'Potter' continues its record-setting roll

Another weekend, another bonanza for “Harry Potter.” The boy wizard whistled up more than $59 million from 7,000-plus screens in 31 countries over the weekend, hoisting the estimated foreign cume to $153 million, Warner Bros. reported Sunday. It’s the 20th pic to cross $100 million overseas this year.

Known as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in Asia and “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in most other markets, the blockbuster shattered all-time opening records in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Israel and Colombia.

In Japan, the Chris Columbus-helmed fantasy nabbed more than $13 million on 645 screens (the widest-ever release), an estimate which WB described as conservative, outrunning the entries of “Star Wars: Episode One — The Phantom Menace” and local megahit “Spirited Away” (which both had previews, unlike “Harry”).

Oz sees $4.9 mil in 4 days

In Australia, pic scored $4.9 million in four days on a record 476 prints, beating previous champ “Phantom Menace” by about 2%. While the latter bowed on 376 prints, it had the benefit of midnight screenings. “Harry’s” takings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday were individual records.

Spain generated an estimated $4.36 million on 516 prints, New Zealand chipped in with $620,000 on a record 74 screens, Israel picked up $574,000 on 87 and Columbia made $386,000.

WB hailed Mexico’s $3.57 million on 480 as the market’s biggest non-holiday preem and the second best ever, Argentina’s $1.2 million on 173 as the third highest in admissions, and Thailand’s $1.1 million on 190 as the largest in history for a U.S. release, sans sneaks.

Good for seconds

Holdover numbers were impressive. The distrib said the family pic’s second weekends were industry records in Germany (an estimated $8.95 million, falling about 38%, for a market total of $27.5 million), Holland ($1.16 million), South Africa ($195,000), and Denmark ($835,000). It said Sweden’s $977,000 soph session ranks as the second biggest for a U.S. film.

Through its third lap in the U.K., pic has minted a meteoric $55.1 million, Warner projected. Elsewhere, biz in most markets was lackluster. South Korea got a leg-up from “American Pie 2,” which notched $302,000 in two days on 60 screens — 148% bigger than the first “Pie” earned in its entire run in that market. The ribald comedy’s cume hit $106 million (highlighted by the U.K.’s $25.9 million) with 11 countries still ahead, including Spain and Australia next weekend.

Jet Li sees action

Jet Li vehicle “The One” raked in an estimated $860,000 in four days on 361 in France, trailing fellow frosh “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” and the second outing of Gallic laffer “Tanguy.”

“Don’t Say a Word” registered one of its poorer preems so far in France, fetching roughly $700,000 in five days on 294.

The British press gave Bruce Willis a hard time for canceling his trip to Blighty for the London fest screening of “Bandits,” and that did not help the pic’s prospects in that market as it bowed with a blah $900,000 in three days on 293. After a solid debut in the U.K., the Robert Redford/Brad Pitt starrer “Spy Game” slipped by a reasonable 32%, eyeing $670,000 Friday-Saturday on 267 locations. After stumbling in Australia, the Redford vehicle “The Last Castle” fared no better in Germany, taking an estimated $390,000 in three days on 323.

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