‘Men’ socks Spain

Rookie pix contribute

The B.O. rallied in most major markets last weekend, spurred by “Men in Black II’s” socko bow in Spain and sterling contributions from a slew of other freshmen including “Signs,” “Lilo & Stitch,” “XXX,” “Road to Perdition” and “The Sum of all Fears.”

“MIB2” grabbed $3.5 million on 534 prints in Spain, beating the original by 133%, and $331,000 on 89 in Portugal, doubling the first one. Remarkably, the sci-fi spoof retained pole position for the fourth weekend in a row in France, pocketing $2.1 million on the weekend (off just 24%), and $21.4 million to date. In the U.K., it’s amassed a terrif $30.9 million.

The frame’s pacesetter, Sony’s pic raked in an estimated $8.6 million from 3,400 engagements, hoisting cume to $213 million, with Italy, the last remaining market, slated for Sept. 13.

Entering Sweden, its first big Euro territory, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” harvested $570,000 on 92, 35% bigger than helmer’s “Unbreakable” and 40% ahead of his “The Sixth Sense.” The Mel Gibson starrer captured a similarly potent $370,000 on 48 in Denmark (outgunning “Armageddon” by 40%), $290,000 on 30 in the Philippines (on par with “Ransom”) and $240,000 on 32 in Israel — No. 1 in each.

‘Lilo’ draws in Singapore

“Lilo & Stitch” drew $395,000 on 30 in Singapore, an all-time BVI toon record, toppling “Dinosaur,” and $190,000 on 30 in Malaysia, for the fifth highest animated debut. Its estimated cume reached $59 million, with Australia, the U.K. and Japan among the territories ahead.

After strapping preems in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines and an uncharacteristically mediocre outing in Hong Kong, “XXX” blasted off in Taiwan, seizing a turbo-charged $388,000 on 18 screens in the capital Taipei, outperforming “Vertical Limit.” The Vin Diesel vehicle checked in ahead of “The Bourne Identity,” which has earned a boisterous $1.6 million in nine days in Taiwan.

In an auspicious start to its foreign campaign, Fox’s “Road to Perdition” stole $1.28 million on 266 in Mexico, including previews. The Tom Hanks/Paul Newman starrer is getting excellent word of mouth, Fox Intl. distribution president Scott Neeson said Monday. The gangster saga ranked second behind local sensation “The Crime of Father Amaro,” which collected $1.58 million in its third chapter, upping its total to an estimated $11.2 million.

‘Sum’ solid in Australia

“The Sum of All Fears” was the market leader in Australia (minting a solid $1.1 million on 198) and Italy ($1 million on 230, with sneaks). Its cume climbed to about $57.7 million in 35 territories, led by Japan’s estimated $13.5 million.

BVI launched “Insomnia” in the U.K, paying off with a top-ranked $1.8 million on 264. Al Pacino starrer has arrested an estimated $10 million in 11 markets, highlighted by lively perfs in Mexico, Korea and Brazil.

“Reign of Fire” was tops in Belgium, devouring $285,000 on 35, and Hong Kong with $255,000 on 25. The dragon tale held reasonably well in its soph sessions, tallying $3.5 million to date in the U.K. (off 35%), $3 million in France (down 45%) and $2.3 million in Mexico (sliding by 36%).

“Stuart Little 2” dined out in Germany with a fair $1.6 million on 796 (trailing “About a Boy,” which has sired a buoyant $4.8 million in 11 days) and Austria with a tasty $383,000 on 113 (30% better than its predecessor). However, Sony’s creature feature squeaked in Italy, fetching $493,000 on 302; cume is $52.2 million.

‘Scooby’ leaps

“Scooby-Doo” ascended to $104.8 million, helped by Venezuela’s hearty $224,000 on 60, Sweden’s $530,000 in 10 days (easing by a trifling 5%) and Japan’s so-so $4.7 million through its third lap. Stablemate “Eight Legged Freaks” invaded South Korea, picking up a neat $533,000 on 65; WB reported its cume as a decent $17.7 million in 23 markets.

Most conspicuous dud of the round was “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” which landed in the U.K. at a distant No. 17, taking a princely $133,000 on 159. The misbegotten Eddie Murphy starrer tanked the prior weekend in France and Spain.

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