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'Mission,' 'Storm' bows raise o'seas fortunes

Socko debuts by “Mission: Impossible 2” in France and Belgium combined with sturdy launches by “The Perfect Storm” in Japan, the U.K., South Korea and Hong Kong gave foreign wickets a much-needed boost last weekend.

“X-Men” and “Dinosaur” scored impressively in Asia, the former capturing a juicy $664,000 on 30 screens in Singapore, Fox Intl.’s third-biggest debut in that market, after ringing up a fine $4.9 million through its third lap Down Under.

“Dinosaur” bounded into the Philippines with $538,000 on 60, Disney’s No. 2 animated bow ever there behind “The Lion King,” and continued its hot streak in Mexico and Argentina, amassing $14.2 million and $6.6 million respectively in its fourth week. Cume is $60.1 million, with Europe and Japan to come in the fall.

Further down the achievement scale, “The Patriot” had fair-to-good preems in Holland, Sweden and a bunch of smaller markets. Judging by its less than stellar results to date, Roland Emmerich’s epic doesn’t look to be registering more strongly abroad than it has at home.

Leading the way

Still the pacesetter overseas, “Mission 2” minted $19.7 million from 3,818 engagements in 28 countries, hoisting the cume past domestic’s $211.3 million, to $219.8 million. John Woo’s actioner has an excellent shot at cracking $300 million in foreign, surpassing the original’s $286 million.

The Tom Cruise headliner detonated $6.8 million in five days on 759 in France, the market’s second-highest entry this year behind Gallic click “Taxi 2.”

“M:I2” also took $1.3 million on 72 screens in Belgium.

“The Perfect Storm” racked up $12.5 million from 2,273 screens in 17 territories, lifting the cume to $27.5 million. Wolfgang Petersen’s pic generated $3.6 million in two days on 290 in Japan., Warner Bros.’ second-biggest bow ever behind “The Matrix,” nearly 9% up on “Air Force One,” 62% ahead of “Gladiator” — but just 83% of “Twister.” Distrib believes the pic will have enough momentum to clock 2 billion yen ($18.3 million) in rentals. But it couldn’t dislodge “M:I2,” which reigned in its fourth weekend in Japan, towering at $49.1 million.

High on high seas

The high-seas thriller fetched $3.3 million in three days on 409 in the U.K., WB’s 10th-best opener there, commanding 29% of the total market. South Korea’s $911,000 on 60 ranks as Warner’s second-highest debut after “Matrix” and the industry’s 15th best of all time.

Pic took pole position in Hong Kong with $635,000 on 33.

“The Patriot” collared $7.8 million from 3,060 screens in 29 territories for a cume of $33.2 million. The Mel Gibson vehicle entered Holland in second spot (behind “Mission’s” fourth frame) with $275,000 on 62, and was No. 1 in Sweden at $256,000 on 84.

Similarly medium-level launches in Poland, Malaysia, Hungary, Portugal and Finland ponied up a combined $524,000. After good but not earth-shattering debuts, “Patriot” had reasonable holds in Australia (off 34%; tallying $3.3 million in 11 days), Brazil (down 21%; $2.6 million), Spain (sliding 32%; $2.8 million) and Argentina (dropping 27%; $2.9 million).

Cagey performance

“Gone in 60 Seconds” wowed Mexico with $1.4 million on 283, a personal best for Nicolas Cage, beating “Snake Eyes,” and raked in $545,000 on 28 in Hong Kong, BVI’s second-highest debut behind “Runaway Bride.” Cume is $25.8 million, with all of Europe and Japan ahead.

“Big Momma’s House” swung into Germany with a jolly $2 million on 606, bringing its cume to $20.4 million from 19 countries.

“Gladiator” conquered New Zealand, coining $642,000 on 59, an all-time record for Universal/UIP, just behind industry champ “Independence Day.” The cume topped $220 million.

“Titan A.E.” added to its woes by bombing in the U.K, Korea and Taiwan, and “Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” had soft landings in Blighty, Korea and Spain.

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