'Gangs' big in Mexico; Spain feels 'Security'

Crime paid off big time over the weekend as conman caper “Catch Me if You Can” ran away from the competition in the U.K., Germany, Austria and Italy, and in its soph session in Spain.

Meantime, “Gangs of New York” triumphed in Mexico and “National Security” had a promising offshore preem in Spain.

A European promo tour by Steven Spielberg and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks stoked interest in “Catch Me,” which stole roughly $6.35 million in three days on 463 locations in Blighty (including sneaks) — bigger than the bows of “Cast Away” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

UIP estimated the pic mustered $5 million in four days on 682 prints in Germany (slightly below “Cast Away”), $2.1 million in three days on 400 in Italy and $650,000 on 92 in Austria.

“Catch” eased by 25% in Spain, catching $1.6 million over the weekend, upping its 10-day tally to a spiffy $4.2 million.

Distrib projected its weekend haul at $17.5 million in just 12 markets, elevating the cume to approximately $40 million, including South Korea, where CJ Entertainment has the rights.

Beginning its Latin American rollout via Columbia TriStar, “Gangs” captured an estimated $1.1 million on 350 in Mexico and $120,000 on 30 in Colombia. Both were better than the openings of “Road to Perdition” and slightly below those of “The Patriot.”

“National Security,” the action comedy toplining Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn, drummed up about $1.2 million on 275 in Spain in a close tussle for second spot with “The Ring,” which has scared up about $7.1 million through its fourth frame.

Eminem starrer “8 Mile” unwrapped an estimated $6.5 million from 1,905 engagements in 28 countries, sending cume to a nifty $57.5 million.

Universal/UIP’s urban drama has rung up a stellar $17.3 million through its third stanzas in the U.K. and $7.5 million in Australia and $15.4 million after its fifth in Germany.

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