Winners stress increasing dominance of int'l b.o.

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AMSTERDAM — A record 32 pics have won Nielsen EDI Gold Reels for topping $100 million at the international box office, including the first for a documentary — Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11″ — released by Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s Fellowship Adventure Group.

“Shrek 2″ and “Meet the Fockers” helped power UIP, which handles international for Universal, Paramount and DreamWorks, to nine reels at the Cinema Expo Intl. awards on Tuesday.

Andrew Cripps, UIP president and chief operating officer, thanked exhibs for “believing in” another UIP release, “The Terminal.” The Tom Hanks starrer screened at Expo last year, and underperformed in the U.S. However, it doubled its domestic take internationally.

The increasing dominance of the international box office over domestic was emphasised repeatedly by studio brass collecting their prizes.

Paul Hanneman, 20th Century Fox exec veepee of sales and strategic planning, said that five of its six pics that passed $100 million did between 58% (“I, Robot”) and 77% (“Kingdom of Heaven”) of their total B.O. biz internationally.

“Robots,” the only Fox title not to have reaped half its coin internationally, will have done so by the time it rolls out in Japan, China and South Korea.

Playing to the home crowd, the sizeable chunk of international box office done in Europe was also highlighted. Talking via video link, producer David Heyman thanked European exhibs for delivering 60% of the international B.O. for WB’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Warner Bros. scored five perfs north of $100 million.

Next best was Buena Vista Intl. with four, including “The Incredibles,” and Sony Pictures Releasing Intl. with two, including “Spider-Man 2.”

Kiyota Takaya-san, head of exhibition at Japan’s Toho, collected his firm’s first Reel, for “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

Other single winners were Miramax (“Shall We Dance”), Initial Entertainment Group (“The Aviator”), Lakeshore Entertainment Group (“Million Dollar Baby”) and Intermedia (“Alexander”).

The prizes were handed out by Nick King, prexy of Nielsen Entertainment Intl., at a lunch. He revealed that EDI numbers for the first 24 weeks of 2005 in Japan, Germany and France were down 17%, 13% and 14% respectively.

Later on Tuesday, a high-octane 45-minute preview of Michael Bay’s sci-fi romance “The Island” spearheaded Warner Bros.’ showcase of upcoming releases.

It preceded a well-received screening of Tim Burton’s summer tentpole “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The world preem of the trailer for Burton’s “Corpse Bride” was also unveiled.

And the winners are…

United Pictures Intl.
“The Bourne Supremacy,” “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” “Collateral,” “Meet the Fockers,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Shark Tale,” “Shrek 2,” “The Terminal” and “Van Helsing.”

20th Century Fox
“The Day After Tomorrow,” “Garfield,” “I, Robot,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Robots,” “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

WB
“Constantin,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Ocean’s Twelve,” “The Polar Express,” “Troy.”

Buena Vista Intl.
“The Incredibles,” “King Arthur,” “National Treasure,” “The Village.”

Sony Pictures Releasing Intl.
“Hitch,” “Spider-Man 2.”

Toho
“Howl’s Moving Castle”

Miramax
“Shall We Dance”

Initial Entertainment Group
“The Aviator”

Lakeshore Entertainment Group
“Million Dollar Baby”

Intermedia
“Alexander”

Fellowship Adventure Group
“Fahrenheit 9/11″

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