But Italians find 'Forrester': $668g in 2 days

While Hollywood celebrated the art and craft of cinema, the studios gave folks overseas scant reason to go to the movies over the weekend.

Among the few fertile spots in an otherwise arid B.O. landscape, debutante “Dude, Where’s My Car?” connected with a fair number of Germans, “Miss Congeniality” triumphed in the U.K. and “Finding Forrester” came top of the class in Italy.

There were as many misses as hits, as “All the Pretty Horses” and “Thirteen Days” barely registered in Spain, “Almost Famous” added to its string of casualties in France and Brazil and “15 Minutes” looks to have a fleeting existence in Blighty.

Fox’s “Dude, Where’s My Car?” scored an estimated $1.5 million Thursday-Saturday on 527 prints in Germany, a market that usually finds dumbed-down U.S. comedies alluring. Across the border in Austria, however, auds did not take to the crude “Dude” so enthusiastically, as the pic checked in at No. 3 behind the resilient sixth lap of “What Women Want” and the soph session of “The Exorcist” director’s cut.

Sandra Bullock fans turned out in the U.K. for “Miss Congeniality,” which rang up an estimated $1.9 million Friday-Saturday on 358. Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Enemy at the Gates” raked in a fair $660,000 in its second skirmish on 352, while “Chocolat” whipped up $544,000 in its fourth on 225.

The Robert De Niro/Edward Burns starrer “15 Minutes” entered the U.K. at No. 4 with roughly $488,000 on 332.

Chalking up one of its healthiest preems in what’s been a lackluster foreign campaign thus far, Gus Van Sant’s “Finding Forrester” raked in an estimated $668,000 in two days on 199 in Italy.

Down Under, Roadshow Film Distributors is running hot, commanding the top four titles. “Miss Congeniality” eased by just 17%, nabbing $1.7 million in its second outing, bringing the 11-day tally to a terrif $4.5 million. “Traffic” fell by a mere 11%, cuming $3.6 million through its third weekend, tracking ahead of both “American Beauty” and “The Green Mile” in the comparable period.

“The Exorcist” reissue launched with an estimated $700,000 on 143 in Oz, in line with “Hollow Man’s” bow but bigger than the re-release of “The Empire Strikes Back.” “Chocolat” dropped by about 20%, minting an excellent $2.6 million through its sixth stanza.

In Spain, “What Women Want” retained pole position in its soph session, wooing some $868,000 in two days on 223. The Kevin Costner headliner “Thirteen Days” took a paltry $182,000 on 131, barely ahead of “All the Pretty Horses” ($178,000 on 199).

Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch” isn’t catching the public’s fancy in Germany or Mexico, mustering $441,000 in three days on 303 of the 394 locations reported in the former and $293,000 Friday-Saturday on 99 in the latter.

“The Exorcist” reigned in its third turn in Mexico, fetching $415,000 on 215, ahead of “Traffic” ($383,000 in its second on 189) and opener “Pay It Forward” (a soft $334,000 on 148).

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