'Pearl' up and down, 'Mummy 2' setting records in Asia

It was an all-action weekend overseas as “Pearl Harbor” wowed Mexico, “The Mummy Returns” blazed a trail through the Far East and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” had a lusty launch in Singapore, day-and-date with domestic.

Buena Vista Int.’s “Pearl Harbor” banked an estimated $20.2 million over the weekend, elevating its foreign cume to $74 million, the distrib reported Sunday. It’s on track to blast through $100 million next week.

The WWII epic captured an estimated $2.7 million in three days on 600 prints, the widest-ever release in Mexico, 36% higher than the preem of “Armageddon” and one of the top five bows ever there.

The four-day take in Argentina was roughly $800,000 from 90 screens, 24% below “Armageddon.” BVI attributes the result largely to the market’s overall softness this year.

Generally, Michael Bay’s pic continues to hold better offshore than at home, typified by the 22% decline in its soph session in Germany, where it raked in an estimated $5.5 million, hoisting the 11-day tally to a socko $15.9 million.

After being clobbered by U.K. critics, the romantic drama has shown reasonable legs, still No. 1 in its third lap, coining $2.1 million (off 30%), for $12.7 million in 17 days.

In its second weekend Down Under, pic fell by 44% (partly mitigated by the fact that biz was inflated the previous Sunday due to a long weekend), mustering $1.5 million, for an estimated $5.8 million in 11 days.

No gem in Gaul

“Pearl” has been a conspicuous underperformer in France, however, plunging by 45% in its second round to take approximately $1.9 million; 12-day cume is $6 million. France and the U.S. were allies in the war, of course, but modern-day Gallic auds often shun jingoistic Yank films.

Arguably, “Shrek” sneaks in Oz have taken some attention and patrons away from “Pearl Harbor,” as the animated pic minted $1 million over the weekend from 184 locations. UIP/DreamWorks’ ogre has earned nearly $2.1 million from two weekends of previews, adroitly positioning the film for a whammo rollout Thursday.

‘Mummy’ tears across Asia

“The Mummy Returns” unwrapped $1 million Thursday through Saturday on 45 screens in Hong Kong, for UIP’s third-biggest debut in that market.

Stephen Sommers’ action-adventure fetched $604,000 on Saturday on 55 screens in the Korean cities of Seoul and Pusan, and UIP was expecting the weekend to rank as a company record, beating “Mission: Impossible 2.”

Opening Saturday in Taiwan, pic generated about $808,000 on 18 screens, including sneaks, which UIP believes is an all-time high, 60% better than the first “Mummy.”

Simon West’s “Tomb Raider” whipped up $450,000 Friday-Saturday on 42 screens in Singapore, including previews. Sans sneaks, the two-day figure in local currency was 5% higher than “The Mummy Returns” and 35% up on “M:I 2.” The vidgame-inspired pic launches in Australia on Thursday and in most other territories over the next six weeks.

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