O’seas keeps the faith

'Code' scores 5 in a row

World Cup fever put a chill on the foreign box office as “The Da Vinci Code” won for the fifth straight weekend with $15.2 million at 7,800 playdates, edging the fourth weekend of “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

“The Da Vinci Code,” which has cumed $480 million overseas and $678.5 million worldwide, posted the lowest gross for a weekend winner since late March, when “The Pink Panther” led foreign markets with $10.6 million. Sony’s “Code,” which declined only 31% from its fourth frame, is now the 13th highest grosser overseas of all time and the 23rd highest worldwide performer.

Fox’s third “X-Men” pic improved its performance by 22% to $14.9 million at 6,500 engagements thanks to socko openings in South Korea and Taiwan. But with soccer at the forefront for many moviegoers, no other film reached eight figures as distribs relied on holdovers plus targeted launches.

The frame saw another quartet — “The Omen,” “Poseidon,” “Cars” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” — all top $7.5 million. But overall biz slid significantly compared with the same frame of 2005, when “Batman Begins” opened with $41.7 million and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” followed with $22 million.

“The Da Vinci Code” became the third pic this year to lead the foreign box office for five consecutive weekends, joining “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” That trio has combined for $1.13 billion in international box office this year, helping Hollywood rebound from a disappointing 2005.

“Code” turned in its best performance by far in Japan, down only 24% to $3.4 million at 768 playdates, pushing the market cume to $63.1 million. In two markets that took big hits during the World Cup’s first weekend, German grosses for “Code” rose 10% to $1.45 million at 1,010 and Brit biz slipped only 18% to $1.2 million at 544, as neither national squad played during the most recent weekend.

“Code” hit seven figures in Spain, with $1.4 million at 566, and in France, with $1 million at 574; it finished first in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Italy and Sweden.

“X-Men 3” posted Fox’s biggest opening ever in Korea, with $5.9 million at 363, to lead that market. The sequel’s launch also led in Taiwan, with $1.4 million at 166; its fourth U.K. frame fell only 13% to $1.4 million at 455.

“X-Men 3,” with openings still to come in Japan and China, has cumed $182.5 million overseas; worldwide gross has hit $398 million to lift the franchise’s combined total to $1.1 billion.

Fox’s soph sesh of “The Omen” also took a World Cup hit, falling 53% to $9.1 million at 4,800 playdates as it scared up top numbers from the U.K., with $1.2 million at 346, and Mexico, with $1.1 million at 560. The remake’s foreign cume has reached $47.9 million, $1 million ahead of the Stateside take.

Warner’s “Poseidon” continued to post decent but hardly spectacular foreign numbers with $9 million from 3,900-plus prints in 41 markets, lifting the international cume to $70.8 million. Top performance came from a moderate second-place French launch of $1.5 million at 598, lagging the “Cars” opening by 46%.

“Poseidon” declined 52% in its third Korean frame to $1.15 million at 229, pushing that market’s cume to $13.4 million — by far the best of any foreign territory. The pricey pic, which has a worldwide total of $127.3 million, finished first in launches in Argentina, Chile, Eastern Europe, Israel, Peru and South Africa.

“Cars,” which is being held back from most major foreign markets, scored $8.4 million at 1,500 engagements in nine markets, with most of its coin coming from a French launch of $2.8 million at 700 with 30% share and a Russian opening of $2 million at 300, best ever for a Pixar title there. “Cars” will launch next weekend in Chile, Colombia, Holland, Israel and Poland, then expand to Brazil, Japan and Mexico in the following frame.

UIP’s day-and-date openings of “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” also showed some early traction with $7.5 million at 825 playdates, led by first-place finishes in the U.K., with $3.3 million at 413 with 30% share, and in Australia, with $2.2 million at 187. “Fast” also led in Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand.

“Over the Hedge” totaled $3.9 million at 1,184 in 16 markets, led by a first-place Spanish launch of $2.2 million at 450. That pushed foreign cume to $18.7 million, only 13% of the domestic total as UIP has opted for a gradual move into major markets.

UIP’s also taking a cautious international approach on “The Break-Up” with a moderate $3.3 million at 658 locations in five markets, led by its Oz soph sesh with $1.3 million at 186 and a Mexican opening of $1 million at 178. Foreign cume’s at $6.8 million.

Fox scored first place in Brazil with a day-and-date launch of “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties” with $1.5 million at 369 and added $244,000 at 29 in Singapore and $143,000 at 50 in the Philippines.

UIP’s “Mission: Impossible III” continued its fast fade with a 54% slide to $1.6 million at 1,800, bringing foreign cume to $203.8 million and the worldwide total to $333.8 million. “MI3” will launch next month in Japan and China.

Other pics reaching seven figures included Sony’s “RV” with $1.45 million, pushing foreign cume to $5 million; Fox’s “Just My Luck” with $1.1 million at 503; and BVI’s “The Wild,” with $1 million to push international total to $46.9 million. UIP’s “United 93” remained a modest performer with $865,000 at 530, lifting its four-market total to $6.1 million after three weeks.

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