‘Mission’ in control o’seas

Pic strong in foreign territories, but B.O. iffy about 'Me'

Potent preems by “Mission: Impossible 2,” “Gladiator” and “Scream 3” put some much-needed bounce into the foreign wickets last weekend, although “Me Myself & Irene” had tepid receptions in its first foreign dates.

Jim Carrey’s star power did not count for much as “Irene” opened in pole position in Australia with $946,000 in four days on 253 and in third spot in France (distantly trailing “Gladiator” and local laffer “Jet Set” in its second lap) at $682,000 on 485. In both markets that was well below the entries of “Liar Liar.”

Carrey on

In Singapore, the pic took a modest $221,000 on 30.

One Oz exhib, who rated the figures as very disappointing, opined that Carrey’s caper underlined the risks of releasing films day-and-date with domestic. But Fox execs said research showed awareness was an above-average 85% on opening day, although they conceded want-to-see was no better than average.

The “Mission” sequel hauled in $10.3 million from 1,451 engagements in 12 countries, elevating the cume to $36.4 million. John Woo’s pyrotechnics illuminated Mexico with $2.5 million in three days on 565 screens, the territory’s biggest non-holiday bow in history and the fifth-best ever, and captured $1.8 million in four days on 59 in Hong Kong.

The New Zealand bounty of $384,000 in four days on 46 was UIP’s second-largest of all time behind “Jurassic Park.” Figures for Brazil’s opening stanza were not available.

The Tom Cruise starrer had good-to-great holds in its soph sessions in South Korea, tallying $6.2 million to date (off 18%), Taiwan ($4.5 million, down 38%) and Argentina ($3.1 million, sliding 34%).

‘Glad’ tidings

“Gladiator” raked in $12.7 million in 24 countries, propelling the cume to $156.7 million. Ridley Scott’s epic galvanized France, scoring $4.2 million in six days on 701 (UIP did not report comparative data) and Belgium, minting $638,000 in five days on 67 (the best bow of the year and UIP’s fifth-highest).

Pic eased by 26% in Japan, fetching a solid but not extraordinary $5.4 million in nine days, and in neighboring Korea abated by just 1%, nabbing a socko $7.5 million in 23 days.

“Scream 3” wowed Germany with $3.7 million on 826 plus $520,000 in previews; its cume is $58.4 million.

In its first European appearance, “Big Momma’s House” was clobbered by the critics in the U.K. and ponied up a moderate $1.1 million on 328, unable to unseat “Gladiator” from its perch in its seventh joust.

‘Little’ big man in Spain

“Stuart Little” triumphed in Spain, notching $1.3 million in three days on 304; the cume is fast approaching $100 million, with $98.7 million in the till. The little critter’s last dates will be in Japan and the U.K. next month.

“Gone in 60 Seconds” drove into Singapore with $377,000 on 30 and Israel at $250,000 (on par with “Armageddon” in the latter) but looks like it’s running out of gas in Thailand where it managed just $107,000 on 88.

Happy toon

Early in their foreign campaigns, “Dinosaur” claimed $255,000 on 80 in South Africa (a toon record for BVI, outrunning “The Lion King” by 20%); “Shanghai Noon” took a forgettable $138,000 on 60 in Holland; and “Reindeer Games” had few takers in the U.K.

Asian auds are not hip to “Titan A.E.,” judging by its blah bow in the Philippines ($72,000 on 25) and its lowly $203,000 after its soph session in Singapore.

Continuing its nightmarish run, “28 Days” ventured into France, Portugal, Poland, Peru, Slovenia and Croatia with uniformly poor results; the cume is $16.9 million from 29 territories.

After a pebble-sized perf in Germany ($1.2 million in 18 days), “Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” rolled out in Oz with a mediocre $360,000 on 190, but UIP is looking for a lift as school kids are now vacationing.

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