‘Prada’ is sitting pretty in Europe

Pic is top in the U.K., Spain and Russia

LONDON — European auds fell head over heels in love with Fox’s fashion comedy “The Devil Wears Prada,” which took top spot in its first outing on the box office runway in the U.K., Spain and Russia.

The Meryl Streep-Anne Hathaway vehicle banked $6.1 million at 447 screens in the U.K. and $2.1 million from 300 in Spain. Davis Frankel’s pic also snared a $1.1 million Russian opening and held resolutely in its soph sesh in Gaul — dipping 40% to $2.6 million at 508. The steely European showing boosted the pic’s international cume to $43.6 million with Germany and Italy still to come this weekend.

In Germany it was soccer not fash-ion that captivated auds.

Teuton behind-the-scenes soccer doc “Deutschland: Ein Sommermaerchen” (Germany: A Summer’s Fairytale) took top spot in the territory with an estimated 7,233,635 from 571, giving it a huge screen average of $12,668.

The release date for Soenke Wort-mann’s access all areas doc about the German national soccer team’s exploits on home turf at this summer’s World Cup finals was rushed forward by distrib Kinowelt to capitalize on the nation’s feelgood buzz created by the team’s Herculean efforts in reaching the semi-finals.

The extraordinary debut was helped by the starry Oct. 3 Berlin world premiere, which was attended by the German national soccer team who were in town preparing for an European Championships qualification game.

The pic’s whammo bow puts it on track to pass “The March of the Penguins,” which had a final cume of $9.7 million, as the territory’s biggest ever grossing doc. Wortmann’s nostalgic soccer drama “The Miracle of Bern” (about the 1954 World Cup) scored $26.6 million in Germany.

UIP’s “Barnyard” opened meekly in Germany with an estimated $489,557 at 390. In a crowded marketplace the result was only good enough for seventh spot. Constantin’s fourth-placed dance drama “Step Up” fared better on its bow, scooping an estimated $969,378 at just 217 for a bouncy screen average of $4,467.

Mirroring its boffo stateside bow Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” opened explosively in the U.K., taking $4,300,606 million from 363. The result was good enough to hand “The Departed” the top spot for the weekend when “Prada’s” hefty $2 million previews are discounted.

The bow of Entertainment’s “The Departed” was at least 25% better than bookers’ expectations and bodes well for the pic’s rollout in Europe. “The Departed” received bona fide rave reviews from the U.K. critics — most concurred that this is Scorsese’s best pic since “Goodfellas.”

In Spain “Prada” outstripped local pic “Los Borgias” (The Borgias), which only managed a disappointing $1.8 million bow at 324. The result for Antonio Hernandez’s pic, about the highly-sexed Pope Alexander VI, was down significantly on bookers’ estimations, who hoped the Paz Vega-starrer could score as much as $2.5 million.

Another homegrown Spanish pic, Santi Amodeo’s “Cabeza de Perro” (Dog’s Head), about a boy who lives in a bubble because of a rare brain illness, also failed to meet industry expectations. The 10th-placed pic took $280,880 from 195 — well short of the $380,000-$400,000 opening projected by exhibs.

German box office smash “Per-fume: Story of a Murderer” opened okay in Gaul with an estimated $1.62 million at 478 in its first five days. But the bow trailed the soph frames for “Prada” and local indie “Days of Glory.” Local pic “Le Grand meaulnes” did not live up to pre-release hype and does not look to have passed $1 million in its first five days for distrib TFM.

In Italy openers “Miami Vice” and “Scoop” took the two top spots with $1.6 million from 298 and $1.5 million at 353 respectively. While neither bow was outstanding, both were more than respectable and finally knocked “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” off the top of the Italian charts, a position it had commanded for the past three weekends. BVI’s “Pirates” has now done $22 million in Italy.

Adam Sandler pic “Click” held robustly in its soph frame in Europe, dipping just 21% in Italy, 26% in the U.K., 28% in Spain and 35% in Germany. The strong holds helped lift the international cume of the Sony comedy to $73.1 million and worldwide to $210 million.

Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” is falling faster. It slipped 48% and 50% in soph frames in the U.K. and Spain respectively. Poor word of mouth is putting off prospective auds.

Additional reporting by Esther de Prado (Spain), Liza Klaussmann (France) and Sheri Jennings (Rome).

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