Big ‘Momma’s’ foreign bow

Pic clicks in Mexico; 'Faith' fine abroad

In a very patchy weekend at the foreign box office, when complete figures from vacationing Western Europe and Australia were hard to come by, Fox’s “Big Momma’s House” got its foreign campaign off to a mirthfully fine start in Latin America, laffing $1.7 million from four bows.

The Martin Lawrence comedy started in top spot in Mexico, with $842,550 from 230 sites, Puerto Rico ($360,010 from 43 prints) and Jamaica ($59,200 from five theaters), while preeming in second spot in Brazil, behind stayer “Gladiator,” with $438,146 from 160 screens, ahead of fellow freshmen UIP’s “Pitch Black” (cume: $2.4 million) with $99,525 from 46 ships and BVI/Spyglass’ “Keeping the Faith” (cume: $1.8 million), with $250,000 from 80 synagogues (which was 50% greater than “Sister Act”).

“Keeping the Faith” also laffed a great $830,000 from 164 churches for second spot Down Under (an equal perf with the bow of “Sister Act”) and giggled $66,000 from 22 prints in Portugal and $90,000 from eight screens in South Korea, where New Line’s “Final Destination” (cume: $16.9 million) landed a good $316,815 from 55 ports.

Day and date with its domestic outing, BVI staged its second biggest bow ever, behind “Armageddon,” in New Zealand with $231,000 from 40 cinemas for “Gone in Sixty Seconds” in the biggest Kiwi bow so far this year, setting new records there for the preem of a Nicolas Cage starrer.

‘Shanghai’ in Singapore

In a $1.2 million weekend, BVI/Spyglass’ “Shanghai Noon” (cume: $4.2 million) wowed a top spot $513,000 from 32 screens to nab 40% of all weekend biz in Singapore, where UIP’s “The Road to El Dorado” had an OK foreign preem, taking $87,205 from 24 sites, while earning $96,579 from 48 venues in Colombia.

WB’s “Three to Tango” (cume: $5.3 million) preemed in second spot, behind “Gladiator,” in Spain with $714,505 from 148 venues, while flirting an estimated $117,285 from 20 Belgian copies and $106,235 from 45 screens in South Africa, where it knocked UIP’s “Gladiator” out of top spot, although “Gladiator” (cume: $115.8 million) battled a fine $335,805 from 76 stadiums in the Philippines.

A tepid $533,802 from 229 sites for Fox’s “Drive Me Crazy” was actually the weekend’s best bow in the U.K., ahead of UIP’s “Return to Me” ($413,900 from 228 sites), FilmFour’s “Gangster No. 1” “Eye of the Beholder” and CTSI’s “Sweet and Lowdown.”

CTSI’s “Hanging Up” (cume: $12.8 million) dialed an estimated $470,000 from 550 screens in France, while, in a $2.7 million weekend, WB’s “Romeo Must Die” (cume: $17.1 million) opened second spot in Germany, behind “Gladiator,” with $1.9 million from 520 prints, outperforming “Broken Arrow” by 44%.

That’s possible

UIP’s ‘Mission: Impossible 2″ (cume: $7.9 million) wowed Israel, with $358,115 from 33 prints, and Indonesia, with $311,134 from 40 sites, while WB’s “Pokemon” (cume outside Asia: $77.9 million) played top spot in Turkey, with $266,473 from 45 sites and CTSI’s “28 Days” gulped $60,700 from 15 Taiwan theaters.

“Blue Streak” took an estimated $185,610 from 174 prints in Italy, where UIP’s “Return to Me” took a poor $61,290 from 94 prints, while UIP’s “Tea With Mussolini” (cume: $10.3 million) sipped $82,295 from 20 terraces in Argentina.

With German opening figures unavailable, UIP’s “Flintstones 2” took a poor $16,374 from 21 houses in Greece, while WB’s “Any Given Sunday” (cume: $23 million) had blah bows in Thailand and Peru, with $47,380 and $24,750 from 38 and 13 houses, respectively.

BVI/Spyglass’ “Mission to Mars” (estimated cume: $38 million) landed $10,000 from six screens in Slovenia, while holding top spot in its third lap in Japan, where it is proving pic’s most popular market, declining by only 12% for a local tally of $7.3 million, while New Line’s “American History X” (cume: $17.1 million) broke the $1 million mark after 16 weeks of limited release there.

But the Japanese weren’t so kind to Mutual’s “Man on the Moon” (cume: $11 million) as it continued its soft run, with $457,940 from 140 sites.

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