‘Zorro’ zooms to top spot at o’seas B.O.

Pic earns $60 mil in 60 markets, but sinks in U.K.

Showing some international flair, Sony and Spyglass’ “The Legend of Zorro,” starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, managed to stay atop the overseas B.O. in its second frame, even while it has been skewered at home.

Pic has played to about $60 million in 60 markets. But not all territories are sure things for the pic, which has gotten sliced and diced in the U.K.

Other pics making waves over the Nov. 4-6 frame included Warners’ “Corpse Bride,” UIP’s “Wallace & Gromit” movie and Jodie Foster-starrer “Flightplan.”

UIP and Cameron Crowe’s “Elizabethtown” placed fifth overall for the frame, but has had trouble finding a home in Blighty as well as in Italy and Germany.

While “Zorro” was its top pic, French box office dropped a whopping 50% compared with the week prior when a holiday weekend helped boost B.O.

Proven Gallic players, from UIP’s “Wallace and Gromit” to TFM’s “Match Point,” saw big dips, up to 70%. But one booker pointed out that such drops were par for the course following inflated holiday numbers.

Swashbuckling its way to No. 1 in its soph sesh was “Zorro” which took home $2.5 million from France, raising its cume so far there to more than $10.1 million. Woody Allen’s “Match Point” held its serve, dropping 43% and pocketing $1.9 million from 352 screens.

Those two holdovers in France were enough to beat newcomers “A History of Violence” (Metro) and “Elizabethtown” (UIP), which didn’t fare well in France, coming in ninth in its opening frame with just $710,617. David Cronenberg’s “Violence,” however, had a solid debut, coming in at No. 3 and taking home $1.7 million.

U.K. biz was down 37% compared with the previous weekend, but had a nice boost over last year’s same frame, up 34%. The 37% dip came thanks to the fact the previous frame was a school holiday.

Over the Nov. 4-6 frame in Blighty, UIP’s “Nanny McPhee” topped the charts, in its third week, continuing the hot run of family pics abroad. The Emma Thompson-penned children’s pic has raced to $22,238,075 on its home turf, and exhibs say the boffo perf has taken everyone by surprise. “Nanny” has performed particularly well in Ireland, where it has held the top spot for three weeks running.

Two UIP pics, “Nanny” and “Wallace” are running about 30% ahead of their original projections.

Meantime, horror sequel “Saw 2,” being locally distribbed by Entertainment, dipped 44% in its second U.K. frame. That drop pleased bookers, who were expecting the pic to plummet 50%.

Buena Vista Intl.’s “The Brothers Grimm” took fourth U.K. spot over the Nov. 4-6 frame in its premiere, slightly exceeding modest expectations.

In its second weekend of release, “Zorro” swung into fifth place. Pic has taken in a little less than $5.3 million in two weeks.

Due to poor notices, UIP’s “Elizabethtown” managed just sixth place in the U.K. Result made bookers question whether Orlando Bloom can carry a movie. But they also said that both “Grimm” and “Elizabethtown” met projections.

In Germany, BVI’s “Flightplan” soared again — remaining in pole position for the third frame in a row there. Pic, starring Jodie Foster as a mom whose child vanishes on a transatlantic flight, has passed the $10.7 million mark, and handily out-dueled second-place “Zorro,” which has taken in only about $4 million in two weeks in Germany.

Crowe’s latest had a somewhat unassuming preem in Berlin, with Crowe and Kirsten Dunst on hand. That push failed to excite local auds.

“It’s not the romantic love story it appears to be, but rather a film about family,” said one booker. “It’s also a bit too kitschy and sentimental for German viewers.”

The lack of strong new entries resulted in a 3% drop at the box office as compared to the previous weekend in Germany.

Though it has performed well in territories including Hong Kong, France and Italy, Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” couldn’t scare up any German coin. Pic opened at No. 11, with a deathly $278,000 from 82 screens.

In Oz, local horror tale “Wolf Creek” continued its run at No. 1. Pic has taken in $1.7 million to date, and is being distribbed by Village Roadshow on behalf of the Weinstein Co. The “Wolf Creek” bow marked TWC’s first ever release worldwide.

In Spain, B.O. fell 6%, where local biz cumed $11.2 million. That number was considered healthy by bookers, who said that a variety of new movies helped the cause.

“We would be happy if all 52 weeks of the year were like last week,” enthused one booker. “There was a movie of each kind: a blockbuster like ‘The Legend of Zorro,’ a movie by Woody Allen, something for teenagers (‘Into the Blue’), a Spanish pic like ‘Camaron,’ and even a movie for those with humanitarian taste like ‘The Constant Gardener.’

Each of the first seven movies in Spain’s top 10 brought in more than $800,000. “Zorro” topped the chart again, making $1.7 million over its second frame and cuming $7 million in 10 days. “Match Point” was the frame’s strongest new entry. Pic served up $964,421 and landed in second place, outpacing Allen’s previous effort, “Melinda and Melinda.” Ranking third was “Into the Blue,” which opened with $953,195 from 274 prints.

In Italy, “Zorro” has performed poorly, while “Flightplan” and “Corpse Bride” have been flying high.

“We have had another weak box office frame,” a booker from the Lombardy region said. “We are around 15% below the totals of the same weekend in 2004.”

On “Zorro’s” anemic performance, the booker added, “Maybe people feel there is nothing new there,” despite the fact that the “Latin theme would seemingly inspire Italo auds.”

Meantime, hometown helmer Roberto Benigni’s “The Tiger and the Snow has found nearly $16 million in its kitty. The film has not performed up to expectations.

(Archie Thomas in the U.K., Ed Meza in Germany, Sheri Jennings in Italy, Liza Klaussmann in France and Esther de Prado in Spain contributed to this report.)

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