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‘Ice’ melts Mexico with $3.8 mil in 3 days

'Monsters' tops Italy, eyes expansion

Day-and-date with its dynamite domestic preem, “Ice Age” melted many young hearts in Mexico over the weekend, while “Monsters, Inc.” rocked Italy and “The Time Machine,” “Return to Never Land” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” clocked tidy sums in their first offshore engagements.

Fox’s “Ice Age” drew a socko $3.8 million in three days on 488 screens in Mexico. The distrib hailed that Sunday as an all-time company record in the territory and the second highest bow behind “Dinosaur.”

In the U.K. the pic minted $1.4 million from sneaks on 477, portending a massive rollout this Friday.

“Monsters” galvanized Italy, ringing up roughly $1.2 million in three days on 243 screens, and will expand by 150 prints or so next weekend with the start of school vacation. The weekend haul was 15% bigger than the bow of archrival DreamWorks’ “Shrek” (which initialed on 330) and 5% up on “Toy Story” (which played on 360).

‘Monsters’ juicy

In Japan, “Monsters” dipped by just 10% in its third adventure, collaring an estimated $4.9 million and propelling the market total to a juicy $22.7 million. All told, toon amassed approximately $9.1 million abroad, hoisting cume to $178.5 million, according to one BVI B.O. maven.

A Warner Bros. release overseas, “Time Machine” conjured up an estimated $394,000 on 88 in Thailand (hailed by the distrib Sunday as the market’s second-highest entry by a U.S. pic this year), $240,000 on 80 in Holland and $145,000 on 35 in Malaysia. WB was expecting the final figures Monday to confirm the sci-fier was No. 1 in all three countries.

Disney’s “Peter Pan” sequel “Return to Never Land” fetched an estimated $900,000 in three days on 200 in Spain in a close-run race for line honors with Pedro Almodovar’s romantic comedy “Hable Con Ella” (Talk to Her).

Glowing reviews greeted “Royal Tenenbaums” in the U.K., paying off with a projected $950,000 in three days on just 166 screens — beating the soph session of the uncharacteristically limp Mel Gibson starrer “We Were Soldiers,” whose second Friday plunged by 39%, while Saturday was down by 42%.

‘Royal’ performance

The Wes Anderson-helmed comedy picked up an estimated $325,000 on 95 in Germany, $100,000 on 50 in Mexico and $75,000 on 13 in Australia — good results considering the limited number of screens. The Brad Pitt/Robert Redford pairing “Spy Game” ruled in Germany, nabbing $1.1 million in three days on 632 locations.

“Thirteen Ghosts” scared up a spirited $1.1 million in three days on 531 in the U.K., Sony figured Sunday — comparable with “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and its sequel — and a solid $210,000 in Singapore.

“Black Hawk Down” choppered into economically depressed Argentina in top spot, taking around $140,000 in local currency, outgunning the debuts of “Con/Air” and “Enemy of the State.” Ridley Scott’s actioner has earned $36.7 million in Columbia TriStar’s markets, highlighted by Australia’s strapping $4.7 million and Mexico’s $3.4 million.

Among the lesser lights, John McTiernan’s “Rollerball” opened at No. 3 in France, bringing in about $600,000, not getting a lot of uplift from co-star Jean Reno, while it was lights out for domestic bomb “The Majestic” in Mexico.

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