O’seas B.O. plays in Lawrence’s ‘House’

Fox comedy tickles Latam; 'Faith' high

With heat, holidays and soccer distracting much of Europe, it was a very patchy frame at the foreign box office, although “Big Momma’s House” got its foreign campaign off to a fine start in Latin America and “Keeping the Faith” was the lap’s other unqualified success.

Fox’s “Momma” bowed in the top top spot in Mexico, with $1 million from 230 sites, Puerto Rico ($474,405 from 43 prints) and Jamaica ($59,200 from five theaters).

It preemed in second place in Brazil, behind stayer “Gladiator,” with $585,250 from 160 screens, ahead of fellow freshmen BVI/Spyglass’ “Keeping the Faith” (cume: $2.1 million), with $250,000 from 80 synagogues.

“Faith” laffed a great bow Down Under (an equal perf with the bow of “Sister Act”) and giggled $90,000 from 22 Portuguese prints and $94,000 from eight screens in South Korea, where New Line’s “Final Destination” (cume: $17.4 million) landed a good $316,815 from 55 ports.

Also in Oz, CTSI’s “Bats” (cume: $7 million) didn’t gain altitude, while Brit import “East Is East” (cume: $22.54 million) had a great limited bow.

Day and date with its domestic outing, “Gone in 60 Seconds” marked BVI’s second-biggest preem ever in New Zealand (behind “Armageddon”) with $291,0000 from 40 cinemas. Pic marked the biggest Kiwi bow so far this year, setting new records there for the preem of a Nicolas Cage starrer.

‘Noon’ nabs 40%

BVI/Spyglass’ “Shanghai Noon” (cume: $4.6 million) took in $697,000 from 32 screens to nab a No. 1 spot and 40% of all weekend biz in Singapore. The three-week take of $1.2 million for Disney stablemate “Dinosaur” puts that pic on track to easily elbow aside “The Lion King” (which grossed $1.8 million there in 12 laps) as the island’s biggest-ever animation release. Also in Singapore, UIP’s “The Road to El Dorado” mapped a foreign preem of $130,830 from 24 stations.

WB’s “Three to Tango” (cume: $5.8 million) preemed in second spot, behind “Gladiator,” in Spain, while flirting $171,300 from 20 Belgian copies and $124,275 from 45 screens in South Africa, where it knocked UIP’s “Gladiator” out of the top spot, although “Gladiator” (cume: $126.5 million) battled a fine $746,500 from 76 venues in the Philippines.

“Tango” (retitled “Appointment for Three”) and “Blue Streak” (retitled “From Thief to Policeman”) wilted in sweltering heat in Italy, where UIP’s “Return to Me,” Medusa’s “200 Cigarettes,” Cecchi Gori’s “Poodle Springs” (retitled “Marlowe”) and CTSI’s “Bossa Nova” were best forgotten, although Mikado’s Cuban tale “Life Is to Whistle” made an arthouse mark.

‘Drive Me’ nowhere

A tepid turn for Fox’s “Drive Me Crazy” was actually the best bow in the soccer-obsessed U.K., ahead of below-par outings for UIP’s “Return to Me,” Film Four’s “Gangster No. 1” and “Eye of the Beholder,” although “Sweet and Lowdown” made an arthouse dent.

CTSI’s “Hanging Up” (cume: $12.8 million) got no dialtone in France, where Lions Gate’s “American Psycho” (estimated cume: $7.6 million) was the week’s best bow. WB’s “Romeo Must Die” (cume: $19.5 million) opened second spot in Germany, behind “Gladiator,” but outperformed “Broken Arrow’s” bow by 44%.

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