‘X-Men’ excels in Mex market

Woo wows, 'Storm' howls as U.S. summer pics grab foreign coin

Hot weather and mostly indifferent product stifled the cinema biz in most of Europe last week while “X-Men” captured two Latin territories and South Korea, “The Perfect Storm” stirred France and “Gone in 60 Seconds” saw high-octane launches in Holland and Belgium.

Don’t blame “Mission: Impossible 2” for the B.O. blahs, as John Woo’s actioner amassed $16.5 million last week, propelling cume to $267.8 million. Adding to its string of stellar preems, “M:I 2” caught $609,000 in six days on 70 screens in Poland, UIP’s third-biggest opener ever there.

‘Men’ on the move

“X-Men” bagged $3.1 million in six days from 498 houses in Mexico, an all-time high in the territory for 20th Century Fox and an industry record for a live-action release (bettered only by “Dinosaur” and “Tarzan”).

Bryan Singer’s comic book-inspired caper minted $2.2 million in six days on 343 in Brazil, Fox’s second-biggest debut and the market’s third-best ever, and $1.8 million on 83 in South Korea, the distrib’s fourth highest. The sci-fier’s entry in Taiwan, however, wasn’t in the same class.

“X-Men” grabbed $10.3 million from 1,694 engagements in 17 countries, lifting cume to $22.1 million.

“Perfect Storm” tossed up $15.7 million from 3,353 screens in 27 markets, hoisting the total to $70.5 million. The George Clooney starrer fetched $2.6 million on 692 in France, but the figure was inflated by previews and some exhibs were expecting more.

Pic’s $495,000 on 46 in Venezuela was a company record for WB and the industry’s second best behind “Phantom Menace,” and Portugal’s $380,000 on 50 gave the distrib its No. 2 all-time preem there after “The Matrix.”

Wolfgang Petersen’s epic had buoyant bows in South Africa and Finland and saw a big uptick in Japan from the Obon vacation, ringing up $17.1 million in 20 days.

“Sixty Seconds” roared into Belgium with $738,000 on 67, 70% ahead of “Face/Off”; in Holland, it revved up $531,000 in three days on 88, beating “Con Air” by 20%, just 7% below “Armageddon.”

The Nicolas Cage vehicle had pretty good soph sessions in the U.K., Spain, Brazil and Taiwan, and cume hit $51.5 million.

“Gladiator” ascended to $234 million and racked up a rousing $816,000 in 10 days on 113 in China.

A smash in its native U.K., “Chicken Run” flew into Germany and Portugal with fairly impressive numbers.

Early in its foreign campaign, “Scary Movie” whipped up a jolly $489,000 in six days on 36 in Denmark and held strongly in its soph sessions in Israel, tallying $916,000 (off 18%) and Holland for $956,000 (abating by 22%).

“The Patriot” collected an estimated $8.1 million from sturdy openings in the Philippines, Norway, New Zealand and several other territories, plus holdovers; cume reached $60.7 million.

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