B.O. loses to games

'Hollow Man,' 'Beneath' draw o'seas auds

Exhibs griped about the paucity of product, most distribs sat on their hands and audiences around the world had little or no incentive to visit cinemas last weekend while the Olympic Games filled their TV screens.

Among the few new releases that stirred auds, “Hollow Man” mesmerized Mexico and the Philippines, “What Lies Beneath” was a crowd-pleaser in France and “Gone in Sixty Seconds” tore into Italy and Greece.

Winding down, “Mission: Impossible 2’s” cume reached $302.4 million (the 15th blockbuster in history to cross $300 million overseas), boosted by China’s $1.7 million.

“X-Men” harvested $3.9 million from holdovers, its cume reached $91.7 million and it should cross $100 million in a week or so, with Japan, Italy and Spain still ahead.

Paul Verhoeven’s “Hollow Man” grabbed $2.4 million in five days on 339 screens in Mexico; its three-day haul of $1.9 million was Columbia TriStar Intl.’s second-best opener ever in that market behind “Godzilla,” topping “Men in Black.” The invisible man took a muscular $476,000 in five days on 71 in the Philippines and all told minted $6.7 million from 1,674 engagements overseas, elevating the cume to $28.3 million. Spain’s $7 million through its third frame and Argentina’s $1.4 million in its second are stand-outs.

The Robert Zemeckis-helmed “What Lies Beneath” raked in $2 million in five days on 395 in France, $156,000 on 19 in French-speaking Switzerland and $2.5 million after its second turn in Brazil, dropping 25%.

“Gone in Sixty Seconds” nabbed $1 million in three days on 295 in Italy (more than 80% up on “Con Air” and “Face/Off” in local currency) and $283,000 on 51 in Greece (BVI’s second-best bow ever in that market, trailing “Armageddon.”)

The Nicolas Cage vehicle stole $5.9 million at the weekend, hoisting its cume to $110.2 million, and ruled again in Japan, where it has scored a lively $8.1 million in nine days (skidding by 32%).

In the U.K., “Shaft” clocked $1.2 million in three days on 349, trailing the Brad Pitt starrer “Snatch,” which has pocketed a terrif $12.7 million through its third weekend, and “Scary Movie,” which plunged by 44%, collaring a still-impressive $7.8 million in 10 days.

“Scary’s” cume is $23.7 million from 13 markets, including Australia’s smart $4.1 million in its third frame and Japan’s indifferent $3.6 million in the same period.

Entering its first major market, New Line’s “The Cell” mustered an insipid $815,000 on 257 in Blighty, where the Coen brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” whistled up an OK $816,000 on 129.

“U-571” cruised into the top spot amid soft trading in Germany, notching $1.5 million on 651, ahead of “Road Trip,” which has socked away a merry $9.4 million in its fourth. The submarine saga’s cume is $23.4 million from 23 territories (excluding its second weekend tally in France, which wasn’t available, but in Paris it plunged by 44%). The Matthew McConaughey/ Bill Paxton headliner has collected a robust $5.9 million in nine days in Japan and ended its run with a buoyant $3.3 million in China, a dull $3.4 million in Oz and $4.1 million in the U.K.

“Space Cowboys” rang up a fairly good $546,000 on 203 in Spain, Clint Eastwood’s third-highest bow there after “A Perfect World” and “Absolute Power.” The gray-haired astronauts dipped by 25% in France for a solid $2.6 million in 12 days, and landed in Taiwan with a decent $204,000 in two days on 49, marking Clint’s second-best opening behind “Perfect World.”

“The Perfect Storm” levitated to $124 million, powered by Turkey’s $359,000 from 98 screens, Warner Bros.’ fourth-biggest preem in that market, beating “Face/Off” and just 7% shy of “Armageddon.” The George Clooney starrer held strongly in its soph sessions in Belgium (tallying $750,000, off 13%) and Holland ($790,000 thus far, down 16%).

Romantic comedy “Keeping the Faith” checked into Spain with a mediocre $400,000 on 182 and the U.K. with a blah $389,000 on 234; the cume is $17.3 million with Italy, France, Belgium and Japan to come.

“Me, Myself & Irene” fetched a passable $257,000 on 60 in Holland and a blah $93,000 on 30 in Sweden; its cume topped $37 million.

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