Oz gets ‘Furious’

'Bridget' well read in Japan; Taiwan goes 'Fish'

In a frame that was neither fast nor furious, “The Fast and the Furious” hit top gear in Australia but skidded in Italy and South Korea, while “Bridget Jones’s Diary” won plenty of admirers in Japan, “Cats & Dogs” was a crowd pleaser Down Under and “Swordfish” galvanized Taiwan.

It was mixed luck for “A.I Artificial Intelligence,” which launched brightly in Spain and Thailand but wasn’t as luminous in the U.K.

“The Fast and the Furious” reigned in Oz, notching $1.7 million on 176 screens, but it entered Italy at a slower No. 6 with $676,000 on 194. The Rob Cohen-helmed actioner trapped a fair $363,000 on 81 in Holland and a tame $209,000 on 68 in Korea, in the latter thrashed by fellow frosh “Rush Hour 2” and the third campaign of local epic “The Warrior.” In the U.K., “Fast” abated by a reasonable 36%, corralling a hot $5.1 million in 10 days.

‘Diary’ looks steamy

“Bridget Jones’s Diary” wooed an estimated $3 million in three days on 240 in Japan, where B.O. data was sketchy due to a public holiday Monday. By UIP’s reckoning, the Renee Zellweger starrer was No. 2 behind Toho’s toon “Spirited Away,” which sailed through its 10th weekend. The romantic comedy overshadowed “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” (both were produced by Working Title but handled by different distribs), which whistled up a modest $860,000 in two days on 250. “Bridget’s” estimated cume reached $138 million, including Germany’s fab $14.4 million, where it ruled in its fifth outing. “Corelli’s” has earned $18.3 million in eight territories: Factoring out the U.K.’s $13.5 million indicates skimpy results in countries including France, Australia and Belgium.

“Cats & Dogs” saw its cume climb to $63.3 million, spurred by Australia’s $1.3 million on 285 (eclipsing the bows of “Chicken Run,” “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “Mouse Hunt”) and New Zealand’s $193,000 on 42 (a bit better than “Stuart Little”). “Swordfish” hit $43.3 million, boosted by Taiwan’s $877,000 on 53, including sneaks (beating “Gladiator” by 38% and “X-Men” by 21%) and solid soph sessions in Belgium (tallying $587,000 to date, off 14%) and Holland ($645,000, down 15%).

U.K. embraces ‘A.I.’

Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.” was the frame’s top earner, minting $8.6 million from 2,645 engagements in 23 markets, hoisting cume to $114.2 million. The sci-fier took top spot in the U.K. with $3.3 million on 428, including previews; while that was WB’s second-best opening of this year there behind “Cats & Dogs,” it was hardly in the stratosphere.

The Haley Joel Osment starrer set an all-time Warner record in Spain (edging out “The Matrix”), capturing $1.9 million on 303. That trailed ghost story “The Others,” which raked in $2.4 million in its third apparition on 295, according to one service that tracks 80% of the total B.O. In Thailand “A.I.” unseated local blockbuster “Suriyothai” after its five-week reign, garnering $259,000 on 69, outrunning “Jurassic Park” by 79%.

Fox’s “The Planet of the Apes” ascended to $165.8 million, helped by India’s $429,000 on 107 (a company record) and Hungary’s $187,000 on 24 (the distrib’s second-highest after “Phantom Menace”).

Stablemate “Moulin Rouge” rang up a so-so $199,000 on 45 in Holland and $149,000 on 20 in Israel; its cume is $40.3 million from 20 markets.

“The Princess Diaries” penned $388,000 on 20 in the Philippines (a record for a Disney-branded live-action pic, better than “George of the Jungle” and “Inspector Gadget”) and fell by 33% in Australia, taking an OK $1.3 million in 11 days. “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” posted the worst opening of any Disney toon in recent memory in Oz with a meager $119,000 on 189, clobbered by those animatronic pets. “Atlantis” has earned $22.4 million from Latin America and Asia (excluding Japan, where it bows in December), but its ultimate fate won’t be determined until after its Euro preem in Blighty Oct. 19.

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