'Star Wars' nabs Japan's opening champ title

The summer B.O. went into overdrive over the weekend thanks to the Jedi Knights’ record-busting launch in Japan plus wow bows by “Men in Black II” in South Korea and Latin America, “Scooby-Doo” in the U.K. and France and “Ice Age” in Spain.

In Japan, “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” rang up an estimated $14 million on 630 screens, including an unprecedented $5.3 million in previews during the prior two weekends, knocking off the market’s previous opening champ, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Fox Intl. estimated “Clones’ ” foreign cume at $250 million, including Mexico’s strapping $6.8 million in 10 days.

‘Men’ sets record

The “Men in Black” sequel captured roughly $3.8 million in four days on 150 in Korea, its three-day tally marking an industry record. “MIB2” raked in $3.1 million on 532 in Mexico (No. 6 of all time), $1.6 million on 379 in Brazil (the third biggest preem ever), $1.2 million on 18 screens in the Taiwan capital Taipei (the second highest, trailing “The Mummy Returns”) and $950,000 on 97 in Switzerland. The Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones starrer eased by just 25% after a less-than-startling debut in Japan, snaring a sturdy $11.7 million in nine days. But the pic tumbled by 46% Down Under, scoring $6.6 million in 11 days, bitten by the vampires in “Blade II,” which swooped in with $1.4 million on 200.

Sony estimated the sci-fi/comedy drummed up $17.4 million from 2,500 screens in 12 markets, elevating the total through the second weekend of its international rollout to $34.7 million.

Stablemate “Spider-Man” corralled about $10 million from holdovers, propelling cume to $345 million to rank as a company record overseas, passing the first “Men in Black’s” $338.7 million haul.

‘Scooby’ fetching bucks

Warner Bros. reported “Scooby-Doo” fetched a mighty $8.1 million on 474 in Blighty, including sneaks, the distrib’s second best opening ever (11% ahead of “Shrek” and 41% up on “Cats & Dogs”).

The family pic was top dog also in France (notching an estimated $2.8 million on 584), Portugal ($174,000 on 58) and Greece ($225,000 on 46).

“Ice Age” gathered $1.8 million on 312 in Spain, the country’s second highest toon debut behind “Monster’s, Inc.,” spurring its projected cume to $155 million. With Japan on the horizon, Fox Intl. is sure the pic will blast through $200 million.

After its first week in the U.K. beat “Mission: Impossible II,” Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” fell by a reasonable 36% to an estimated $3.6 million, bringing its 10-day tally to a lucrative $14 million.

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