'Johnny,' 'Anger' fail to keep 2002's pace

Folks feasted on films as well as sweets over the Easter break but ticket sales overall could not match the comparable frame last year, when “Ice Age,” “Monsters, Inc.” and Oscar winner “A Beautiful Mind” were in full flight.

This time the spoils were shared by “Johnny English,” “Dreamcatcher,” “Anger Management,” “The Jungle Book 2,” “Maid in Manhattan,” and local hits “Detective Conan” in Japan and “Bon Voyage” in France.

“Bulletproof Monk,” mirroring its anemic U.S. entry, fetched an estimated $947,000 from 322 locations in the U.K. and a so-so $355,000 on 50 in Taiwan, where it was beaten by “Dreamcatcher.” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” was merely good but not great in its offshore preems, picking up an estimated $1.5 million on 338 in Germany and $1.5 million on 360 in Blighty.

Brit invasion

Rowan Atkinson starrer “Johnny English” racked up roughly $19 million from 3,480 playdates in 38 territories, hoisting cume to $50 million. Despite the health scare in Asia due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus, the spy spoof coined a uniformly stellar $783,000 on 48 in Singapore, including previews (50% bigger than “Bean”), $579,000 on 31 in Hong Kong (7% up on “Bean”), $334,000 on 40 in Malaysia (with sneaks), $362,000 on 54 in Thailand and $180,000 on 35 in the Philippines. The B.O. in Singapore shot up by 82% over the prior weekend, Thailand levitated by 62% and Malaysia improved by a modest 11%.

Pic took $790,000 on 149 in Mexico, including previews, and $240,000 on 120 in Brazil. Demonstrating remarkable holding power, Working Title comedy retained pole position in its soph sessions in the U.K (scoring $13.6 million thus far, easing by just 26%), Germany ($10 million, down 22%), Australia ($3.8 million, off 3%) and Austria ($1.7 million, sliding 39%). In Spain it dipped just 12% for $3.3 million in 10 days, tracking 20% ahead of “Bean.”

“Maid in Manhattan” climbed to $55 million, buoyed by Spain’s top-ranked $1.9 million on 301 and Brazil’s $607,000 on 215 (trailing Hector Babenco’s prison drama “Carandiru,” which has captured a terrif $2.5 million in 10 days).

“Dreamcatcher” conjured up approximately $9.5 million from 2,463 engagements in 35 markets, lifting the total through the third weekend of its international campaign to $15.6 million.

WB/VRP pic nabbed an estimated $1.3 million on 271 in Spain, $1.2 million on 230 in Japan, $1 million in France, $894,000 in five days on 250 in Mexico, $422,000 on 85 in Taiwan, $239,000 on 81 in Brazil and $208,000 on 60 in Holland. Stephen King-inspired tale managed just $106,000 on 27 in Hong Kong, but it wasn’t clear whether that was due to SARS or the competition.

High steppin’

Hoofing into Japan, its final major market, “Chicago” whistled up a dandy $2.3 million on 260, sending the cume to $98.6 million.

Kicking off its foreign travels in Australia, “Anger Management” choked out $2 million on 324, about the same as the debut of “The Waterboy” and ahead of all other previous Adam Sandler efforts. The challenge facing Sony will be to open the comedy in non-English-speaking markets where Sandler isn’t popular — although co-star Jack Nicholson no doubt will draw his followers.

The “Jungle Book” sequel swung to $60.5 million, buoyed by the U.K.’s $5.5 million in 10 days, Spain’s $2.5 million and Mexico’s $2.5 million in ditto, Australia’s $1 million in 11 days and Germany’s $8.7 million through its fourth stanza.

Entering its second major market after calling in few viewers in Sweden, “Phone Booth” was a solid No. 2 behind “Johnny English” in the U.K., making $2.1 million on 256, cashing in on Colin Farrell’s stature.

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