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‘Haunting’ scares big auds o’seas

Taiwan, South Korea have good 'Sense' of B.O.

SYDNEY — The Jan De Bont-helmed frightfest “The Haunting” led the weekend pack at the overseas box office, scaring up impressive preem numbers in the U.K., Malaysia and Oz.

Solid bows were also turned in by “The Sixth Sense” in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore; “Big Daddy” in France and Argentina; and “Analyze This” in Blighty.

Despite mostly horrific reviews, Brit and Aussie auds responded resoundingly to “Haunting,” which bowed at No. 1 in the U.K. for $2.5 million from 374 houses. That was 49% higher than “Species” and it debuted Down Under with a spine-tingling $1.29 million from 174, in the runner-up slot (behind soph laffer “Big Daddy”). The “Haunting’s” international cume is $10 million.

With an international cume of $41.6 million, the Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal gangster comedy “Analyze This” nabbed a healthy $1,472,225 on 271 and was a hit on par with “As Good as It Gets” for the Brits, who otherwise lost interest in week three of “Eyes Wide Shut,” down 44% with only $783,078 bringing the U.K. cume to $6 million. Also down 43%, sophomore “The General’s Daughter” ranked just fourth on $750,184 off 334 for a $2.74 million U.K. cume, while Hollywood Shakespeare preem “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” got the Blighty cold shoulder, mustering a mere $490,875 on 183.

In France and Italy, Pierce Brosnan starrer “The Thomas Crown Affair” stole average bows in second and fifth place respectively. The crime caper remake played 375 Gallic screens for $1.6 million, 16% behind top-ranking sophomore Kubrick’s “Shut,” which grossed $1.79 million from 589, itself down 39%. The Italian “Crown” bow was only just ahead with $489,554 from 107, pushing the pic’s international cume to just under $40 million.

‘Shut’ opens

“Shut” did well in Israel (on top with $166,487 at 26), Singapore ($87,769 off 13) and in particular Hong Kong ($275,894 from 26) where it bowed as the No. 2 ranking English pic (in fourth place overall), just 8% behind the Bruce Willis scarer “The Sixth Sense.” With Kubrick’s vale still playing Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Peru to uneven interest, the Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman pairing took $7.4 million altogether over the weekend, bringing the international cume to $63.6 million.

Bowing on top in Taiwan with $806,000 off 18, the second-biggest September opening for that market ever behind “Saving Private Ryan,” the ghostly “Sense” also remained in first place across South Korea (up 44% with $912,000), Singapore (down 39% on $277,000) and Hong Kong (down 33% for $1.8 million). Pic’s overall weekend gross of $2.7 million brings the international cume to $7.5 million, with “Sense” due to bow Oz in two weeks.