'Jurassic' can't shake local pic, 'Cats' claws 'Rush'

“Expect the unexpected” could have been the motto for last weekend’s foreign B.O. as “Jurassic Park III” couldn’t dislodge local champ “Spirited Away” in Japan and “Rush Hour 2″ lost the barnyard brawl with “Cats & Dogs” in the U.K.

In another upset, Jet Li starrer “Kiss of the Dragon” reigned in France, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia but didn’t breathe fire in Taiwan.

In the kind of surprise distribs love, “Planet of the Apes” smashed various records for Fox in Latin America, South Korea and Sweden.

Meanwhile, the flying dinos landed in Japan with $5.5 million on 276 screens, including the prior Saturday’s sneaks — 18% below “The Mummy Returns” entry but 6% higher than last weekend’s bow by the “Apes” remake.

Toho’s toon “Spirited Away” continued its hot streak, conjuring up $8 million in its third weekend (off about 6%), hoisting the territory total to a phenomenal $56.7 million.

Toon streak

Joe Johnston’s dino adventure stomped into Germany with $5.7 million on 690, just 3% below “The Mummy” sequel, and saw similarly strong debuts in Holland ($620,000 on 83), Austria ($386,000 on 75) and Norway ($306,000 on 45). Pic dipped by a worrying 45% in Spain, racking up $3.9 million in 10 days, and by 65% in Taiwan, snaring $3.2 million in nine days. All told, the raptors feasted on $17.8 million from 2,390 engagements in 17 markets, propelling cume to $64.6 million.

New Line’s “Rush Hour 2″ motored into the U.K. with $3.2 million on 322 — a shade disappointing, given that the original grossed a handy $12.3 million there. “Cats & Dogs” fetched a stellar $5.2 million on 452 in Blighty, including previews, WB’s third highest preem ever there behind “Batman & Robin” and “Batman Forever.” Family pic has whistled up a fine $1.9 million in 10 days in Korea and a mediocre $2.5 million through its third lap in Germany.

‘Apes’ swings

“Planet of the Apes” commanded $13 million from 1,985 screens in 16 countries, doubling its cume to $26 million after its second weekend of international release. Tim Burton’s sci-fier notched $3.1 million on 547 in Mexico (a Fox record, beating “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace,” and the industry’s second best ever behind “Dinosaur”), $1.6 million on 366 in Brazil (a territory record, topping “Independence Day” by 8%), $1.3 million on 98 in Argentina (the distrib’s third best) and $1.2 million on 86 in Korea (Fox’s second-highest).

The primates devoured $866,000 on 75 in Sweden (the market’s biggest bow this year), $439,000 on 67 in Taiwan (trailing “Jurassic Park III”) and a combined $1.2 million from Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, setting industry opening records in all three countries. “Apes” did take a 37% hit in Japan, nonetheless amassing a juicy $12.5 million thus far.

‘Dragon’ tales

“Kiss of the Dragon” kicked into France with $1.9 million on 612, boosted by the hype for Luc Besson, the pic’s co-writer and producer. Handled in parts of Asia by BVI, the actioner scored $380,000 on 40 in Malaysia (BVI’s fourth-biggest preem there), 365,000 on 42 in Singapore, $250,000 on 30 in the Philippines (on par with the first “Rush Hour”) and $191,000 on 42 in Indonesia (a BVI record in local currency).

Less impressive were “Dragon’s” $425,000 on 24 in Hong Kong (No. 2 behind local rookie “Fulltime Killer”) and Taiwan’s $250,000 on 13, overshadowed by the apes and dinos.

“Pearl Harbor’s” cume hit $190.5 million, driven by Japan’s $30 million through its fourth lap (off 22%), where “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” has earned a wondrous $60.8 million after its sixth.

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