Ford starrer rules Britannia, 'Dish' dominates in Oz

A great U.K. outing for “What Lies Beneath,” local hits in several markets and two good smaller foreign preems for “Time and Tide” were among the main attractions at the foreign box office over the weekend, based on initial weekend estimates, mostly through Saturday.

Fox’s “What Lies Beneath” thrilled an estimated $3 million from 354 houses in a top-spot Blighty bow, while CTSI’s “Time and Tide” preemed in pole position in Singapore, taking $150,000 to be the second biggest Chinese film opening there this year behind “Crouching Tiger,” and Malaysia, with $96,000 to beat fellow freshman “Art of War.”

In Australia, “The Dish” a local drama from the makers of “The Castle” about Oz’s role in providing TV transmission facilities for the 1969 moon landing, received a fantastic $1.5 million from 199 dishes, ahead of “The Art of War’s” $321,180 from 83 battlefields.

In Germany and Austria, holdovers “Scary Movie” and “Hollow Man” reigned supreme over freshmen Fox’s “Me Myself Irene,” which laughed an estimated $1 million from 591 personalities, and BVI’s “Shanghai Noon,” with $798,450 from 419 theaters.

In Spain, “The Exorcist” nabbed top spot, with an estimated $900,000 from 168 frights, ahead of fellow freshmen “Wonder Boys,” with $290,000 from 157 laughs, while in Italy, CTSI’s sophomore “Hollow Man” retained top spot with a weekend tally of $1.3 million, ahead of freshmen UIP’s “Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps” and BVI’s “Coyote Ugly.”

Spanish-lingo fare posted the best bows in Latin America, with “Por La Libre” taking an estimated $304,500 from 198 sites, ahead of $197,830 from 144 spaceships for WB’s “Space Cowboys” in Mexico, while “Amores Perros” earned $40,860 from 27 screens ahead of $35,100 from 41 radios for New Line’s “Frequency” in Argentina.

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