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‘League’ extraordinary o’seas

'Pirates' walks plank to $310.1 million cume

The Victorian superheroes of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” ended the seven-week foreign box office reign of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” with a solid $14.6 million at 3,327 playdates in 34 territories.

Fox’s Sean Connery vehicle emerged the clear victor Monday as distribs firmed up early estimates that had shown a close three-way contest among “League,” “Pirates” and “Bad Boys II.”

“League” led in Germany with $5.1 million at 706 engagements, representing the sixth-highest 2003 opening in that market and the top German debut for a Connery pic. It also won in France with $2.6 million at 552 sites; in Australia with $2.1 million at 207, marking the third-largest October opening ever for Oz; and in Switzerland with $521,000 at 66.

“League” has cumed $51.45 million internationally, $15 million behind its domestic take.

‘Pirates’ bounty: $600 mil

BVI’s “Pirates” dropped anchor in second with $11.1 million at 4,608 playdates to lift its foreign cume to $310.1 million. It had opened with six weekends over $20 million, followed by the seventh at $13.6 million; worldwide cume has passed $600 million, making the Johnny Depp starrer the 17th pic to top the milestone.

“Pirates” took in $2.9 million at 764 playdates in Germany to push its Teutonic total to $33.7 million and will soon surpass “Armageddon” as top Jerry Bruckheimer production in that market. Its U.K. weekend take of $955,000 at 298 lifted the Blighty cume to $42.8 million and past “The Sixth Sense” as the top BVI live-action title in the territory.

Sony’s “Bad Boys II” came in a close third with $10.8 million at 2,336 engagements in 29 territories to push cume to $43.5 million. Its $5.2 million U.K. debut at 560 sites led that market and was comparable to “The Matrix,” “Pearl Harbor” and “XXX”; the $3.2 million Spanish opening at 424 matched the range of “X2,” “XXX” and “The Hulk.”

‘Wedding’ bliss

UIP’s “American Wedding” led the rest of the pack with $6.7 million at 1,823 playdates in 20 markets to pull the third pic in the “American Pie” trilogy past $84 million internationally. “Wedding” opened in Italy and dominated that market with $2.4 million at 356 sites, triple the performance for the second frame of Warner’s “Matchstick Men” and the fifth for “Pirates.”

UIP also saw moderate performance from “The Italian Job” with $4.7 million at 1,543 engagements to push cume to $40.9 million. Remake finished third in the U.K. with $1.6 million in its third frame, down 33%.

“Matchstick Men” grossed $3.6 million with 1,824 playdates in 23 territories, including $570,000 at 237 in Japan and $438,501 at 127 in Oz. Foreign cume for the Nicolas Cage starrer is $10.9 million.

‘Mexico’ boffo in Russia

BVI’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” grossed $3.5 million, including an impressive Russian opening of $1 million at 140 playdates to lead that market along with $850,000 in the U.K., $785,000 in Germany and $150,000 at 50 Polish engagements. Overseas cume for the Antonio Banderas actioner has hit $8.4 million

Sony’s “S.W.A.T.” grossed $3 million at 497 sites in six territories, including a leading $2 million in Japan and $261,000 at 46 in Norway in its first non-Asian foray. Distrib’s “Identity” followed with $2.7 million at 1,492, including a Mexican opening of $430,000 at 250 and $34,000 at 16 Peruvian sites.

BVI’s “Finding Nemo” fished up $2.6 million, including $1.4 in Oz and $550,000 at 121 Thai sites, marking the biggest animated opening ever in that market. “Nemo,” which has cumed $95 million overseas, will launch at a saturation-level 800 playdates in the U.K. after a $244,000 exclusive opening at the Leicester Odeon Square in London.

“Bruce Almighty” took in $1.3 million for BVI to join “Pirates,” “Terminator 3” and “The Matrix Reloaded” as 2003 pics that have topped $200 million overseas for a single distributor. “Bruce” has also totaled $20 million in Spyglass territories.

Despite an extensive promo campaign, Fox’s nostalgic comedy “Down With Love” generated lukewarm biz in Blighty, with $994,000 at 298 playdates.

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