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U.S. films rev foreign B.O.

'Sixty Seconds' paces pack in o'seas surge

An infusion of new blood revived overseas B.O. last weekend as “Gone in Sixty Seconds” roared into four markets, “The Perfect Storm” stirred Mexico and Argentina, and “X-Men” and “Scary Movie” ran amok in Asia.

Adding momentum to a busy frame, “The Patriot” bowed with a bang in Germany and Austria, Aussie drama “Chopper” started strongly on home turf, and “Big Momma’s House” initialed reasonably well in France and Spain.

The summer season champ, “Mission: Impossible 2,” stole $11.9 million from 3,485 engagements in 25 countries, and its cume soared to $243.6 million.

Gallic drop

After stellar debuts, John Woo’s pyrotechnic pic tumbled by 45% in France, collaring $12.1 million in 12 days, and by 39% in Belgium for $2 million in the same period.

“Sixty Seconds” is elevating Nicolas Cage to another B.O. plane, scoring $2.6 million on 394 in the U.K. (surpassing “Face/Off,” the previous high for a Cage vehicle by nearly 10%), $1.4 million on 231 in Spain (4% up on “The Rock”) and $1.4 million on 255 in Brazil (smashing the record for a Jerry Bruckheimer production in local currency and ticket sales, topping “Armageddon.”) The Brazil entry also ranked as BVI’s No. 2 of all time, trailing “The Sixth Sense.”

The actioner raked in $1.1 million from just 16 locations in Taiwan, 10% better than “Face/Off” but below “Rock.” All told, the pic coined $8.6 million, elevating the cume to $37.4 million.

“Perfect Storm” whipped up $ 10.3 million, selling more than 2 million ducats for 2,704 screens in 20 markets, lifting the cume to $47.1 million. Wolfgang Petersen’s doomed boat steamed into Mexico with $1.3 million on 303, WB’s fourth-biggest preem in that territory, beating “The Matrix” by 34%.

Making waves

The George Clooney starrer gave Warner’s its best-ever catch in Argentina, notching $878,000 on 88, while the Philippines’ $528,000 on 68 was the distrib’s fifth highest.

After solid launches, “Storm” dipped by a reasonable 33% in Japan, minting $9.4 million in nine days; by 43% in the U.K., for $7.3 million in 10 days; and just 20% in South Korea, for $2.8 million in 10.

Early in its foreign rollout, “X-Men” captured $857,000 on 144 in Thailand (Fox’s second-biggest opening there) and a uniformly lively $643,000 on 30 in Hong Kong, $612,000 on 74 in Sweden, $360,000 on 58 in Malaysia and $207,000 on 30 in Chile. Its $3.4 million weekend haul brought the cume to $10.4 million.

“Scary Movie” seized pole position in Holland with $420,000 on 80 (albeit affected by a B.O. slump Saturday due to terrific weather) and Israel at $335,00 on 31.

Still firing away

“The Patriot” conjured up a very good but not exceptional $3.3 million on 737 in Germany, $508,000 on 81 in Austria, $238,000 on 49 in Denmark (No. 1 in each) and a soft $131,000 on 30 in Singapore (beaten by “X-Men” in its soph session and rookie “U-571”). The Mel Gibson starrer has harvested $9.7 million from 3,600 screens and its cume has climbed to $47.6 million.

“Chopper,” the bio of a real-life criminal toplining Eric Bana, generated a lot of publicity and want-to-see Down Under, paying off with $742,000 on 138 (plus $172,000 from the prior weekend’s sneaks), just ahead of “Patriot” in its third round and freshman “Frequency’s” $529,000 on 164.

“Big Momma’s House” laffed up $1.2 million on 363 in France (second behind “M:I2”) and $927,000 on 230 in Spain; cume is $26.2 million from 23 territories.

Entering Japan, its last major market assignation, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” saw a so-so $964,000 in two days on 190, placing third after “M:I2” (which has taken a phenom $56.8 million in 30 days) and “Perfect Storm.” Miramax is hoping the Matt Damon starrer will hold well as next weekend is a holiday and the audience is predominantly female. Cume is $43.4 million.

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