Biz mild in last weekend before tentpole pic onslaught

Star power ruled internationally as Nicole Kidman’s “The Interpreter” and Vin Diesel’s “The Pacifier” generated solid support at an otherwise sluggish foreign box office during the Friday-Sunday frame.

Sunday estimates showed UIP’s “The Interpreter” winning with $12.6 million at 2,378 playdates in 35 territories, followed by BVI’s “The Pacifier” with $9 million at 2,400 engagements.

“The Interpreter,” which had already launched in 16 markets prior to last weekend, has cumed $25 million offshore while “The Pacifier,” which won the previous frame, has reached $32 million internationally.

Overall business was typically mild for the mid-spring frame, the last weekend before the start of day-and-date launches of summer tentpoles such as next weekend’s opening of Sony’s “XXX: State of the Union” in more than 60 territories on about 5,000 screens.

“The Interpreter,” which led in most of its markets, posted its top performance in the U.K. with $2.4 million at 367 sites, declining only 20% and scoring a 19% share for a $7 million cume. Its German launch led that market with $2 million at 398 playdates for a 23% share; its soph sesh in Spain came in first with $1.2 million at 197 engagements, declining 41%; and its second frame in Australia led with $1 million at 203, down 20%.

“The Interpreter” also opened in first in Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil, topping that market with $600,000 at 122 screens and matching the launch of “The Bourne Supremacy.” Soph sesh holds were strong in Switzerland, with a 14% decline; Portugal, off 18%; and the Netherlands, down 19%.

“The Pacifier” won in head-to-head contests with “The Interpreter” in Mexico and Austria. “The Pacifier” easily led in Mexico with $1.9 million at 360 playdates, nearly triple the take for “The Interpreter” and better than the launches of “Haunted Mansion” and “Daddy Day Care” in that market. In Austria, the second frame of “The Pacifier” took in $332,000, 22% better than “The Interpreter’s” opening.

“The Pacifier” also edged UIP’s “Sahara” in Italy, with $850,000 at 150 locations; it declined 35% in Germany in its soph sesh to $1.4 million at 600. The family comedy, which surprised domestically with more than $103 million, has generated its highest offshore gross in Australia with $7.4 million after five weeks.

UIP’s “The Ring Two,” which won the first two April frames, generated moderate returns with $3.9 million at 3,864 playdates in 52 territories for a $72.2 million foreign cume.

Best perf for the sequel came in Italy, with $594,000 at 258 sites in its third weekend, a sharp drop from its leading $1.58 million in the previous frame. “The Ring Two” has managed to post significant numbers in key markets before fading, with Blighty cuming $9.7 million, followed by $6.65 million in Germany, $6.5 million in Spain, $5.45 million in Italy and $5.43 million in France.

“Sahara” took in a respectable $3.7 million at 1,038 sites in five UIP territories, with top returns coming in its Spanish launch with $1.16 million at 216 sites (no doubt thanks to Spanish co-star Penelope Cruz) and in its third U.K. frame with $1.1 million at 399.

Overseas cume so far has hit $13 million, with $7 million of that from Blighty.

Warner’s “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” remained a mild performer with $3.1 million at 2,200 engagements for a $44.4 million overseas cume — equal to the sequel’s domestic performance.

Distrib’s “Constantine” showed serious drawing power in Japan, where its soph sesh led with $2.37 million at 349 playdates to lift its territorial total to $9 million. Offshore cume for the Keanu Reeves vehicle has reached $136 million, $62 million above the domestic total.

Sony’s “Hitch” took in $3 million at 2,300 sites to push its foreign total to $175.6 million, $1 million short of its domestic take. The Will Smith starrer has one major market left: It launches June 4 in Japan.

Fox’s “The Amityville Horror” scared up decent soph-sesh returns in the U.K., with $1.8 million at 345 playdates, but the German launch was far less visible: $676,000 at 343. Distrib’s “Guess Who” launched respectably in the U.K., with $1.4 million at 350, along with $596,000 at 152 in Brazil and $480,000 at 275 in Mexico.

Fox also opened “Hide and Seek” in Japan with a lukewarm $1.5 million at 279 engagements. Thriller’s foreign take has hit $60.3 million, nearly $10 million above the domestic total.

BVI saw a solid launch of Zach Braff’s quirky “Garden State” in France with $900,000 at 110 playdates.

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