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‘Men’ cruise o’seas

Sequel bow can't dim 'Report' B.O.

Those Men in Black looked sharp but weren’t quite as arresting in their first foreign engagements as at home last weekend, while the Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise combo wowed the U.K. and five other markets and the Jedis conquered Latin America and South Korea.

The “Men in Black” sequel amassed $11.7 million from top-ranked bows on a total of 1,129 screens in five territories. The Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones starrer nabbed $5.3 million on 537 prints in Japan, on par with the predecessor but merely the territory’s 18th-best opener ever. To be sure, the sci-fi comedy lost a chunk of its potential audience to the well-attended second weekend sneaks by “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones,” which launches this Saturday.

“MIB 2’s” results were stronger elsewhere, typified by Australia’s $3.5 million on 386 (No. 8 of all time), Russia’s $1.8 million on 150 (an industry record), New Zealand’s $730,000 on 65 (18% up on the original and the market’s fifth highest) and Colombia’s $340,000 on 37 (the seventh biggest).

Strong o’seas ‘Report’

The Spielberg-Cruise pairing in “Minority Report” paid off with a $12.7 million frame on 1,474 screens in 11 countries. The sci-fi/thriller pre-figured $6.8 million on 426 in Blighty, including previews, $1.1 million on 67 in Hong Kong (Fox’s second best bow behind “Independence Day”) and $860,000 on 200 in Thailand (also the distrib’s No. 2 ever). Also notable for “Minority” were Sweden’s $886,000 on 92, Singapore’s $569,000 on 45 and Malaysia’s $279,000 on 56. Just three weekends since its international campaign kicked off in Australia, the cume is $21 million.

“Attack of the Clones” marshaled $10.1 million from 3,600 screens, hoisting the foreign total to $227.5 million. George Lucas’ epic rang up a uniformly stellar $4.4 million on 715 in Mexico, $1 million on 475 in Brazil and $448,000 on 53 in Chile. Korea’s $2.7 million bounty on 165 ranks as a Fox record and the market’s fourth best in history.

Blasting off in Holland, its last major market, “Spider-Man” spun $1.1 million on 128, rated by Sony as the second highest opener ever behind “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The Sam Raimi helmed epic corralled $15.6 million from nearly 6,000 screens, propelling the cume to $326.1 million.

Fox’s “Ice Age” defrosted $442,000 on 104 in Belgium, the third highest toon debut, and improved by 7% in France, raking in a cool $5.7 million in 12 days; its cume topped $146 million.

‘Lilo’ tops Germany

Disney’s “Lilo & Sitch” fetched $2 million on 686 in Germany, good enough for No. 1 in a sluggish market, $1 million on 265 in Spain (trailing Spidey’s third orbit), $244,000 on 78 in Austria and $190,000 on 29 in Israel (the third highest animated bow). “Lilo” is sporting sturdy legs in its soph sessions in Mexico, tallying $5.6 million to date, $3.7 million in France and $1.3 million in Brazil.

At best, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” is second or third choice for vacationing kids, but it lassoed a decent $1 million on 391 in the U.K., including sneaks, and a so-so $195,000 on 53 in Taiwan, where “Scooby-Doo” and “Snow Dogs” also competed for youngsters. However the UIP/DreamWorks’ toon was whipped in Korea by the Jedis and the buoyant second outing of Japan’s “Spirited Away.” “Stallion” has roped in a handy $1.2 million in 11 days in Oz and $3 million through its third lap in Germany.

In its first foray outside Blighty, “Bend It Like Beckham” scored a terrif $594,000 on 62 Down Under, posting the frame’s fattest per-screen average and beating “Billy Elliot,” which bowed on 182.

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