Fun fare to hit European box office

'Hot Fuzz,' 'Taxi 4,' 'Rose' set to unspool

While festgoers were lining up for those final Berlinale tickets, the general public across Europe was preparing to savor mostly lighter commercial fare than was on offer at the Palast.

Releases that received an appreciative reception on Valentine’s Day look set to storm the box office across Europe this weekend.

These include “Hot Fuzz” in the U.K., “Taxi 4” and Berlinale Competition opener “La Vie en Rose” in France, and “Night Before Finals –Today” in Italy.

Edgar Wright’s cop spoof “Hot Fuzz” is all set for a boffo opening frame on home turf in the U.K.

The local laffer, which stars Simon Pegg and Simon Frost, proved a hit on Valentine’s Day — its opening day — taking in $1.75 million on 500 screens.

“Hot Fuzz” has benefited from a bullish campaign from Universal. Posters with the laugh-out-loud funny “Big Cops. Small Town. Moderate Violence” tagline are seemingly at every Tube station and on every bus stop in London.

Meanwhile, Michel Gondry’s “The Science of Sleep” — which competed in Berlin last year — should play well in upmarket arthouse theaters.

“Taxi 4” — the latest installment in the hit Gallic franchise — opened big Wednesday, its first day on release in France.

EuropaCorp pic, scripted by Luc Besson and directed by Gerard Krawczyk, got off to a fast start with $3.5 million at 867 in its first day and should continue to outpace rivals this weekend.

Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en Rose” also exceeded industry expectations on its first day. Going out on 675, the pic posted a boffo $1.8 million opening day.

Reviews heaped kudos on helmer Olivier Dahan and star Marion Cotillard for their portrayal of the French cultural icon.

In Italy, another homegrown Valentine’s Day hit looks set to dominate weekend business.

Local romantic comedy “Night Before Exams — Today” is destined for the top spot.

Finally, Nicolas Cage vehicle “Ghost Rider” roars into Spain on 415 per Sony. Pic has been backed by a big publicity campaign and bookers expect it to take $3.3 million to $4 million in its opening frame.

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