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‘Toy 2’ is story in overseas box office

Disney pic closing in on $500 mil, 'Scream 3,' 'Sunday' score

The star of the overseas box office over the weekend was BVI’s “Toy Story 2,” which in a $9 million weekend, blew all competish aside in Japan to bow with a top spot $3.8 million from 364 prints.

It was the biggest bow ever for a U.S. animated pic there, pushing aside by 80% Disney stablemate “The Lion King,” which had held the record for six years, while also logging in as BVI’s second best Nippon bow after “Armageddon.” In a busy week leading into school vacations, the Disney/Pixar computer animation elbowed aside three other local rivals for the prize, doubling its nearest direct competitor, “2000 Doraemon,” the 21st installment of a popular Nippon animation franchise.

The Japanese bow pushed pic’s foreign cume to $186.5 million (with the U.K. accounting for a huge $62 million of that), 10% ahead of the original. Having passed the original’s worldwide tally by 20%, pic is now the 27th most-popular film released, with a cume of $427.8 million, which should reach $500 million.

Among the frame’s foreign debutantes, Miramax’s “Scream 3” spooked a good $208,000 from 20 Singapore screens, while WB’s “Any Given Sunday” was the best freshman in Germany and Austria, taking a so-so $896,205 from 380 prints, behind top spot stayer Mandalay/UIP’s “Sleepy Hollow” (cume: $78.5 million), but ahead of Sony’s “Bicentennial Man” (cume: $19.1 million), which laffed a lukewarm $654,955 from 330 copies.

‘Beach’ landing

In a $7 million weekend, Fox’s “The Beach” (cume: $64.5 million) bowed top spot in Australia, with $1.1 million from 225 sites, ahead of $165,184 from 48 copies for Sony’s “The End of the Affair” (cume: $7.8 million) and a poor $59,455 from 51 screens for “Magnolia” (cume: $6.5 million). “The Beach” also took pole position in Thailand ($545,145 from 120 prints), Israel ($222,955 from 30 houses) and Iceland ($39,730 from four igloos), while earning $51,135 from 10 sites in Lebanon.

In an otherwise patchy frame, Miramax’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (cume: $23.4 million) charmed a so-so $904,000 from 418 houses in France, behind local top spot stayer “Le Gout des Autres,” while earning a good $370,000 and $90,000 from 42 and 18 sites in Belgium and Singapore, respectively, but a poor $60,000 from 50 venues in Turkey.

In Italy, UIP/WB’s “The Green Mile” (cume: $38.1 million) bowed second spot, behind stayer “The Bone Collector” (cume: $61.1 million), with $1.2 million from 207 cinemas, ahead of $340,000 from 84 orphanages for Miramax’s “The Cider House Rules” (cume: $4.6 million). “Green Mile” took $198,010 from 39 Dutch screens. “Green Mile” also bowed top spot in Taiwan, with $470,000 from 16 sites, ahead of “Magnolia’s” blah $59,250 from 41 prints. “Green Mile” bowed tops in Hong Kong and Malaysia, with $260,965 and $31,730 from 25 and 18 prints, respectively.

“The Whole Nine Yards” bowed top spot in Spain (with an estimated $917,650 from 207 prints), ahead of $429,255 from 149 sites for Sony’s “Girl, Interrupted” (cume: $2.6 million), which also nabbed $2981,406 from 100 theaters in Mexico, where UIP’s “Being John Malkovich” (cume: $1.9 million) laffed $53,530 from 30 sites.

‘Kings’ hold court

Also in Mexico, WB’s “Three Kings” (cume: $31.7 million) grabbed $450,660 from 250 locales, while bowing top spot in Finland, with $83,715 from 16 theaters and taking $204,240 from 25 venues in Norway and $158,375 from 40 screens in Sweden (for George Clooney’s best-ever bow there).

BVI/Spyglass’ “The Insider” (cume: $14.2 million) conspired $700,000 from 185 cinemas to be the best of a soft bunch of freshmen in the U.K., ahead of $295,735 from 50 screens for New Line’s “Next Friday,” a poor $211,780 from 198 venues for UIP’s “Whatever Happened to Harold” and a blah $151,155 from 55 screens for Sony’s “The Messenger: The Story Joan of Arc” (which took a better $244,200 from 29 Filipino sites to put the cume at $45.1 million). “The Insider” also earned a so-so $95,000 from 27 houses in South Korea, $48,000 from 15 sites in Norway and a poor $17,000 from 10 screens in Denmark.

Fox’s “Boys Don’t Cry” (cume: $1.6 million) shocked a good $114,876 from 25 theaters in Brazil and $37,171 from eight venues in Argentina, where BVI’s “The Hurricane” nabbed $168,000 from 50 sites. UIP’s “American Beauty” (estimated cume: $111.5 million) bowed top spot in Slovenia, with $45,090 from four houses, while taking $39,870 from 14 sites in Indonesia, where Sony’s “Stuart Little” (cume: $34.9 million) nabbed $54,950 from 31 screens and $178,530 from 55 Turkish theaters. UIP’s “Double Jeopardy” (cume: $38.6 million) actioned $78,233 from 19 copies in Hungary, while Fox’s “Anna and the King” (cume: $69.1 million) mustered $64,765 from 30 palaces in Denmark.

Meantime, BVI/Spyglass’ “The Sixth Sense” edged toward $350 million overseas with a cume of $348.3 million.

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