Winter chill o’seas

'Sleepy Hollow' sparks Spain in slow frame

A wintry chill has descended on the B.O. in many territories, reflected in a slew of mediocre U.S. releases last weekend.

Among the few bright lights: “Sleepy Hollow” scored sweetly in Spain, the “Joan of Arc” biopic charmed Italy, “American Beauty” had classy debuts on limited screens in six European markets, and hot holdover “The Sixth Sense” dominated biz in France, Spain and Holland.

But there was minimal uplift from “Girl, Interrupted’s” foreign preem in Australia or freshmen “Bicentennial Man” in the U.K. and “Angela’s Ashes” in Spain.

“Tarzan” ascended to $259.5 million, “The World Is Not Enough” hit $185.5 million and “American Pie” topped $98 million, spurred by Germany’s phenom $18.1 million after its third course. Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow” fetched $1.5 million in three days on 202 in Spain and has amassed a superb $12.3 million through the third weekend in Blighty, $4 million after its fourth in Oz and $723,000 in its second in Greece.

“The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” minted $1.2 million in three days on 201 in Italy and opened OK in Colombia but aroused little interest in Hong Kong and Hungary. Luc Besson’s pic has cumed about $44.2 million, including France’s sturdy but not outstanding $17 million.

‘Beauty’ blooms

Golden Globes winner “American Beauty” snared a uniformly strapping $791,000 in four days at just 45 ‘burbs in Germany, $853,000 on 62 in Italy, and a combined $652,000 from Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Finland. Sam Mendes’ dark comedy expanded from 20 to 25 screens in Israel, tallying a terrif $400,000 in 11 days.

“The Sixth Sense” conjured up $16.4 million as its cume rocketed to $274.3 million. The BVI/Spyglass thriller had sensational soph sessions in Spain (up 2%, taking $8.5 million to date) and Holland (improving by 3%, $2.6 million thus far), and abated by 23% in France, commanding more than 40% of the national B.O. for the third weekend in a row, totaling $20.2 million. The Bruce Willis starrer soon will overtake “Armageddon” (which wound with $26.9 million) to rank as BVI’s most lucrative live-action release ever in France.

“Toy Story 2” ($45.3 million cume) stole $400,000 at 18 toy shops in Taiwan, released two weeks before the Chinese New Year, almost matching “A Bug’s Life,” which bowed during that holiday period.

In its last Euro engagement, “Deep Blue Sea” hooked $1.8 million in five days on 537 in France, 11% better than “The Haunting,” No. 2 behind “Sixth Sense.” Aquatic thriller’s cume is $90.2 million.

‘Bone’ calcifies

“The Bone Collector” slew an uninspiring $1.6 million on 493 in Germany and was nothing special in Austria and Denmark, but did well enough to take top spot in South Africa and Venezuela. Cume is $17.4 million.

“South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut” ($23 million cume) harvested a reasonable $1.3 million on 322 in Germany, where the eponymous TV series launched last September.

Continuing its patchy pattern abroad, Rupert Wainwright’s “Stigmata” spirited up a decent $1.6 million on 273 in the U.K. (fractionally ahead of “Species”), an insipid $739,000 on 188 in France and $633,000 on 152 Down Under. Horror item typically plunged by 44% in Germany, collecting nearly $2 million in 11 days.

“Girl, Interrupted” entered Oz with just $390,000 on 177, hindered by its tough subject and by bumping heads with well-attended sneaks by “American Beauty.”

“Angela’s Ashes” eased by 13% for a dandy $5.3 million in 10 days in the U.K., but Alan Parker’s pic isn’t resonating as effectively in Spain, taking $347,000 in three days on 104.

“Blue Streak” barely caused a ripple in limited release in Japan, Argentina, Sweden and Finland; cume is $42.9 million with Italy as the only major market remaining.

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