'Incredibles' ruled in 19 territories

“Ocean’s Twelve” stole a lot of loot in its offshore launches, but the frame’s major surprise was the midlevel world preem of “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera,” which rang up an estimated $2.3 million at 425 locations in the U.K.

Elsewhere, “The Incredibles” ruled in 19 territories; “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” charmed auds in France and South Korea; and “National Treasure” struck gold in Italy and Spain.

“Phantom,” helmed by Joel Schumacher, placed fourth behind “Incredibles,” which raked in roughly $4.4 million in its third adventure, and rookies “The Polar Express,” chugging in with an estimated $4.4 million (including sneaks), and “Blade: Trinity,” with a projected $3.8 million Friday-Sunday haul. Latter pic bowed Wednesday, but figures for the first two days weren’t available.

“Incredibles” amassed approximately $31.8 million from 6,000 screens in 36 markets, propelling cume to $150 million. Toon muscled into the top spots in Germany (snaring $5.3 million), Brazil ($1.6 million), Austria ($1 million) and South Africa ($290,000).

Pixar pic collected $5 million in its soph session in Japan, slipping by a mere 16%. Market total is a terrif $14.5 million, although “Incredibles” is still tracking below local animated smash “Howl’s Moving Castle” in its fourth outing. Pic’s stellar progressive tallies include the U.K.’s $35.4 million, France’s $19.8 million, Italy’s $17.3 million and Spain’s $16.7 million.

“Ocean’s Twelve” got away with $3.5 million in Australia (16% below the original, which opened during school holidays); $388,000 in Thailand (8% ahead of “Ocean’s Eleven”); $221,000 in India (a whopping 280% bigger than the predecessor); and $132,000 in Malaysia (where, curiously, the first pic wasn’t released).

“National Treasure” unearthed an estimated $4.5 million in Italy, including previews (sans sneaks, the third biggest entry for producer Jerry Bruckheimer behind “Pearl Harbor” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”) and $2.4 million in Spain (outgunning “Pearl Harbor” but behind “Pirates). Nicolas Cage starrer captured $10.3 million overall, boosting cume to $34 million, including Germany’s $10.9 million through its third stanza.

In its international preem, “Closer” grossed a sturdy $1.67 million in Italy, bigger than the bows of “Cold Mountain” and “Road to Perdition.”

The “Bridget Jones” sequel wooed an estimated $21.5 million in 36 territories, raising cume to $139.7 million. Romantic comedy fetched a projected $8 million in France (77% bigger than “Bridget Jones’s Diary”); $2 million in South Korea (Universal’s third highest debut locally behind “The Mummy Returns” and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”); and $975,000 in Belgium. Renee Zellweger-Colin Firth-Hugh Grant starrer has drummed up a socko $60.3 million in Blighty, $8.6 million in 11 days in Germany (falling by a mild 30%), $12.8 million in Oz and $8.9 million after 24 days in Spain.

“Polar Express” rang up an estimated $16.4 million in 45 countries, driving cume to $47.1 million. Apart from its impressive U.K. preem, the Tom Hanks starrer coined a respectable $561,000 in Taiwan, $392,000 in Belgium and $285,000 in Norway. Christmas tale may not open big, but it appears to be riding along on good word of mouth in its second weekends, banking $3.7 million to date in France (off 9%), $4 million in Italy (down 24%) and $3.8 million in Spain (abating by 26%). Robert Zemeckis-helmed pic has pocketed a fair $5.8 million in Germany and a ho-hum $5.7 million in Japan.

Unleashed in Spain, “Seed of Chucky” devoured a neat $900,000 from just 172 sites, 45% ahead of “Dawn of the Dead” and 100% up on “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Short on festive spirit, “Christmas With the Kranks” unwrapped a miserly $400,000 on debut in Mexico but eased by 14% to $3.4 million in its second turn in the U.K. and by just 8% to $1.7 million Down Under. Joe Roth-helmed laffer has minted a skimpy $10.3 million in 23 markets.

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