Cup distracts Euro auds

Soccer slows top pics

International moviegoers showed continued faith in “The Da Vinci Code,” with the Tom Hanks thriller leading the foreign box office for the fourth straight weekend with $22 million at 9,600 playdates in 84 markets.

Pic saw a 57% slide from its third weekend as the start of the World Cup dented international biz. Many Euro markets posted overall declines of 60%; amid soccer madness, distribs held off on wide launches other than “The Omen,” which grossed $19.3 million at 4,783 engagements to lift its foreign cume to $31.1 million since its Tuesday opening.

Warner’s “Poseidon” remained on a moderate foreign course with $10.3 million from 3,300-plus prints in 24 markets, as the pricey pic’s international cume of $56 million eclipsed its disappointing domestic total by $1 million.

Domestic leader “Cars” motored impressively in a smallish foreign launch: It grossed with $5.4 million at only 465 playdates in half a dozen markets as BVI opted for a gradual international rollout over the coming weeks.

“Da Vinci Code” has hit $453.2 million in foreign grosses, the 16th highest pic of all time, pushing its worldwide total past $642 million. Top performance came in Japan, where it finished first with $4.6 million at 764 playdates, pushing that market’s cume to $56.1 million, best among foreign territories.

“Code” also led in Spain and finished third in the U.K. Despite a 77% decrease in World Cup host country Germany, “Code” still led with $1.4 million. French biz fell 63% to $1.4 million; and “Code” led in Italy even though grosses dropped 79% to $1.2 million.

“The Omen” managed to scare up decent biz, thanks partly to its gimmick of launching on Tuesday to take advantage of its 6-6-06 promotion. Worldwide cume has totaled $66.8 million.

The remake has shown its best traction so far in Mexico with $4.1 million, the U.K. with $4 million, Russia with $3 million, Spain with $2.1 million and South Korea with $1.5 million. But “The Omen” scored only moderately in several soccer-obsessed markets such as Italy with $1.2 million, France with $1.1 million and Germany with $1 million; Japanese biz was modest with $876,000 at 200.

The World Cup also helped knock down the third frame of Fox’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which fell 62% to $12.8 million at 6,900 playdates. The U.K. biz slid 60% to $1.7 million, while Spain declined 48% to $1.3 million and French biz fell 77% to $1.1 million.

Still, “X-Men 3” has topped $160 million in foreign grosses with openings still to come in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Worldwide cume has hit $362 million.

Best numbers for “Poseidon” by far continued to come from South Korea with $2.4 million at 252, down only 35% from its launch, for an $11.6 million cume.

“Poseidon” also held well in Japan, down 37% to $1.3 million at 415, for a $6 million cume. Mexican biz slid 51% to $1.2 million, while U.K. results fell 57% to $870,000 at 548 and Italian grosses plunged 65% to $645,000 at 363.

BVI’s “Cars” mostly avoided soccer fans, resulting in a socko $11,638 per-screen average and wins in all six markets. Best results came from Australia with $3.3 million at 265 playdates.

The two previous Pixar pics, “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles,” posted better opening frames in those six markets. “Cars” will launch next weekend in France, Hungary, Russia and French-speaking Switzerland.

UIP’s sixth weekend of “Mission: Impossible III” saw a 50% decline to $3.6 million, pushing international grosses above $200 million — $72 million ahead of domestic — including $630,000 at 200 from its Indian launch. “MI3” is set to open next month in Japan and China, where authorities recently cleared the sequel for showing despite concerns about its portrayal of Shanghai.

UIP also reported decent biz from “Over the Hedge” with $3.4 million at 911 in 12 mid-size markets, lifting the foreign cume to $14.1 million. Like “Cars,” the toon hasn’t yet moved into major markets.

UIP also reported solid Oz biz for its launch of “The Break-Up” with $2 million at 182 and $182,000 at 48 in New Zealand. The comedy opens next weekend in Holland, Mexico and Russia.

Sony’s “RV” grabbed $1.5 million at 707, including lukewarm launches with “RV” in fifth in the U.K. and in sixth in Mexico. BVI padded its “Scary Movie 4” gross with $1.3 million, moving foreign cume to $68 million.

UIP’s “United 93” saw moderate returns in its soph seshes with $1 million. Its Japanese launch of “Inside Man” scored moderately with $825,000 at 197 playdates, lifting the international cume to $89.3 million.

Fox’s “Ice Age: The Meltdown” opened in China with $997,000 at 550 playdates, pushing the foreign cume to $441 million. “Ice Age 2” had been 2006’s top foreign grosser until this weekend when “The Da Vinci Code” took the title.

Overall biz was comparable to the same frame of 2005, when “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” led with $32.5 million, followed by the fourth frame of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” with $19.1 million and no other films above $10 million.

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