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Superhero summit

Arnold, Tarzan take on the 'World' o'seas

Superheroes ruled as James Bond, Arnold Schwarzenegger and “Tarzan” pulled in the biggest crowds in a slew of territories last week.

“The World Is Not Enough” set benchmarks for the Bond series as it launched in the U.K., Australia, South Africa, Hungary and Israel. In Blighty, the Pierce Brosnan starrer notched the fourth-highest opening weekend ever.

Down Under, 007 recorded the fifth-best nonholiday weekend. Three-day South African bow was an all-time industry high. Seven-territory cume raced to $22.2 million after a $20 million frame.

Jungle fever

“Tarzan” minted $7.9 million on 756 screens in France (12% ahead of “The Lion King”), the fourth-biggest bow in history. Its $2.9 million in five days on 242 in Spain is as a BVI record. Toon snared $1 million on 96 in Belgium, where the weekend was a BVI best but the week trailed “Lion King” by 3%. All told, “Tarzan” harvested $19.8 million on 2,822 screens. Cume is $130.2 million, but headed for north of $250 million.

Testifying to Schwarzenegger’s heft abroad, “End of Days” rolled out in 15 territories day-and-date with domestic, grabbing pole position everywhere except Sweden, where it trailed “Tarzan.” “Days” rang up a hot $2 million in six days on 330 in Mexico, BVI’s third-highest live action bow.

Italy’s $1.6 million in five days on 301 was a personal best for Arnold but screen average could not match “Sense’s” in its fifth lap. Peter Hyams’ millennium thriller fetched a potent $1.3 million on 101 in the Philippines and a dandy $727,000 on 60 in Argentina. Overall, “Days” coined $8.3 million from 1,116 screens.

“The Blair Witch Project” (cume: $58 million) had a live-wire debut in Germany, particularly in big-city plexes, although one Teutonic booker described biz generally as lousy.

A money ‘Sense’

BVI has generated $103.6 million from “Sixth Sense” in its territories — the distrib’s fifth $100 million hit this year, and only the second time a U.S. studio has parlayed five titles to that status in a calendar year. Pic’s cume (adding the Spyglass markets) is $152.6 million.

Nearing the end of its foreign run, “Eyes Wide Shut” became the 14th title to cross $100 million this year, helped by a lively debut in Poland.

“Big Daddy” was largely ignored in Italy, where Adam Sandler has no visibility; due to a glitch with original distrib Cecchi Gori, his previous pic “The Wedding Singer” wasn’t released there and will get a belated run via Warner Bros. “Daddy” has sired a reasonable $61 million, with Japan the only major market remaining.

“Phantom Menace” pocketed $2 million in three territories. Cume topped $486 million, but pic doesn’t appear to have enough juice to get to $500 million.

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