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‘Ghost Rider’ tops int’l B.O.

Pic grosses $18.8 mil in second o'seas weekend

Thanks to a major push in key markets like Russia, Germany and Spain, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” collected top coin over the Feb. 24-26 weekend, grossing $18.8 million for an international cume approaching $37 million.

“Spirit of Vengeance,” the second installment in the Nicolas Cage action franchise, is released domestically by Sony, though the studio sold off most of the film’s international rights to local distributors.

In Russia, where Central Partnership is handling the pic, “Spirt” grossed a stellar $8.1 million — double what the first “Ghost Rider” earned locally in 2007. Teuton auds shelled out slightly less for the sequel ($2.2 million in its opening weekend) than they did for its predecessor ($2.4 million), as French hit “The Intouchables” all but extinguished “Spirit” via Universum in Germany.

“Intouchables” added a chart-topping weekend take of $4.6 million at the German B.O., pushing its local cume to an astounding $52.5 million. That makes “Intouchables” the most successful Gallic movie ever in Germany.

Overall, “Intouchables” collected $8.5 million over three days for a massive overseas cume of $246.5 million. Pic is playing in a total of eight territories, France being the far-and-away leader.

At the Spanish B.O., meanwhile, “Spirit of Vengeance” fell to Paramount’s “Hugo,” which topped the local frame with $2.1 million, while “Spirit” debuted to $1.2 million locally — only a third of what the first “Ghost Rider” opened with in Spain.

“Spirit” opened on an aggressive 417 Spanish wickets, averaging $2,878 per screen, compared with 278 for “Hugo,” which scored a much more robust local per-screen average of $7,554.

Ed Meza in Berlin and Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona contributed to this report.

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