'Sweethearts' woos Spain, Taiwan

Teutonic auds feasted on “American Pie 2″ as the sequel chomped a tasty projected $8 million at 900 bakeries during its Thursday-Sunday debut for an impressive 58% of the overall market.

The take marked this year’s top opening in that market, besting “Pearl Harbor” by 4%, “Hannibal” by 17% and “The Mummy Returns” by 23%.

UIP execs credited adroit efforts by their marketing and distrib offices in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. “Bridget Jones’s Diary” moved out of first with $825,000 at 525 German outlets to lift the six-week cume past $16 million.

‘Pie’ devoured in Austria

“Pie 2″ also put the bite on strong numbers for Austria with $575,000 at 102 locations during its Thursday-Saturday opening, representing 67% of that territory’s overall take. The teen pic’s only other foreign market has been Israel, where its two-week cume has been a solid $650,000.

The soph session of “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” narrowly won the Brit market with $1.45 million at 420 sites during Friday-Saturday, edging the fourth outing of “Moulin Rouge” with $1.34 million at 355. “Rouge” had cumed $15.2 million in Blighty through Sunday.

“Moulin Rouge” drew impressively in its Italian rollout with $725,000 at 150 engagements — double the debut of helmer Baz Luhrmann’s previous effort, “Romeo + Juliet,” in that market. And the Nicole Kidman vehicle took in $215,000 at 45 sites in Holland Thursday-Sunday, marking a 13% rise from its opening and lifting cume to $470,000.

‘Sweethearts’ selling

“America’s Sweethearts” showed solid returns from its first wooings in Spain and Taiwan in the No. 2 slot, with an 82% pop from Friday to Saturday in the former as it totaled $700,000 at 238 sites and $98,000 at 17 theaters in the latter. The fourth session of “The Others” led in Spain with $1.1 million at 275 engagements.

“Sweethearts” finished fourth in Seoul and Pusan in Korea with $181,000 at 28 sites and third in Hong Kong with $167,000 at 30 locales during three days. “Sweethearts” has already generated positive biz in Norway, Sweden and Israel, where it was handled by Revolution. Execs said Australian previews for the laffer were “solid.”

The debut of “Rush Hour 2″ led the Australian market with $1.8 million at 193 sites in three days, followed by the second weekend of “Cats & Dogs” with $1.15 million at 213 engagements.

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