'Word' up in bows

Typifying a generally flat weekend overseas, “Zoolander” was scarcely a fashion plate in its foreign preem in Mexico, while “Don’t Say a Word” did reasonably well in its first offshore tryouts in Australia and Brazil.

Among the few standouts, Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” was a showstopper in South Korea.

The Ben Stiller-headlined laffer “Zoolander” checked into Mexico in fifth place, managing a miserable $155,000 in two days on 148 locations. But one U.S. distrib said Sunday that pic’s brand of humor historically doesn’t fly in Mexico, so a more reliable guide to its international prospects will be its opening Thursday in Oz.

“The Devil’s Backbone,” Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish Civil War-set drama, slipped by just 11% in its second weekend in Mexico, capturing $750,000 in three days on 252, bringing its 10-day tally to a strapping $2 million.

Michael Douglas starrer “Don’t Say a Word” picked up $656,000 in four days on 155 Down Under and a top-ranked but not stellar $330,000 in three days on 177 in Brazil, in both markets better than the bows of “A Perfect Murder.”

In Oz the thriller trailed Aussie comedy “The Man Who Sued God,” the saga of a fisherman who sues the Almighty after his boat is destroyed by lightning. Featuring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis, “God” commanded $740,000 on 199 — ahead of the debuts of local hits “Chopper” and “Looking for Alibrandi” and just below “The Wog Boy.”

Actioner “The Fast and the Furious” skidded by around 36% but retained pole position in Germany, revving up an estimated $1.2 million Thursday-Saturday on 501 prints.

Can-do in Korea

“Moulin Rouge” rang up approximately $760,000 on 98 in South Korea, rated Sunday by 20th Century Fox as almost triple the opening of the helmer’s “Romeo + Juliet” in Korea’s key cities.

The tuner held steady in its second stanza in Germany, orchestrating an estimated $1.5 million in four days on 400 and elevating its market total to a decent $3.5 million. “Moulin” dropped by about 30% in its third outing in Spain for a buoyant $3.9 million cume.

“Legally Blonde” entered the U.K. at No. 2, courting an estimated $2 million in three days on 324, including previews.

“American Pie 2″ retained the lead in its third romp in Blighty, rustling up about $1.6 million Friday-Saturday on 411. In Spain, “The Score” scored with a moderate $519,000 in two days on 226. Despite the allure of Antonio Banderas, the wages of “Original Sin” amounted to a measly $308.000 in two days on 211.

Jet Li vehicle “Kiss of the Dragon” muscled into Thailand with a feisty $336,000 in three days on 57, bigger than the launch of “Rush Hour 2.”

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