O’seas auds roll ‘Twelve’

'Ocean,' 'Incredibles' top int'l B.O.

“Ocean’s Twelve” and “The Incredibles” turned in solid but not spectacular performances as the duo dominated offshore box office during the Christmas weekend.

Warner Bros. reported “Ocean’s” heisted an estimated $24 million, off 20% from the previous frame as foreign cume hit $69 million. That was enough to shade BVI’s “The Incredibles” for the second straight weekend as the CGI toon took in $21.1 million, lifting cume to an impressive $223.9 million in six weeks in foreign markets.

Sony also posted impressive takings from its opening of Stephen Chow’s action-comedy “Kung Fu Hustle,” with $15.1 million at 730 playdates in five Asian markets.

‘Express’ still on track

Warners reported a decent performance by “The Polar Express” with $10.6 million, off only 6% from the previous frame to lift offshore cume to $83.1 million.

The Christmas weekend contrasted sharply with the same frames of recent years, when the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy dominated and rivals held back major releases to avoid head-to-head confrontations. For example, final installment “The Return of the King” grossed $84 million in 38 markets during the same weekend last year.

With many offices closed, distribs had not yet been able to accurately assess the impact of the devastating tsunamis that struck Southeast Asia on Sunday.

“Ocean’s Twelve” led in key Euro markets France, Germany, Holland, Spain and Belgium. Top gross came in France with $4.4 million, off 42% from the opening weekend (cume: $14.3 million).

‘Ocean’ wanes in Germany

The steepest decline came in Germany: Teutonic biz fell 53% to $2.5 million, which pushed the “Ocean’s” cume to $9.6 million. Caper pic topped the third weekend of “The Incredibles” with $1.6 million, followed by the opening of “Alexander” and the fourth frame of “Polar Express.”

“Ocean’s” opened with $1.1 million in Belgium — 15% behind “Ocean’s Eleven” in euros but 25% ahead in dollars. Its $1.9 million debut in Mexico was neck-and-neck with “The Incredibles’ ” $1.8 million.

Pixar toon posted two strong debuts — a solid Boxing Day opening in Oz with $1.2 million, 60% ahead of “Finding Nemo,” and a $1 million in Russia, 55% over “Nemo.”

Pixar laffer also is hitting milestones in territories that include Japan, where its four-week cume of $24.1 million has topped “Shrek 2,” and Germany, where its three-week total is $13.8 million and shortly should pass that of “Toy Story 2.”

‘Incredibles’ impressive

“Incredibles” biz in Blighty remained solid after five weeks with $3 million for a $47 million cume; French takings have totaled $33 million after five frames.

“Kung Fu Hustle” grabbed $7.8 million at 492 Chinese sites to break the record set by “House of Flying Daggers.” “Hustle’s” Hong Kong debut of $3.2 million at 95 playdates also set a record for that market.

Pic, which Chow also wrote and directed, centers on gangsters trying to take over a street populated by disguised kung fu masters. In Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, the opening of $2 million at 45 engagements set a record. Singapore’s $1.25 million at 46 was the second largest debut in that market; Malaysia’s $945,000 at 52 was the third largest.

“Polar Express” opened a distant second in Hong Kong with $382,000 but outperformed “Ice Age” by 87% and “Toy Story” by 59%. Its South Korean debut totaled $1.35 million at 136 screens.

“National Treasure” posted a solid Boxing Day opening of $780,000 at 500 playdates in the U.K. Foreign cume for the Nicolas Cage starrer has hit $51.7 million.

“Meet the Fockers,” which dominated Stateside over the Christmas break, generated a beefy $1.7 million at 236 playdates in Oz on Sunday in its first foreign foray for UIP.

“The Terminal” took in $3.5 million in Japan, off 10% from its opening frame. Cume in that market is $11.5 million.

“Alien vs. Predator” scared up a moderate $1.5 million at 365 sites in Japan to finish fifth in its second weekend as it plays into its final major foreign market. Japanese cume has hit $6.6 million; worldwide total is $80.9 million.

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