Oscar B.O. hikes see cume pass $150 mil

Two things were clear from an interesting weekend at the overseas box office: Local films ruled the roost in many key territories, while the main beneficiary of Oscar’s glow is UIP/DreamWorks’ “American Beauty,” whose cume hit $150.6 million after big hikes in several markets.

Take Gaul, where “American Beauty” jumped 61%, and three of the top six pics are French efforts, including the top spot bow of “Taxi 2,” ahead of “Le gout des autres” in second place after four frames and “Le Libertin” at sixth spot. That left CTSI’s “Girl, Interrupted” (cume: $7 million) mustering a tepid $262,662 from 111 Franco dates and $93,753 from 22 prints in Belgium.

In Spain, local pic “El Arte de Morir” bowed in second spot, with an estimated $520,707 from 155 copies, behind “American Beauty,” which rose 35% in its 10th frame, while in Germany, “Harte Jungs” bowed tops with $2.4 million from 451 prints, ahead of sophomore “Otto Part V” and “American Beauty,” which saw B.O. rise 58% in its 11th lap.

In South Korea, local pic “Interview” took the top spot, second spot went to Japan’s “Empire of the Senses,” while in third place, “American Beauty” rose 53%, all ahead of UIP freshman “Stigmata” (cume: $35.6 million), which grossed a so-so $144,659 from 35 cinemas.

‘Beauty’ blooms in Italy

“American Beauty” leapt a whopping 83% in Italy, where UIP’s “For Love of the Game” (cume: $4.8 million) batted a tepid $464,902 from 147 pitches, behind an estimated $660,600 from 136 rooms for “Million Dollar Hotel,” but ahead of $260,000 from 80 cells for BVI/Beacon’s “The Hurricane” (cume: $14 million), which also scooped a so-so $138,000 from 25 sites in Belgium. American Beauty” also rose 56% in Australia, where Franchise’s “The Whole Nine Yards” bowed tops with $800,000 from 122 prints.

In the U.K., where “American Beauty” rose 25%, Fox’s “Lake Placid” nabbed a top spot $1.5 million from 241 copies, ahead of a tepid $638,521 from 237 for WB’s “Any Given Sunday” and a blah $166,000 from 76 for Miramax’s “Mansfield Park.” “Any Given Sunday” (cume: $5.5 million) nabbed top spot in Norway, with $102,474 from 20 sites, $127,023 from 14 in Taiwan and $58,743 from 34 in Venezuela.

Meantime, UIP/WB’s “The Green Mile” (cume: $83.5 million) is on course to hit the century mark in the next fortnight, after marshaling a top spot $110,600 from 45 Portuguese prints. Pic declined just 8% in its sophomore top-placed sesh in Japan, where local distrib Gaga has amassed $13.8 million, while Miramax’s “Scream 3″ (cume: $4.3 million) spooked $938,000 from 154 graves and UIP’s “Snow Falling on Cedars” (cume: $4.7 million) grossed $346,985 from 63.

In its foreign cume, BVI/Spyglass’ “Mission to Mars” beamed $119,000 from 26 launchpads in Israel, where CTSI’s “Hanging Up” (cume: $3.6 million) engaged $46,190 from 18 sites, while taking $306,178 from 122 Mexican locales.

‘Little’ big

CTSI’s “Stuart Little” bowed in the top spot in Denmark and New Zealand, with $264,340 and $226,257 from 50 and 58 sites, respectively, while Fox’s “The Beach” (cume: $79.5 million) bowed in the top spot in Greece, Poland and Finland with $240,772, $133,453 and $118,164 from 28, 60 and 30, respectively, while also taking top spot in the Czech and Slovak republics with $50,334 from 19 houses.

New Line’s “Magnolia” (cume: $14.8 million) mustered just $37,051 from eight dates in Norway and $71,226 from 32 prints in Turkey, where UIP’s “Double Jeopardy” (cume: $46.1 million) actioned an estimated $135,000 from 59 theaters. CTSI’s “Bicentennial Man” (cume: $23 million) laffed $28,752 from five Russian screens and $85,504 from 18 houses in Hong Kong, where BVI’s “Deuce Bigalow” (cume: $10.2 million) laffed a great $259,000 from 24 sites.

UIP/Mandalay’s “Sleepy Hollow” (cume: $94.3 million) spooked a good $206,370 from 30 Swedish screens and $90,483 from 18 Hungarian houses; UIP’s “Being John Malkovich” (cume: $10.4 million) laffed a below par $34,810 from nine Dutch dates. WB’s “Three Kings” (cume: $43.6 million) marched $175,000 from 57 bases in South Africa, while CTSI nabbed $353,022 from 155 prints in Brazil with its local pickup “Bossanova.”

Mutual’s “Man on the Moon” (cume: $5.4 million) had a rare glimmer of good news in, of all places, Iceland, nabbing $53,925 from just five screens, while CTSI’s “The End of the Affair” (cume: $11 million) romanced $31,364 from four houses in the Philippines.

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