Holiday hit parade

'World,' 'Days,' 'Tarzan' stand strong o'seas

Record-busting debuts by “The World Is Not Enough” in Europe, “The Blair Witch Project’s” wow bow in Australia, hot holdover biz by “Tarzan” and good-to-great preems by “End of Days” powered a buoyant frame overseas at the weekend.

Perhaps the weekend’s most surprising result was “Fight Club” outboxing “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” in Japan. David Fincher’s gritty drama grabbed $2.5 million in two days on 196 rings (plus $100,000 from midnight previews), topping the costumer’s $1.6 million on 171.

Japan is the last major engagement for “Fight Club,” which also fetched a solid $202,000 on 50 in Turkey; its cume is a modest $38.2 million.

The latest 007 minted $7.8 million in four days on 780 screens in Germany, the seventh-highest opening of all time and UIP’s third best behind the two “Jurassic Parks.”

The Pierce Brosnan starrer also set new benchmarks for the Bond series in Sweden ($1.5 million on 86, the tenth-biggest launch for a foreign entry there), Austria ($777,000 on 96, No. 8 in the all-time annals) and Denmark ($643,000 on 64).

Overall, Michael Apted’s adventure scored $21.7 million in 20 territories, propelling the cume to $75.3 million. Standout perfs include the U.K.’s $27 million in 17 days (off 39%), France’s $10.3 million (sliding 41%), Spain’s $4.2 million (falling 33%), both in their soph sessions and Australia’s $5.7 million after its third lap (down 36%).

“Blair Witch” (foreign cume: $67 million) snared $2.8 million Down Under, including previews, seizing pole position from “Toy Story 2,” which eased by just 16% for a superb $3 million in 11 days.

The “Toy Story” sequel smashed the record for an animated opening in Thailand, beating “Tarzan” by 15% as it clocked $480,000 at 86 toy shops.

“Tarzan” hauled in $13 million from 3,265 screens abroad as it rocketed to $165.9 million. In France, the family pic harvested $4.6 million in its third weekend (abating by 21%) for a territory total of $18.8 million –tracking a bit less than 10% behind “The Lion King.”

The Disney pic expanded to 219 screens in its second round in Italy, climbing to $5.1 million, and reigned for the third consecutive weekend in Spain, where it has amassed $10 million.

Arnold Schwarzenegger played second fiddle to James Bond in Blighty as “End of Days” registered a moderate $2.2 million on 389, including previews.

“Days” set a personal best for Arnie in Singapore, raking in $522,000 on 33, but Malaysia’s $272,000 on 51 wasn’t as big as “Eraser” and South Africa’s $158,000 on 60 was no match for “True Lies.”

In its second frames, the millennium thriller generally took fairly big hits, including Germany’s $7.3 million (tumbling by 40% as Bond invaded), Brazil’s $2.6 million (plunging by 50%) and Korea’s $2.6 million (losing 34%).

However, Arnie is outgunning Bond in Spain, notching $4.7 million in 10 days (off 28%). All told, “Days” brought in $10.5 million and its total topped $39 million.

“Runaway Bride” cantered into France with a fair $2.6 million on 549 (below “Notting Hill’s debut there) but entered Belgium at a fast clip, taking $790,000 on 58: the third-highest live action bow for BVI. Cume is $128.2 million.

After collecting an underwhelming $1 million in 23 days in South Korea, “Double Jeopardy” ponied up a lively $417,000 in two days on 51 in Taiwan. “Random Hearts” isn’t generating much more interest abroad than it did at home, landing in Korea with a tepid $290,000 on 32; cume is $25.1 million.

“The Sixth Sense” moved up to $175.8 million, including Japan’s meteoric $52.5 million.

“American Pie” (estimated cume $60 million) sold nearly 51,000 tickets in five days at 40 houses in Paris, grossing about $274,000 (nationwide figure wasn’t available), a creditable result.

“Being John Malkovich” unspooled in France with a pretty good $546,000 on 94 but has an unimpressive $480,000 in 10 days on 82 in Italy, ebbing by 37%.

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