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‘Devil’s’ advocates

'Prada' fashions o'seas win over 'World'

“The Devil Wears Prada” dressed for success at the foreign box office, handily winning the weekend with an impressive $17.5 million at 2,900 playdates in 35 markets.

Thanks to a stellar U.K. launch, “Devil” topped last week’s winner, “World Trade Center,” by $5 million. Fox’s fashion-mag comedy has cumed $43.6 million overseas and $167 million worldwide.

The Meryl Streep-Anne Hathaway vehicle bowed in Britain with $6.1 million at 446, easily outdistancing Entertainment’s day-and-date debut of domestic winner “The Departed” with $3.7 million. And its second French frame held well, off 40% to $2.6 million at 508 for a cume of $7.7 million after a dozen days.

“Devil” also scared up a first-place launch in Spain with $2.1 million at 300 and remained in the top slot in Australia, declining 27% to $1.9 million at 321 for an Oz cume of $7.9 million after two weeks. Its Russian launch scored $1.1 million, and it finished first in openings in Norway with $264,000 at 30 and in Finland with $170,000 at 20.

“Devil,” which opens next weekend in Germany, Italy and Sweden, looks likely to show decent legs internationally — as it did domestically — given the lack of competition for comedies aimed at adults.

“World Trade Center” stayed solid with $12.5 million at 3,428 engagements in 36 markets, including launches in 17 territories. Most impressive “WTC” perf came from Japan, with a No. 1 opening at $3.4 million on 400 — 20% ahead of “Collateral” — while the Australian launch was much more modest with $689,000 at 187.

“WTC” generated respectable holdover biz in key Euro markets, with the U.K. off 48% to $1.6 million at 408 and Spain down 50% to $1.1 million at 305. Foreign cume for the 9/11 drama has hit $40 million; worldwide take is $110 million.

Sony’s “Click” continued to connect internationally with $8.9 million at 3,020 in 50 markets, lifting foreign cume to $73.1 million and worldwide to $210 million. Comedy held solidly in its soph sesh in Europe with a 26% decline in the U.K. to $2.5 million at 418, a 35% slide in Germany to $1.5 million at 632 and a 29% drop in Spain to $1.2 million at 307.

With the top two pics combining for $30 million, overall biz was better than usual for a mid-autumn weekend and well ahead of the same 2005 frame, when “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” led with $9.7 million.

Constantin/Summit didn’t issue figures Sunday for German thriller “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” but rough estimates placed weekend take at around $6 million, including a first-place French launch of about $2.6 million plus some $3 million from its fourth German frame.

The German market also gave strong initial support to Soenke Wortmann’s documentary about Germany’s World Cup team, “Deutschland: Ein Sommermaerchen” (Germany: A Summer’s Fairy Tale). Distrib Kinowelt predicted the behind-the-scenes pic — shot by Wortmann with a handheld camera — would sell 1 million tickets during the frame, which would mean B.O. of about $6 million.

BVI’s sturdy performers — “Cars” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” — continued to add to their coffers over the weekend, with “Cars” grossing another $3.1 million to lift foreign cume to $209 million and “Chest” taking in $2.6 million to push the international total to $636 million and worldwide take to $1.056 billion.

UIP’s “Miami Vice” led the rest of the pack with $2.3 million at 1,195 playdates in 40 markets, mostly from its Italian launch of $1.5 million at 277 as it vied for first with the opening of Woody Allen’s “Scoop.” The pricey “Vice” has cumed $91.3 million offshore and $155 million worldwide.

Sony’s expansion of “Open Season” corralled $2.1 million at 930 in 16 markets, including a first-place launch in Brazil with $750,000 at 250 and No. 1 openings in Chile, Peru and Venezuela.

Four other pics topped $1 million for UIP — “You, Me and Dupree” with $1.8 million at 1,100; “Over the Hedge” with $1.3 million at 660; the foreign launch of “Barnyard” with $1.3 million at 771 in five markets; and “Step Up” with $1.1 million at 196 in four markets.

UIP also opened “Accepted” in the U.K. with $675,000 at 248 and “Jackass Number Two” in Holland with $356,000 at 50 in the first foreign launches for both; BVI’s “The Guardian” took in $335,000 at 117, with firsts in Argentina, Indonesia and Israel; and Fox’s “The Sentinel” took in $750,000 at 649, including a muted Japanese launch of $479,000 at 175.

(Erik Kirschbaum in Germany contributed to this report.)

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