‘Pirates’ shares booty with ‘League,’ ‘Boys’

Swashbuckler joins 'Matrix' sequel at $300 mil overseas

After seven consecutive victories by “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the international weekend box office became a horse race with “Pirates,” “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “Bad Boys II” all vying for the top slot.

Fox’s “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” appeared to be the preliminary winner, based on Sunday estimates, with $12 million at about 1,100 playdates, leading with $4.94 million in Germany, $2.65 million in France and $2.2 million in Australia, along with $575,000 in Austria and $519,000 in Switzerland. Sean Connery starrer has cumed $48 million overseas to go along with $66 million domestic.

BVI’s “Pirates” plundered an estimated $11 million at 4,608 playdates in 42 countries to push its overseas cume past $300 million, joining “The Matrix: Reloaded” as the only pics to hit that milestone in 2003. It’s only the third BVI release to pass the triple century mark in foreign grosses, joining “Lion King” and “Armageddon”; its seven consecutive weekend victories marked the longest string since “Titanic”; and it joined “Lion King” as the only Disney releases to go past $600 million worldwide.

“Pirates” showed sturdy legs in Germany, with $2.7 million in its fifth frame, declining just 5% and pushing its total to $39.8 million, and in Australia, with $1.4 million in its fourth weekend for a decline of just 11%.

Sony’s “Bad Boys II” showed firepower with an estimated $11 million at 2,460 engagements, fueled by solid No. 1 openings in the U.K. with $5.1 million at 619 playdates and in Spain with $3.1 million at 403.

The Blighty perf of helmer Michael Bay’s actioner was comparable to the opening of Bay’s “Pearl Harbor,” while the Spanish debut generated the same range of coin as “Independence Day” and “X2.”

“Bad Boys II” also led in Finland, with $200,000 at 45 playdates; in Argentina, with $100,000; and in Colombia, with $150,000. Openings are set next weekend in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Holland. Overseas cume has hit $43.8 million to go with $137.9 million domestically.

‘S.W.A.T.’ stakes out big cume

Still early in its rollout, “S.W.A.T.” took $3.3 million at 510 engagements, lifting overseas cume to $15.6 million, including $8.1 million in Japan. Second frame in that market generated $2 million at 284 sites, off 32% from the debut weekend.

Samuel L. Jackson actioner also moved into Europe with an impressive $340,000 at 46 playdates in Norway, similar to the launch of “XXX” in that market. Domestic cume for “S.W.A.T.” has hit $115.5 million.

BVI hit several other milestones, with “Bruce Almighty” taking in $1.3 million to push international cume to $200.6 million and its sixth frame of “Finding Nemo” grossing $1.4 million in Australia to lift cume to $21.5 million, eclipsing “Shrek” as the biggest animated pic in that market.

“Nemo” also fished up $200,000 at a single Blighty playdate at the Leicester Odeon Square and will go wide next weekend in that market. Overall weekend take hit $2.4 million, pushing foreign cume to $93.5 million.

BVI’s Brit comedy “Calendar Girls,” which has not opened yet domestically, remained a solid performer in that market with $2.2 million, pushing U.K. cume to $20 million.

‘Identity’ leaves B.O. impression

“Identity” took in $2.7 million at 1,540 locations to push its foreign take to $26 million. Sony’s thriller showed staying power in its third German frame with $840,000, down only 4%.

“American Wedding” totaled $6.2 million at 1,850 engagements to move foreign cume to $84 million. The third “American Pie” pic caught a No. 1 bouquet in Italy with $2 million at 337 playdates and 33% share, a performance that was 40% higher than “American Pie 2” over the same Friday-Sunday period.

“Wedding” led in New Zealand, opening with $332,000 at 47 playdates, 23% ahead of “Pie 2” and 82% ahead of the original. It drew $410,000 in its seventh German frame, off only 18% due in part to Friday’s national holiday; 46-day cume is $18.1 million in that market.

In Argentina, “2 Fast 2 Furious” took in $48,000 at 37 playdates, off 30% and pushing its 17-day total to $340,000, 20% ahead of “The Fast and the Furious.” Sequel’s foreign is $104.8 million, with four more countries to open.

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