Switzerland and Belgium on April 1, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Greece and German-speaking Switzerland on April 2, the UK, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Brazil and Austria on April 3, and Taiwan on April 4.

The film’s number one launch in North America last weekend was the talk of ShoWest for much of the week, where 3D dominated the agenda. Hollywood will be watching closely to see how Monsters Vs Aliens performs overseas, particularly on the roughly 1,500 international 3D screen count. PPI still has Watchmen in play on $68.7m, while latest figures put Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa on $412.1m and Hotel For Dogs on $39.3m.

Fast & Furious marks the fourth entry in Universal’s action franchise and executives can look ahead to a solid series of debuts given that Monsters Vs Aliens will appeal to a younger demographic and the two films should not cannibalise each other to a significant degree.

In another hopeful sign for UPI, the cast reunites cast originals Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, which should gain a fair amount of mileage among audiences familiar with the 2001 film. Highlights are expected from Germany, South Korea, Argentina and Hong Kong on April 2, followed by Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Austria and Poland a day later.

Working Title’s pirate radio drama The Boat That Rocked, inspired loosely by the offshore antics of Radio Caroline in the 1960s and directed by Richard Curtis, opens in the UK on April 1.

Fox International’s action release 12 Rounds is in the early stages and launches in nine this weekend including New Zealand on April 2. The comedy Bride Wars on $54.5m arrives in South Korea on April 2, while action fantasy Dragonball Evolution on $22.4m opens in France on April 1 followed by Russia and Ukraine a day later.

Comedy Marley & Me is going well on $74.8m and lands in Italy on April 3, while local title John Rabe opens in Germany on April 2. John Rabe tells of the German businessman who is credited with saving the lives of 200,000 Chinese during the Nanking Massacre of 1937-38.

Fox holds rights to the Renee Zellweger romantic comedy New In Town in Taiwan only and debuts the film there on April 4.

Clint Eastwood’s drama Gran Torino stands at $74.9m through Warner Bros Pictures International and has no new releases this weekend. It will open in Russia on April 9 followed by Japan on April 25. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Buttonand Yes Man are winding down, having grossed $201.7m and $130.9m, respectively.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International’s Bedtime Stories has grossed $106.1m,Bolt stands at $178.6m, and Confessions Of A Shopaholic has reached $45.5m. Race To Witch Mountain has taken $6.8m from early stages and arrives in Hong Kong on April 2.

Summit International’s Twilight will take a big stride towards $200m this weekend when it opens in Japan. The films stands at $187.9m.

Knowing has grossed $13.3m so far and debuts in France, French-speaking Switzerland, Taiwan and Argentina, among others.