Weather wows wickets

'Day' makes big splash in int'l bow

This article was updated at 6:42 p.m.

Folks overseas are relishing the sight of New York being destroyed even more so than U.S. auds, judging by the monster opening weekend for “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Fox’s environmental disaster epic rang up a projected $85 million on 9,276 screens in 110 markets — No. 1 in all, based on information available Monday — topping domestic’s estimated three-day haul of $70 million.

That continues the pattern of “Troy” and “Van Helsing,” which bowed more potently abroad than at home, cementing the notion that blockbusters that are released day-and-date can and will deliver bigger payloads internationally.

Of course, it helps that “Day After Tomorrow” didn’t have to grapple with “Shrek 2” except in five Asian territories. Fox Intl. hailed the weekend tally as the biggest for a non-sequel overseas, which benefited from having the widest-ever distribution in terms of markets. The distrib was hoping for an opening in the $75 million-$80 million range, so that $85 million exceeded its expectations.

The pic’s ecological theme seems to be resonating strongly abroad, tying in with the concerns facing many societies. However, the apocalyptic tale failed to match the debuts of “Troy” in Spain, Italy, France and several smaller markets including Sweden, Argentina and Austria.

Roland Emmerich’s opus captured $12.9 million on 914 screens in the U.K., marking Fox’s fourth highest preem locally, and $9.1 million on 992 in Germany, its sixth best. “Day” posted company records in Mexico (snaring $5.5 million on 850, also the industry’s second highest after “Spider-Man”), Spain ($5.5 million on 475); Russia ($3.5 million on 299), Taiwan ($3 million on 248, also the territory’s No. 2 of all time behind “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), Malaysia and Israel.

Also ranking as Fox highs were Hong Kong’s $2 million (repping the best for an MPA release), China’s $1.74 million, Thailand’s $1.47 million (hailed as the biggest entry for a Hollywood pic) and the Philippines’ $1.1 million. France delivered $5.1 million on 726, Australia generated $4.7 million on 402 and Italy fetched $4 million on 594. Holland, Sweden, Belgium and Austria each chipped in with around $1.2 million. Most figures include previews.

Meanwhile, “Troy” withstood “Tomorrow’s” invasion remarkably well, minting an estimated $40.3 million on 9,752 screens in 58 countries, elevating its cume through Monday to $222.3 million. With that kind of momentum, it has an excellent shot at hitting $300 million.

In its soph sessions, Brad Pitt/Eric Bana starrer rustled up $4.4 million in Blighty (down 34%), spurring cume through Monday to $19.5 million, and $3.6 million in Italy (off 42%), banking $12.9 million thus far. Greek odyssey eased by a mere 11% to $4 million in Japan (where “Day” dawns next weekend), amassing $15.3 million.

Wolfgang Petersen-helmed epic has drummed up a hefty $11.7 million in South Korea (No. 1 again) and $6.9 million in Russia after its second stanzas, and $25.8 million in Germany, $16.2 million in Spain, $13.9 million in France, $11.8 million in Oz and $11.3 million in Mexico, all through its third voyages.

“Shrek 2” held stoutly in its second sojourns, despite Fox’s tidal wave. DreamWorks’ toon has drawn a hearty $1.4 million in Hong Kong, $1.1 million in Singapore (losing 45%), $870,000 in the Philippines (slipping 32%), $650,000 in Thailand and $400,000 in Malaysia (off 30%). In all, the sequel is tracking ahead of the original, which posted impressive results although not as stellar as in other regions. “Shrek 2” is 70% up on the predecessor in Singapore and 190% better in the Philippines.

“Van Helsing” is running out of steam, pulling in an estimated $7.3 million from 4,300 playdates in 42 territories. Its cume topped $131.4 million, with only Japan and South Korea on the horizon. Vampire hunter saga has sucked up an estimated $24.7 million in the U.K., $16.3 million in Germany, $10.4 million in Spain, $8.5 million down Under and $7.7 million in Mexico.

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