Monkeys, ‘Mexican’ spice up B.O. o’seas

'Cats & Dogs,' 'Fantasy' nab #1 bows in Mexico, France

Primates, domestic pets and the Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts combo led the B.O. parade in a bunch of markets over the weekend as “Planet of the Apes” conquered the U.K., “Cats & Dogs” wowed Mexico and “The Mexican” ruled in Germany, Spain and Austria.

Perhaps the most surprising result was in France, where domestic dud “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” commanded top spot, outgunning “Jurassic Park III” in its soph session and debutante “Cats & Dogs.”

Fox’s “Apes” remake captured an estimated $7.5 million in three days on 446 screens in Blighty, including Thursday night previews — the distrib’s third-highest bow in that market.

Tim Burton’s sci-fier retained pole position in Australia despite a 47% drop, mustering roughly $1.1 million in its second weekend, for a sturdy $4 million in 11 days.

Warner/Roadshow’s “Cats & Dogs” fetched an estimated $915,000 Friday-Saturday from 257 locations in Mexico, ahead of “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” which conjured up $622,000 in its second turn on 250.

“The Mexican,” the kidnap caper toplining Pitt, Roberts and James Gandolfini, nabbed a good but not exceptional $1.7 million Thursday-Saturday on 520 in Germany, a whisker ahead of the fifth lap of local Western spoof “Der Schuh des Manitu.”

The Gore Verbinksi-helmed pic stole a fine $728,000 in two days on 270 in Spain, beating fellow frosh “Cats & Dogs” (which took a tame $313,000 on 248); “The Mexican” also drew a reasonable $188,000 in two days on 66 in Austria.

A ‘Fantasy’ vacation

In France, “Final Fantasy” beamed up an estimated $2.4 million in four days on 569, and distrib Columbia TriStar was forecasting a five-day haul of $2.8 million. One Euro tradester noted the computer-animated pic was boosted by a national holiday last Wednesday, its opening day, but attendance nose-dived thereafter.

“Along Came a Spider” crawled into Oz with a fair $768,000 in four days on 173, leaving “Driven” (a soft $265,000 on 92) in the dust.

Among the more specialized items, Gallic phenom “Amelie From Montmartre” ventured to Germany, posting an encouraging $618,000 in three days on 155, while British crime comedy “Sexy Beast” unspooled Down Under with a sparkling $96,000 on just 16 screens, including sneaks.

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