‘Million’ on the rise

Oscar wins should yield 'Baby' boom o'seas

Call it a “$50 Million Baby” — at least.

Boosted by its four major Oscars, “Million Dollar Baby” looks sure to collect prize money at theaters overseas.

Clint Eastwood’s poignant boxing pic has grossed approximately $25 million in 29 territories and could double that tally after it preems later this month in France, South Korea and German-speaking markets, and in Japan in June.

“We are upping prints and P&A spends in most countries,” said Robert Burke, VP of worldwide marketing at Lakeshore Entertainment, which co-financed the film with Warner Bros. and controls foreign rights.

Hilary Swank/Eastwood/Morgan Freeman starrer clocked healthy averages as it bowed last weekend in Switzerland ($240,000 on 18 screens) and Holland ($128,000 on 30).

Buoyed by word of mouth, pic skipped along to $2.6 million after 10 days in Italy, and through its fourth stanzas has pocketed $6.5 million in Spain and $3 million in Australia.

“The Aviator,” which may get some uplift from its five trophies, climbed to $81.6 million and, with Japan and Russia ahead, seems set to cruise past $100 million. Leonardo DiCaprio starrer brought in an impressive $233,000 on 56 in Argentina, ranking No. 1. After its third flight in Oz it’s bagged a tidy $4.2 million, declining by 28%.

The overseas champ for the fifth weekend, “Meet the Fockers” rang up an estimated $20 million in 48 territories. The cume jumped to $183 million and, with Japan and South Korea ahead, is on course to hit $250 million.

Robert De Niro/Ben Stiller/Dustin Hoffman starrer triumphed in its soph sessions in Germany, cuming $12.3 million (off just 13%) and France, earning $8.7 million (down 34%).

“Constantine” collared an estimated $19.4 million from spirited debuts in 11 territories and holdovers in 14 countries, driving cume to $54.4 million. Keanu Reeves/Rachel Weisz starrer grabbed $2.3 million on 288 in Australia, $2.3 million on 360 in Italy, $2.1 million on 486 in Mexico and $1.2 million on 220 in Thailand, with sneaks.

Exorcist tale clung to top spot in its second outing in Spain, snaring $5 million so far, and has trapped a lusty $6.7 million in 11 days in Germany and $6.6 million in 12 days in France.

“Finding Neverland” flew to $49.3 million in 32 territories, but opened weakly in France, with $1.2 million on 264. Through its third adventures, the saga about “Peter Pan” scribe J.M. Barrie has raked in a fine $4.7 million in Spain (off 11%) and a mediocre $2.5 million in Germany.

Winding its tour, “Shark Tale” wowed auds in Italy, netting $4 million on 401, just 8% below the bow of “Shrek 2.” Toon’s cume reached $174.5 million.

“Ray” hit the road in France, its last major market, registering its best opening yet: $2.4 million on 259. Biopic starring Jamie Foxx orchestrated a fair $346,000 on 70 in Korea and a muted $229,000 on 36 in weather-blighted Belgium; its cume is a modest $25.6 million.

“Hide and Seek” unearthed $9.8 million, upping cume to $22.5 million in 25 markets. John Polson-helmed thriller scared up a potent $3.1 million in the U.K., $1.6 million in South Korea, a mediocre $1.2 million in France, $622,000 in Brazil, $604,000 in Taiwan and $318,000 in Hong Kong.

“Hitch” pinched the top spots in South Africa (drawing $428,000 on 80), Taiwan’s capital Taipei ($429,000 on 20) and Israel. Romantic comedy starring Will Smith held nicely in its second sojourns, advancing to $3.3 million in Mexico (slipping by 29%) and $1.7 million in Brazil (off 27%).

“Sideways” motored along to $20 million after solid preems on limited screens in several small Asian markets. Encouragingly for Fox, Alexander Payne’s road trip went up by 11% in its second tour of Spain, cuming $1.9 million, and eased by 20% in its second in Italy, banking $1.4 million.

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