‘Machines’ humming; ‘Angels’ soar

Around the world, summer pics cash in

Arnold Schwarzenegger conquered Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan over the weekend in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” while “Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle” was feisty in France, “The Hulk” was big but not gigantic in Blighty and “Bruce Almighty” inspired auds in Mexico.

Adding oomph to the frame, “Finding Nemo” continued its triumphant voyage in Asia by smashing the all-time toon record in Hong Kong, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” set sail impressively in Argentina.

“T3” commanded $4.8 million on 377 screens in Oz (the 10th biggest preem locally), $1 million on 65 prints in New Zealand (the industry’s fifth biggest, outspinning “Spider-Man”); and $700,000 on 18 runs in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei (the market’s best bow of the year).

Jonathan Mostow-helmed sci-fier rang up approximately $10.2 million on 1,380 screens in 21 markets handled by Sony, plus roughly $6 million in its soph session in Japan, upping the territory total to around $24 million. Estimated foreign cume hit $53 million.

The “Angels” sequel fetched about $4 million on 706 in France, 3% below the original in euros but 22% ahead in dollars, given the favorable exchange rate; and a sub-par $380,000 on 85 in Belgium (7% less in local).

Slowing down in Germany, Spain

Femme fatales’ legs wobbled in their second laps, with pic plunging by 49% in Germany, tallying $6 million to date; falling 51% in Spain for $4.6 million so far; and slipping 56% in Mexico, notching $3.7 million. McG-helmed caper showed more resilience in the U.K., dipping by 28% in its third outing, hoisting the total to $14.7 million. Sony estimated pic’s weekend haul at $17 million from 6,140 engagements in 56 territories, spurring cume to $109.4 million, with 18 markets, all small except Russia and China, still to come.

Columbia TriStar Intl. senior exec VP Mark Zucker believes “Angels” has outperformed its domestic result largely because the pic is facing less competition abroad, noting, “The summer is not as compacted: it’s had more breathing room.”

“The Hulk” bulked up in the U.K., mustering an estimated $5.6 million on 499 playdates, including $2.2 million in previews, a 30% market share and Universal’s 10th biggest opening there. Comicbook-inspired actioner drew around $10 million from 3,900 screens in 40 countries, elevating cume to $71 million, with 14 markets, including Japan on Aug. 2, to come. Progressive scores include Mexico’s brawny $11.3 million, Spain’s $6.2 million in 17 days, Australia’s $6 million and Germany’s blah $3.7 million in 18 days.

‘Bruce’ almighty in Mexico

“Bruce Almighty” drummed up $3 million on 321 in Mexico, yet another personal best for topliner Jim Carrey. Spyglass comedy has racked up a socko $31.2 million in the U.K. and $12.5 million in Spain, both through its fourth frame, and $3.5 million in 10 days in South Korea, easing by 22%.

“Bruce” collected $10 million in BVI’s markets, propelling the estimated cume to $131.3 million, including four Spyglass territories.

“Nemo” swallowed $1.2 million in Hong Kong, beating “Toy Story 2” to rank as an animation opening record. Cume reached $37.5 million in just 17 territories, mostly in Asia and Latin America, highlighted by Mexico’s $13.4 million through its third cruise.

In its foreign preem, “Pirates” captured an estimated $355,000 on 50-plus prints in Argentina, in local currency and admissions a record for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, just above “Armageddon” and nearly 30% bigger than “Pearl Harbor.”

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