Bows bolster B.O.

Spielberg, Coens' pix enliven o'seas frame

Spirited bows by “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” in France and Belgium and an encouraging world preem by the Coen brothers’ “The Man Who Wasn’t There” in the U.K. injected some life into a generally listless frame overseas last week.

Among the other sparse highlights, “American Pie 2” rocked Norway and Sweden and “Moulin Rouge” was on-song in South Korea.

Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.” reigned in France, its last major stop, mustering $2.8 million on 687 screens, beating “Cast Away’s” opening in Paris and surrounding suburbs by 33% and “Apollo 13” by 11%. The sci-fier posted Warner Bros.’ best debut of the year in Belgium, notching $440,000 on 72, nearly 9% ahead of “The Sixth Sense.” “A.I.’s” foreign cume levitated to $146.4 million, led by Japan’s remarkable $77.7 million.

Launching in Blighty ahead of its domestic preem Friday, “The Man Who Wasn’t There” materialized with $601,000 on 140 screens, No. 1 in the capital and the Coens’ second-highest opener in the U.K. behind “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” The critics raved, some touting Billy Bob Thornton’s perf as worthy of an Academy Award.

‘Pie’ well baked

The frame’s top earner, “American Pie 2” minted $9.8 million from 2,242 engagements in 15 countries, hoisting cume to $73.2 million. The sequel grabbed $604,000 on 40 in Norway (14% ahead of the original and 75% better than “Austin Powers 2”) and $295,000 on 40 in Sweden (60% up on the first “Pie”).

The laffer fell by 40% after a spunky bow in France, collaring a terrif $9.4 million in 12 days, and has amassed $19.9 million in 17 days in the U.K. and $27.3 million in 32 days in Germany.

“Moulin Rouge” rang up $785,000 on 98 in South Korea, Fox’s biggest non-holiday debut ever there.The tuner slipped by 12% in Germany, orchestrating a fair $3.3 million in 11 days. Cume hit $79.9 million.

The Michael Douglas starrer “Don’t Say a Word” picked up $672,000 on 169 Down Under and a top-ranked but not stellar $359,000 on 177 in Brazil, in both markets better than “A Perfect Murder.” In Oz the thriller trailed Aussie comedy “The Man Who Sued God,” which commanded a merry $770,000 on 226.

“Legally Blonde” entered the U.K. at No. 2, courting a solid $2.1 million on 324, including previews, and ruled in the Philippines with $206,000 on 41.

The Keanu Reeves-Charlize Theron coupling “Sweet November” fetched a decent $1.7 million on 244 in Japan, its last major market, ranked second behind local champ “Spirited Away.” A dud in the rest of Asia, Australia, the U.K. and France, and an OK performer in Germany, Brazil, Italy and Spain, “November” has cumed a modest $19.9 million.

‘Score’ settles in

“The Score” top-scored in Spain with a lively $1 million on 249 and fell by 34% in Italy, where the 10-day tally is about $2 million. Compared with domestic’s $72 million, the Robert De Niro headliner isn’t tracking anywhere near as strongly overseas, with an estimated cume of $21 million and Australia and Belgium as the only significant markets ahead.

“The Princess Diaries” is a resonating well in Mexico, penning $2.1 million in 10 days, abating by 26%. But the Disney pic didn’t connect in France ($366,000 on 211), Italy ($279,000 on 173) or Hong Kong ($137,000 on 16). There was better news for Disney in the U.K. where “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” improved by 15% in its second weekend, making $5.8 million to date.

After corpsing in Japan, “Training Day” racked up a respectable $281,000 on 50 in Taiwan. “Bridget Jones’s Diary” took a mild $181,000 on 48 in action-oriented Taiwan but retained pole position in Italy, fetching a smart $4.8 million in 10 days (easing just 12%). Its cume climbed to $182.9 million, also spurred by France’s sparkling $10.7 million through its third sojourn.

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