'Mountain' sees sturdy bows, 'Samurai' socko

Combo of Oscar contenders, family fare, comedies and school vacations in parts of Europe kept B.O. humming in many markets last weekend.

Looking to cash in on its seven nominations, “Cold Mountain” rolled out in 26 markets with generally solid results, given that the American Civil War isn’t all that accessible for some foreign auds. The Nicole Kidman-Jude Law starrer reigned in Spain, notching $1.9 million on 292 screens (outperforming “Chicago” and “Moulin Rouge”) and Taiwan with $224,000 on 17.

Anthony Minghella-helmed drama saw sturdy bows in France ($1.7 million on 372), Mexico ($483,000 on 175), South Korea ($417,000 on 88) and Belgium ($285,000 on 57). But it wasn’t so hot in Germany ($1.2 million on 447) and Austria, coming in a distant second in both behind the triumphant soph sessions of “Something’s Gotta Give,” or in Holland, South Africa and Hong Kong.

After a fine debut in Italy, “Cold Mountain” held pretty well — off 28% — as the pic earned $1 million, bringing the territory total to $3.2 million. All told, the Miramax film collected $9.9 million from 2,773 screens in 36 markets (excluding its bow in Russia, which wasn’t reported), elevating cume to $34.4 million, with Japan and Scandinavia ahead.

The Brits have embraced the film, shelling out $14.7 million through its eighth stanza (slipping just 12%), but it took only $5.3 million Down Under.

Hailing ‘King’

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” harvested $13.9 million in 60 countries, propelling cume to $644.2 million as its global total topped $1 billion. Peter Jackson’s epic drummed up $7.5 million in Japan (down 32% after its stellar preem), driving the territory haul to $31.8 million. Showing remarkable stamina, the trilogy’s finale dipped by just 7% in its 10th orbit in the U.K., amassing $103.2 million so far, and by 6% in its ninth in Oz, advancing to $33.9 million.

“Something’s Gotta Give” wooed $13.7 million in 30 markets, boosting cume to $61 million. Romantic comedy eased by 12% in Germany, picking up $3.3 million, spurring the total to a terrif $8.6 million. Jack Nicholson-Diane Keaton starrer has racked up a uniformly impressive $8.7 million in the U.K., $5.7 million in Italy, $4.9 million in France (all through its third frames) and $3.8 million in 10 days in Spain (off 15%).

“The Last Samurai” captured $8.4 million in 57 territories, sending cume to a socko $310.5 million, becoming Warner’s fourth-biggest blockbuster overseas behind the two “Harry Potter” films and “The Matrix Reloaded.” Among its milestones: Japan’s $115.2 million ranks as the industry’s 11th-highest grosser, WB’s third best behind the “Potter” pics and a career high for Tom Cruise; and Italy’s $24.1 million and Spain’s $22 million are personal bests for Cruise.

In France, local thriller “The Crimson Rivers II: The Angels of the Apocalypse” got off to fast start, revving up $5.6 million on 650, while “The Haunted Mansion” fetched a decent $2.3 million on 476. Eddie Murphy starrer has whistled up a handy $43.3 million in 24 territories, including the U.K.’s terrif $10.2 million in 10 days (off just 7%) and, through its fourth laps, Mexico’s $6.9 million and Spain’s $6.4 million.

“Scary Movie 3″ grabbed $4.9 million in Italy, in dollars slightly more than the combined opening weekends of the first two installments. The spoof’s bow stands as a Miramax record in the territory and BVI’s third-biggest entry; it’s earned a juicy $58.7 million in 30 markets.

“Mona Lisa Smile” graduated to $54.5 million in 50 markets and, with several major territories ahead, is sure to overtake domestic’s paltry $63.5 million. Julia Roberts starrer top-scored in Australia with $1.8 million on 237, including sneaks. Its standout market is Germany, with $12.1 million in the kitty after its fifth semester.

“Lost in Translation” reached $45 million in 35 territories, aided by classy openings on limited prints in Poland ($200,000 on 35), Holland ($142,000 on 19) and South Korea ($183,000 on 55). Focus Features pic added 24 prints in its seventh weekend in the U.K. after nabbing three BAFTA awards, pushing the market cume to a superb $14.2 million.

Early in its foreign campaign, Fox’s “Cheaper by the Dozen” has minted $27.1 million in 15 territories. Meanwhile, Halle Berry toplined “Gothika” climbed to $18.8 million in 21 territories. Disney’s “Brother Bear” scampered to $78.8 million in 36 markets.

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