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Trio’s o’seas splash

U.S. hits shift into high gear in B.O. race

Big bows by “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Big Momma’s House,” “X-Men” and “The Perfect Storm” made for a lively frame at the overseas box office, while “Scary Movie” spoofed its way onto the overseas screen.

Miramax’s “Scary Movie” (cume: $1 million) overcame great weather to seize pole position in Holland, with $420,000 from 80 houses, and laff a record bow in Israel, with $335,000 from 31 sites.

BVI’s “Gone in 60 Seconds” (cume: $40.3 million) staged top-spot bows and the biggest-ever opening for a Nicolas Cage pic in the U.K. and Brazil ($2 million from 255 copies), while grabbing $1.1 million from just 16 venues in its No. 1 Taiwanese preem.

In one of the frame’s few heavyweight tussles, “Gone” emerged bigger in Spain than Fox’s “Big Momma’s House” (cume: $28.2 million), which also laffed $402,890 from 50 Belgian houses but took a poor $76,825 from 50 Polish prints.

“Momma” clinched the No. 2 spot in France, way ahead of New Line’s “Frequency,” but behind UIP sophomore “Mission: Impossible 2,” which fell 43%. “M:I2” is now just shy of a $250 million foreign cume, with a huge $56.8 million coming from Japan, where “Pokemon 3” has grossed $25.9 million.

Also in Japan, Miramax’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (estimated cume: $44 million) charmed a so-so $964,000 in two days on 190, while BVI/

Spyglass’ “Shanghai Noon” (cume: $14.2 million) took a fair $1 million from 131 prints. Latter pic set a Jackie Chan record in Korea, with $648,000 from 79 sites.

Sony’s “The Patriot” (cume: $47.7 million) marched out a lukewarm but still No.1 $3.8 million from 818 German theaters, $238,000 from 49 Danish houses and $131,000 from 30 in Singapore, where “U-571” periscoped a great $414,450 from 24 subs.

Solid ‘X’-posure

Fox’s “X Men” (cume: $11.3 million) animated an excellent $1 million from 144 Thai theaters, $841,160 from 30 Hong Kong houses and $804,850 from 74 Swedish venues, as well as a very good $385,805 from 58 Malaysian locales and $208,985 from 30 in Chile.

“The Perfect Storm” (cume: $52.9 million) grossed $1.8 million from 303 Mexican theaters and gave WB its best-ever catch in Argentina, notching $1.1 million from 88 nets, while surfing $719,505 from 68 waves in the Philippines. George Clooney-starrer also took $985,280 in its first day in France, where the thesp is popular.

Palace/Beyond’s “Chopper,” the bio of a real-life criminal toplining Eric Bana, generated a lot of publicity and want-to-see buzz Down Under, paying off with a No. 1 bow ahead of “Frequency” (cume: $4.7 million) and UIP’s “Return to Me” (cume: $2.3 million).

BVI/Spyglass’ “Keeping the Faith” (cume: $11.8 million) laffed a good $485,000 from 47 houses in Argentina and $20,000 from three Icelandic screens. Fox’s “Me, Myself & Irene” (cume: $28.2 million) guffawed $112,615 from just 14 Russian venues and $278,764 from 73 in South Africa, where UIP’s “Galaxy Quest” (cume: $18.7 million) laffed $71,780 from 36 sites.

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