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‘XXX’ marks spot o’seas

'Interpreter' holds up overseas

XXX: State of the Union” led a still-mild foreign box office with a moderate day-and-date international opening of $15 million at 4,800 playdates in 64 territories. Also during the Friday-Sunday frame, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” showed spark with $8.3 million at about 1,035 engagement in three English-speaking markets.

“The Interpreter,” last weekend’s leader, provided the best results among holdovers with a decent $7.1 million at 2,325 sites in 33 territories, pushing its foreign cume to $39 million. And “The Pacifier” remained respectable with $6.7 million at 3,000 screens in 24 markets for a $42 million overseas take.

Distribs cited a heat wave in Europe as part of the reason for the middling numbers, with high temps in Germany singled out for keeping potential patrons away.

The foreign B.O., which has been lukewarm during the early spring, should see a major kick next frame from Fox’s worldwide launch of “Kingdom of Heaven,” followed May 19 by its opening of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

The current frame somewhat mirrors the year-ago period, when distribs held off booking new films in anticipation of the following weekend’s launch of “Van Helsing”; that led to holdover “Kill Bill Vol. 2” topping a so-so frame with $10 million on 2,562 screens, elevating its cume to $36.1 million.

Sony’s “XXX: State of the Union,” starring Ice Cube, opened in first place in more than 20 of its markets with best results coming from teen auds and in Southeast Asian markets. The distrib is aiming to take in about half of the $135 million grossed abroad three years ago by the original “XXX” starring Vin Diesel.

“XXX 2” finished second in the U.K. with $1.8 million at 493 sites, in South Korea with $1.3 million at 174 and in Germany with $1.2 million at 598. Its French opener took fourth place with $1.4 million at 450 screens. However, in a mild Spanish market, the sequel was tops with $950,000 at 400.

By far the most impressive performance of the weekend came from BVI’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide” with $5.8 million at 575 playdates: That’s on par with the launches of “Signs” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and double the openings of “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon.” Returns followed a massive promo campaign as distrib took advantage of the cult status of the source book by Brit author Douglas Adams.

Oz opening for “Guide” also generated solid support in first with $2.1 million at 400, more than double the launches for “Johnny English” and “Minority Report.” In New Zealand, “Guide” took in $450,000 at 60, topping the opening of 1999’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”

“The Interpreter” led in Germany with $1.3 million, edging “XXX 2” and lifting its 11-day cume to $4 million. Blighty results for the third frame fell 43% to $1.3 million, pushing the cume to $9.4 million, on pace with “The Bourne Identity”; Spanish takings were off 47% to $640,000 at 186 to total $4.7 million after 17 days, and UIP predicts it will pass the final gross of “The Bourne Supremacy” next week.

BVI’s “The Pacifier” performed best in Mexico, where a soph sesh up 13% to $2.3 million at 400 engagements lifted the cume to $5.3 million. The comedy has totaled $8.3 million in Australia after six weeks, $5.3 million in German after three weeks and $2.5 million in Italy after two frames.

UIP’s “Sahara” remained a moderate performer with $2.22 million at 969 playdates in five markets, lifting the total for those territories to $17.2 million. Top performance has come in the U.K. with an $8 million cume, including a fourth weekend of $590,000 from 386, down 45%. In Australia, “Sahara” took in $270,000 at 176 sites, off 54%, for a $3.76 million cume.

Fox reported several targeted openings and the tail end of several runs as it prepped for a massive launch of “Kingdom of Heaven.” “Robots” took in $313,386 at 424 sites in five markets, pushing its foreign cume to $102.6 million; “Guess Who” lifted its cume to $7.6 million by grossing $561,929 in three markets, including an opening in Taiwan with $171,000 at 57; and “The Amityville Horror” took in $339,354 at 140 in Oz, pushing the distrib’s foreign total to $10 million.

BVI’s “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie” took in $1.5 million to lift offshore takings to $29 million.

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