'Nemo' still swimming along

Folks thirsting for fun and romance dined out on “Intolerable Cruelty,” while those with a yen for Quentin Tarantino-styled murder and mayhem gorged on “Kill Bill, Vol. 1″ last weekend, proving effective counterprogramming.

The frame’s overseas champ, Universal/UIP’s “Cruelty” wooed $13.1 million from 2,405 engagements in 22 markets, elevating cume to $18.9 million. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones headliner ruled in Spain, drawing $1.7 million on 232 screens, and Australia, $1.6 million on 201.

Battle-of-the-sexes comedy seduced $2.5 million on 386 in the U.K., including sneaks, to rank third behind holdovers “Finding Nemo” and “Kill Bill.” In Germany, it fetched a hearty $1.9 million on 358, trailing local hit “The Miracle of Bern,” which grabbed $3.4 million in its soph session (easing just 24%), boosting its total to $7.1 million.

Coen brothers’ pic garnered a uniformly solid $391,000 on 82 in Austria, where it was No. 1; $365,000 on 33 in Belgium; $297,000 on 51 in Holland; and $261,000 on 28 in Israel. But it wasn’t as alluring in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, overshadowed in the last three by “Bill.” Pic held stoutly in Italy, scoring $1.9 million (off 24%, still No. 1), for $5.2 million so far.

On target

“Kill Bill” mowed down $12 million on 2,315 screens in 20 countries, hoisting cume to $27.2 million. The splatterfest’s myriad Nippon elements ensured a top-ranked $3.5 million opener on 370 screens in Japan. Uma Thurman-Lucy Liu starrer carved up a neat $1.5 million on 324 in Italy (outgunning “Air Force One” and “Gone in 60 Seconds”) plus $305,000 on 37 in Norway and $264,000 on 37 in Denmark.

Tarantino’s opus nailed a handy $3 million in the U.K. (down 35%), upping the territory total to a potent $10.4 million. It took $1.2 million in Germany (down 37% after a subdued start, hurt by the age 18 tag), tallying $4.1 million. “Bill” dropped 43% Down Under, but earned a sturdy $3 million in 11 days.

Retitled by Sony as “Welcome to the Jungle” abroad, “Rundown” hunted down $421,000 on 81 in Thailand (slightly below the bows of “The Scorpion King” and “Pearl Harbor”) and $205,000 on 63 in the Philippines: No. 1 in both.

“Bad Boys II” collared $9.8 million from holdovers in 48 territories, propelling cume to $100.5 million: The 20th title to cross the century mark this year. Buddy-cop film arrested $7.3 million in 12 days in France (falling by a mild 26%) and $3.3 million in 10 days in Italy (plunging 45%).

Gallic comedy “Tais-Toi!,” featuring Gerard Depardieu and Jean Reno, and helmed and co-scripted by Francis Veber (“The Dinner Game”), led the field in France, ringing up an estimated $4.4 million on 601.

“Nemo” ruled the high seas in the U.K. for the third consecutive weekend, hauling in $6.5 million (sinking by 34%, but poised to cash in on the school vacation) to raise the territory total to a socko $36.4 million. Toon has amassed $134 million in 26 markets, with Japan and continental Europe on the horizon.

“Spy Kids 3D: Game Over” reigned in Russia, snaring $1.3 million on 145, a Miramax record locally. Kids pic has rustled up $27.4 million in only 10 markets, including Japan’s $6.8 million and Mexico’s $4.8 million (still No. 1), both through its third adventures.

“Once Upon a Time in Mexico” collected a dreary $1.3 million on 417 in France and, oddly given the moniker, an unremarkable $720,000 on 311 in Mexico.

‘Extraordinary’ travels

Now in release in all major markets, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” ascended to $96.3 million, eclipsing domestic’s puny $66.4 million. Sean Connery starrer took a ho-hum $225,000 on 52 in Sweden and shed an acceptable 33% in the U.K., where it’s amassed a strapping $6.7 million in 10 days.

“Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” ventured to Italy, its last major market, coining a fair $964,000 on 283, according to one service that tracks 75% of the territory’s B.O. Angelina Jolie starrer has grossed an estimated $85.5 million, led by Japan’s $15.3 million.

“Mystic River” whistled up $847,000 on 158 in Italy, a career best for Clint Eastwood as a director, and $637,000 on 120 in Spain. Crime saga doesn’t open big but holds tenaciously, as evidenced by its 7% decline in the U.K. (where it’s pocketed $1.2 million) and its 17% drop in France ($3.5 million to date).

“Hollywood Homicide” handcuffed $1.15 million on 175 in Spain, one of its less embarrassing openings in a foreign journey that has yielded just $12.6 million in 20 territories.

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