Prequel, 'Sense' among overseas B.O. champs

The fall biz boomed in a bunch of overseas markets last week, except for a notably lethargic U.K., as the “Star Wars” prequel, “The Sixth Sense,” “Big Daddy” and “Eyes Wide Shut” delivered good to great paydays.

Still the pacesetter, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” soared to $373.1 million after minting $17.3 million from 31 countries. In Italy, the Jedi Knights captured $5.1 million in six days at 605 pods.

“Phantom Menace” clocked $1.2 million in five days on 80 screens in Poland and smashed industry records in six other Eastern Europe territories, led by Hungary’s $560,000 in six days on 39.

Dollars and ‘Sense’

“The Sixth Sense” snared $805,000 in five days on 105 in Thailand; $870,000 in four days on 37 in South Korea; and $680,000 on 27 in Singapore. Through 12 days in Hong Kong, the Bruce Willis starrer has taken a feisty $1.5 million.

Adam Sandler’s hefty B.O. clout in Australia helped ensure a splendid launch for “Big Daddy.”

“Eyes Wide Shut” had a fairly steamy preem in France, boosted by a hefty ad campaign and wide respect for auteur Stanley Kubrick. The pic also had good debuts in Spain, Sweden, German-speaking Switzerland and Norway.

In its second laps, Kubrick’s sexual thriller was just OK in the U.K. (off 29%) and Germany after a slow start in the latter. Cume is $55.3 million.

“The General’s Daughter” had a tepid reception in the U.K. Early in its foreign campaign, the John Travolta starrer has coined a fine $2.3 million in nearly three weeks in Mexico and a mild $1.1 million in South Korea.

Also in the U.K., Icon’s first release, “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” wasn’t flash, “Instinct” was nearly extinct and Wim Wenders’ Cuban music docu “Buena Vista Social Club” was a blast at just seven theaters.

“American Pie” drew plenty of teens in Australia but wasn’t hot in Spain.

“The Matrix” climbed to $219 million, driven by Japan’s smash $21.3 million in 12 days, where WB believes it could earn rentals of 5 billion yen ($46.2 million). “Wild Wild West” (cume: $88.3 million) plunged by 47% in its second round in Australia.

Oz swinger

After posting Disney’s third-highest animated opening Down Under, “Tarzan” jumped by 25% as schools started vacation in two states for a merry $2.6 million; cume reached $57.4 million.

“Runaway Bride” romped into the Philippines with $569,000 in six days on 55 and had sturdy soph sessions in Brazil (amassing $2.9 million in 12 days), Argentina, Holland and Denmark. Its cume hit $21 million.

“The Mummy” levitated to $237.4 million, helped by New Zealand’s terrif $634,000 entry on 43. “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” (cume: $74 million) crossed the $40 million threshold in the U.K. and swaggered to $7 million after 26 days in Japan.

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