Fox gives 'Weeks' marketing shove

LONDON — Zombie sequel “28 Weeks Later” delivered on the pre-release buzz in Blighty, despite the looming presence of “Spider-Man 3.”

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s much hyped followup to Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later” scared up $3.1 million at 401 for Fox, which gave it a massive shove into the marketplace.

The result pleased Brit bookers. “For an ’18′ certificate to clear $3 million up against the second weekend of ‘Spider-Man 3′ is a great result,” said one.

Spidey slipped just 52% in its soph sesh to $11 million at 522. The running cume of $48.2 million puts it on track to pass “Spider-Man,” which did $56.9 million in 2002 and the “Spider-Man 2″ haul of $53 million in 2004.

Shane Meadows’ semi-autobiographical skinhead pic “This Is England” continues to do fantastic business at upmarket sites. The Optimum Releasing pic leapt 9% in its third frame from 54% more screens for a $1.8 million running cume. Bookers report that “England” word of mouth is “almost as strong as the five star reviews.”

Also still attracting plenty of sophisticated auds in Blighty is German Oscar-winner “The Lives of Others,” which has taken $3.5 million via Lionsgate U.K. in five frames and is holding screens.

U.K. box office was buoyant in part thanks to rainy weather, which had auds running to the cinemas.

Local laffer “Mr Bean’s Holiday” jumped 1% in its seventh frame and has taken $42.5 million for Universal. Yank laffer “Blades of Glory” skates on nicely for Par; the Will Ferrell laffer dipped 16% in its sixth weekend and has taken an impressive $11.2 million.

Spidey showed good legs in Gaul where it slid just 48% in its second frame to $7.2 million at 850.

The webslinger dominates Gallic trade but brainier fare is not without its fans.

After a slow opening day, legal thriller “Fracture,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling picked up to score $2.2 million on 307 in its first five days for Metropolitan.

Top local earner “Pur Week-end,” toplining Kad Merad and Bruno Solo, has largely laid an egg for Wild Bunch, raking in less than $1.9 million after two frames on 290.

In Italy, Spidey slipped 64% in its second frame to $3 million at 817 but still took top spot with ease.

Robin Williams starrer “Man of the Year” came in second, debuting with a paltry $550,000 on 247 via Medusa on a spectacularly sunny weekend that saw biz plunge 55% compared with previous frame, said B.O. compiler Cinetel.

Italo entries fared fairly well. First-time helmer Davide Marengo’s black comedy “Notturno Bus” opened in third place, pulling $350,000 on 195 via 01 Distribuzione.

“My Brother Is an Only Child” slid 64% — the same as Spidey, but in its fourth frame — netting $345,000 on 230 via Warner Bros. for a stellar $7.2 million cume in fourth place.

“My Brother,” a political drama about two siblings who in the 70s take diametrically opposed political sides, will be unspooling soon in the Cannes Un Certain Regard section.

On the arthouse front, “The Lives of Others” continued its stellar run, scoring the Italo frame’s highest per-screen average after Spidey — $2,325. The 01 Distribuzione release has now taken $3.3 million at Italian wickets.

Spidey proved particularly strong in Germany where the Sony pic dipped just 38% to $4.6 million at 857 for a $20.3 million running total.

Dutch WWII pic “Black Book” took an underwhelming $327,415 at 177 in its German bow. The meek opening trailed U.S. comedy “Blades of Glory,” which landed $425,389 at 252 on its bow.

Local speed dating comedy “Shoppen” from distrib X-Verleih jumped 1% in its soph sesh and posted a $4,707 screen average — second only to “Spider-Man 3″ ($5,398). The impressive “Shoppen” second weekend result moved it to a $623,766 running cume with plenty more gas in the tank.

In Spain, Spidey plunged 60% to $4.3 million at 758 in a flat weekend dented by some early summery weather, which had locals flocking to the beaches not the plexes.

Claude Chabrol’s “The Comedy of Power,” starring Isabelle Huppert, did find favor with Spanish arthouse auds, scoring $106,774 at 34 for a decent $3,140 screen average.

But Argentine-Spanish co-production “Ciudad en Celo” did not resonate, despite upbeat pre-release expectations from local exhibs. Hernan Gaffet’s dramedy managed just $112,570 at 69.

Additional reporting by Nick Vivarelli (Italy), David Hayhurst (France), Christian Koehl (Germany) and Matt Griffin (Spain).

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