'Elliot' opening shows up 'Full Monty'

Great reviews and powerful word of mouth propelled the world preem of UIP’s “Billy Elliot” to impressive numbers in Great Britain.

Yet to open Stateside, “Billy Elliot” danced an excellent $2.2 million from 337 U.K. stages. In local currency terms, the opening was 35% better than “Sliding Doors” and just 3% behind “The Full Monty,” while pic’s screen average of $6,536 beat that of “Hollow Man,” which appeared in top spot with $2.3 million from 401 labs.

With the Olympics winding down, exhibitors rolled out the big box office guns in several territories.

In an $8.5 million weekend, Sony’s “Hollow Man” (cume: $47.7 million) conjured up eight top spot bows, including Brazil’s $1.1 million from 265 tests (ahead of local pic “Auto da Compaderida”), Colombia’s $190,000 from 46, Norway’s $182,000 from 37 and $209,000 from 41 in Greece, ahead of $84,705 from 20 for Fox’s “Big Momma’s House” (cume: $49.9 million).

“Hollow Man” vanished into second spot in France, where local pic “Les Rivieres Pourpres” swam to the top of the chart, with an estimated $3.7 million, ahead of an estimated $452,000 for an arthouse run of “Virgin Suicides,” while “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (foreign cume: $8.1 million) held up well and has hit $5.4 million there.

‘Storm’ peak

In a $2.9 million weekend, WB’s “The Perfect Storm” (cume: $134 million) lashed a big $2 million from 420 ports in Italy, beating the bows of “Gladiator,” “Twister” and “The Matrix” by 12%, 31% and 59% respectively.

In a $7 million weekend, Fox’s “What Lies Beneath” (cume: $20.5 million) thrilled top spot in Germany and Finland, with $2.2 million and $100,585 from 614 and 25 prints, respectively and Austria, with $199,895 from 65 (just ahead of local freshman “Der uberfall”). “Beneath” also earned $822,400 from 66 in Taiwan, $277,510 from 80 in Thailand, $73,035 from 22 in Indonesia and $492,115 from 81 in South Korea (where it was the best bow, opening second behind local stayer “Joint Security Area” but ahead of “Autumn in New York” and “Coyote Ugly”).

BVI’s “Coyote Ugly” (cume: $9.7 million) gyrated into top spot in Spain, with $1 million from 221 screens, just ahead of $968,025 for New Line’s “The Cell” (cume: $6.4 million, after taking $110,750 from 13 Philippine prints) and local pic “La comunidad”. “Ugly” also danced into top spot in Mexico with $908,000 from 271 (for week’s best bow ahead of “Autumn”), Sweden, with $340,000 from 56 prints and fleshed $175,000 from 53 sites in South Korea and $136,000 from 42 houses in Argentina.

BVI’s “Disney’s The Kid” (cume: $11 million) retained top spot in its second lap in Japan, earned $146,000 from 20 Singapore screens and bowed in pole position in Australia, with $852,000 from 205 cinemas, ahead of an estimated $350,000 from 106 for “Battlefield Earth” and an estimated $450,000 from 142 for the foreign preem of “Urban Legends 2: The Final Cut.”

Extraordinary ‘X-Men’

In a $2 million weekend, Fox’s “X-Men” (cume: $98.1 million) grabbed top spot in Holland and Lebanon, with $590,270 and $23,475 from 88 and 10 comics, respectively, while drawing $129,265 and $192,155 from nine and 50 houses, respectively, in the United Arab Emirates and Portugal.

UIP/Summit’s “U-571” (cume: $34.6 million) sunk an OK $293,100 and $223,865 from 170 and 70 subs in Belgium and Holland, respectively.

UIP’s “Road Trip” (cume: $24.8 million) took an OK $244,750 from 108 prints in Brazil, and a good $99,250 from 30 in Sweden and $77,910 from eight in Singapore, while stablemates “Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps” (cume: $15.8 million) bumbled a goodish $135,444 from 35 prints in Denmark and $162,270 from 60 houses in Argentina and “Shaft” (cume: $4.8 million) nabbed $102,535 from 28 sites in Israel and $51,385 from 16 in Finland.

Miramax’s “Scary Movie” (cume: $32.5 million) continues a spookily good run, stabbing top spot in Iceland with $83,672 from five houses, beating “Scream 3” by 59% for the best ever R-rated bow there, while Fox’s “Me Myself & Irene” (cume: $44 million) laffed into top spot in Equador with $27,350 from eight personalities.

New Line’s “Final Destination” (cume: $53.3 million) crashed in New Zealand with just $36,110 from 22 airports, while UIP’s “The Road to El Dorado” (cume: $11.3 million) went nowhere in Norway, Switzerland and Poland.

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