'Exorcist,' 'Beneath,' 'Dish' fill foreign coffers

“The Exorcist” in Spain, “What Lies Beneath” in the U.K. and “The Dish” in Australia were the stars of the foreign box office.

“The Exorcist” reissue gave WB its second highest ever bow in Spain, with a top spot $1.7 million from 203 frights, just a shave behind WB record-holder “The Matrix,” and roundly beating fellow freshman “The Wonder Boys.”

While nabbing $189,155 and $68,515 from 50 and five dates in Portugal and Egypt, respectively, Fox’s “What Lies Beneath” (cume: $49.8 million) thrilled a great top spot $3.3 million (including previews) from 354 houses in the U.K., roundly beating “Little Vampire” and $523,000 from 168 pubs for BVI’s “Coyote Ugly” (cume: $22 million). BVI’s “Dinosaur” fell just 5% in the U.K. as its $81.7 million cume travels toward the century mark, which Sony’s “Patriot” is very close to achieving.

While “Ugly” excelled in Norway, with a top spot $158,000 from 35, it was also so-so in Italy, with $458,000 from 150, opening behind a reasonable turn for UIP’s “Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps” (cume: $28.8 million) with $700,020 from 188.

In Australia, “The Dish” a local drama about Oz’s role in providing TV transmission facilities for the 1969 moon landing from the makers of “The Castle,” received a fantastic top spot $1.6 million from 281 dishes (for one of the highest bows ever for an Oz film), ahead of “The Art of War’s” $354,685 from 107 battlefields.

New Line’s “The Cell” (cume: $11.3 million) took a less than stunning $975,000 from 326 outings in France, behind “Dancer in the Dark” which was the best bow, but ahead of UIP’s “Road Trip” with $924,275 from 396 (cume: $37.3 million) and a weak $661,000 from 473 houses for BVI’s “Tigger Movie” (cume: $43.3 million). “Tigger” also animated $106,000 from 68 in Belgium, behind a great $204,440 from 60 prints for “Pokemon 2000″ (WB cume: $8.3 million) and $243,035 from 46 for “Road Trip.”

Fox’s “Me Myself & Irene” (cume: $51.8 million) raised rather weak laughs in Germany and Austria, with $1.2 million from 663 personalities, which was in a similar ballpark to BVI/Spyglass’ “Shanghai Noon” (cume: $38.6 million), while UIP’s “O Brother Where Art Thou” took $556,110 from 231. “O Brother Where Art Thou” (estimated cume: $11.6 million) staged the best-ever opening for a Coen Brothers movie in Sweden, with $102,705 from 21 copies, ahead of another poor turn for UIP’s “The Road to El Dorado” (cume: $14.8 million).

WB’s “Space Cowboys” (cume: $17.5 million) launched $362,280 from 150 ports in Mexico and $87,157 from 62 in Turkey, for the second highest Clint Eastwood bow in both nations, while Fox’s “X-Men” (cume: $121.1 million) drew a great $204,325 from 12 comics in Russia, ahead of “Scary Movie” (cume: $61.9 million) stabbing $150,000 from 15 murders.

In a $7.7 million weekend, Sony’s “Hollow Man” (cume: $83.4 million) appeared in top spot in Thailand, with $418,000 from 93 labs, while stablemate “Crouching Tiger” (CTSI cume: $11.7 million) roared into top spot, with $144,000 from 30 cinemas, in Greece, ahead of a decent $82,090 from 21 radios for New Line’s “Frequency” (cume: $15.6 million).

In its foreign preems, Sony’s “Time and Tide” grabbed top spot in Singapore ($191,000 from 28 screens), Malaysia ($142,000 from 40) and Hong Kong, with $290,000 from 30, ahead of local pic “In the Mood for Love.”

“Time and Tide” was poor, however, in Taiwan, where its $51,000 bow in 50 theaters came in behind “White Out” and “The Cell.”

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