‘Signs’ sings o’seas

'Powers,' 'Greek' do biz, too, but others off

There was a lopsided tilt to the B.O. in many terrritories last weekend: smash biz wherever “Signs” appeared, but generally scant trading beyond that.

Among the handful of titles to see action, “Austin Powers in Goldmember” wowed Aussies and Kiwis but was less alluring in Mexico; indie phenom “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” partied in the U.K., its first major offshore engagement; and Euro hit “Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” resonated nicely in Italy.

“Signs” harvested $23.1 million from 3,650 screens in 28 markets, hoisting cume to $70 million. M. Night Shyamalan’s suspenser rang up $6.6 million on 338 prints in Japan, 50% bigger than the helmer’s “The Sixth Sense” and 60% up on his “Unbreakable,” and the third biggest bow for a BVI live action release.

The Mel Gibson starrer carved out $3.6 million on 311 in Spain, an all-time BVI high, beating “Sixth Sense,” and $1.5 million on 403 in Brazil, a BVI record and in local currency the industry’s second highest debut ever behind “Spider-Man.” Norway’s $410,000 on 54 is BVI’s second best entry there after “Armageddon.”

Holding tenaciously in its soph sessions, “Signs” eased by 23% in the U.K., earning $4 million at the weekend and a socko $12.7 million to date, and dipped by 26% in Mexico for a weekend tally of $2 million and a dandy $6.9 million in 10 days. In Germany, pic retained pole position, falling by 28%, raking in $2.8 million for a market cume of $7.7 million.

“Austin Powers” rocked Oz to the tune of $3 million on 329, a tad below the first edition, the market’s 12th highest debut. In New Zealand it bagged a riotous $373,000 on 54. New Line’s laffer fetched $496,000 on 250 in Mexico, a fair result considering “The Spy Who Shagged Me” grossed just $1.3 million. The Mike Myers headliner has pocketed $55.3 million, with France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and Sweden still ahead.

Backed by a hefty ad-pub campaign by local distrib Entertainment, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” drummed up $2.3 million on 341 in Blighty, taking second spot. Fox platformed “Road to Perdition” on 32 screens in London and suburbs ahead of its nationwide roll-out this Friday, ringing up a promising $393,000.

The Tom Hanks/Paul Newman starrer has minted a solid $2.6 million in 12 days in France, $4.3 million through its third frame in Germany (off just 20%) and $4.7 million in the same period in Spain (down 28%). Buoyed by holidays, pic actually improved by 23% in South Korea, scoring $2 million in nine days.

Aussie director John Polson’s “Swimfan” didn’t create a lot of waves in the U.K., ranking fourth with $614,000 on 324.

Vin Diesel vehicle “XXX” notched the sixth-highest opening ever in Russia, mustering $1.14 million on 162, but plummeted by 50% in Oz as “Austin” marched in, garnering $3.1 million in 11 days. The Sony/Revolution Studios’ actioner has collected $13.9 million in 22 markets, mostly small fry.

“Men in Black II” ascended to $235.2 million, spurred by Italy’s juicy $5.2 million in 10 days, despite a 33% descent. “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” stole an impressive $1.7 million on 400 in Italy, including sneaks; its estimated cume hit $102.2 million — the 11th title to cross $100 million this year.

“Lilo & Stitch” drew $1.1 million on 221 Down Under, including previews, the territory’s second best opening for a BVI traditionally animated toon, trailing “The Lion King.” Its cume reached $65.7 million, with the U.K. and Japan ahead.

“Stuart Little 2” topped $65 million in 41 countries, overtaking domestic’s $63.2 million, helped by Australia’s OK $908,000 on 291, with sneaks, and Norway’s $261,000 on 71.

Robin Williams starrer “One Hour Photo” exposed a respectable $461,000 on 103 in France and has reproduced a sturdy $3.4 million through its fifth outing in Spain and $1 million after its third in Mexico.

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