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‘Antz’ swarming o’seas

'Ryan' wows Italo auds

Swarms of “Antz” bit off big chunks of the B.O. in Australia, New Zealand and Thailand last weekend, while “Saving Private Ryan” conquered Italy and “The Truman Show” hooked viewers as it debuted in three markets.

Rounding out another lucrative frame overseas, “The Exorcist” reissue was the perfect Halloween treat for U.K. auds, and “There’s Something About Mary” was a crowd-pleaser in Germany, Austria and Portugal.

‘Antz’ take Oz

In its first foreign engagements, “Antz” unearthed a terrif $1.1 million in four days on 186 screens in Australia ($1.4 million including the prior weekend’s previews), $216,000 in three days on 56 in Thailand and $115,000 in four days on 22 in New Zealand.

Eclipsing Disney’s recent “Mulan,” the Aussie preem was the second-highest in history for an animated release in that market, behind only “The Lion King,” and the third-best October bow ever after “Pretty Woman” and “The Full Monty.”

‘Ryan’ scores

Steven Spielberg’s “Private Ryan” captured $3.08 million in three days on 306 screens in Italy, tracking 74% ahead of “Apollo 13’s” entry on 194 and 23% up on “Deep Impact.”

The World War II epic rocketed to $153.8 million offshore after collaring $9.8 million in 18 countries, led by the U.K.’s $27.4 million, Japan’s $23.1 million, France’s $21.2 million and Germany’s $20.4 million.

The bucks don’t stop

Peter Weir’s “Truman Show” snared $3.3 million in five days on 388 in France (beating “Liar Liar” by 20%), $418,000 in four days on 53 in the Netherlands and $217,000 in ditto on 25 in Israel.

The Jim Carrey vehicle pocketed a total of $6.1 million in 15 markets and its cume climbed to $45.7 million, excluding Brazil and Spain, which did not report.

‘Exorcist’ back to life

William Friedkin’s 25-year-old “Exorcist” notched a scary $3.6 million on 248 in the U.K. ($3.9 million including the opening weekend in Scotland four months ago), which was Warner Bros.’ sixth-highest bow ever, commanding a 25% market share. That brings the cume since reissue to $4.6 million and the lifetime total to $119.1 million.

The U.K. was selected for re-release because the Ellen Burstyn-Linda Blair starrer has never been available there on homevideo due to censorship problems; distrib WB is currently evaluating other markets where it may be feasible to give the thriller another airing.

“Halloween H20” bowed in Germany with an OK $1.2 million on 267 and in Australia with a moderate $626,000 on 172. The 11-territory cume is $8.5 million, paced by the U.K.’s $4.3 million in 10 days (off just 12%).

Farrelly Well

The Farrelly brothers’ “Mary” scored $3.3 million on 650 in Germany, $362,000 on 76 in Austria and $110,000 on 35 in Portugal — all solid without breaking any records for 20th Century Fox.

All told, the coarse comedy minted $8 million in 24 territories, propelling the total to $64.5 million, highlighted by the U.K.’s $21.5 million, Australia’s $10 million and Italy’s $7.7 million in its third round.

Stablemate “The X-Files” took a so-so $1 million in its Italo debut on 221 screens but is resonating much more strongly in France with $8.6 million after 12 days, slipping 27%. Its cume hit $86.3 million after a $4.7 million weekend.

“The Mask of Zorro” amassed $8.5 million (excluding a few Latino markets that were on holiday) and its total topped $60.6 million, led by France’s $14.3 million.

“Zorro” coined a dashing $430,000 on 60 in Belgium but was shaded in the Dutch-speaking part of that country by “Blade’s” $323,000 on 20, including previews. New Line’s Wesley Snipes starrer brought in a solid $246,000 on 44 in the Netherlands and its total in eight markets is $12 million, highlighted by Spain’s $6.1 million and Australia’s $2.8 million.

“A Perfect Murder’s” cume reached $41.3 million, driven by a $6.1 million weekend in 36 countries, including a passable bow in Hong Kong and a sturdy $2.9 million after its second in Spain.

Greek days and nights

“Six Days, Seven Nights” gave Buena Vista Intl. its second-highest debut ever in Greece (behind “Armageddon”) with $240,000 on 23, while earning a good $173,000 in 65 in South Africa. The foreign cume cruised past domestic’s to $75.8 million, with Japan slated for Dec. 19.

“The Horse Whisperer” cantered along to $85.1 million, led by Germany’s resilient $24.3 million, France’s $16.1 million and Italy’s $3.1 million after the third frame.

‘Beautiful’ in France

Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful” had strong sophomore sessions in France (tallying $3.5 million, up 7%), Belgium and Switzerland. The cume outside Italy is $9.5 million.

After grossing $17.1 million in its native U.K., Polygram’s “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels” ventured into France with $236,000 on 74 — not bad in Paris but soft in the provinces. Stablemate “Elizabeth” was greeted in Germany with positive reviews and word of mouth, generating a decent $488,000 on 122, and eased by just 5% in Australia for a solid $850,000 in 11 days.

In a case of maybe better late than never, “Primary Colors” finally hit the campaign trail in the U.K. (collecting a softish $406,000 on 164) and Italy (a fair $105,000 on 28).

“Godzilla” is winding down with $230.1 million in the kitty. “Lethal Weapon 4” has earned $140.5 million and “Dr. Doolittle” stands at $121.9 million.

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