Giants dominating foreign B.O.

'Matrix,' 'Bruce,' 'Nemo' find auds o'seas

This truly is the era of the tentpole overseas, as at home, with one giant pic dominating biz in most major territories. Last weekend the stand-outs were “The Matrix Reloaded” in Japan, “2 Fast 2 Furious” in Australia, “Bruce Almighty” in Brazil, Hong Kong and Thailand and “Finding Nemo” in South Korea and Singapore.

Illustrating that trend, 10 U.S. films have crossed $100 million internationally this year, but only a handful including “Daredevil,” “The Hours,” “Maid in Manhattan” and “The Jungle Book 2” have minted more than $50 million.

“Reloaded” downloaded an estimated $42.3 million from more than 9,400 screens in 63 territories, including sneaks in Japan, propelling cume to $300.6 million, zooming past the original “Matrix’s” $289 million lifetime total.

Record in Japan

The Japanese bow of $18.7 million on 631 screens, including $7.5 million from previews May 24 and May 31, was a territory record, 7% bigger than “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” The $11.2 million weekend, sans sneaks, was the market’s third-biggest ever behind the two “Potter” pics.

Among the sci-fier’s stellar totals are the U.K.’s $43.5 million, France’s $31.3 million and Germany’s $28.4 million (both estimates as Monday was a public holiday) and Australia’s $17.4 million. Also noteworthy are Italy’s $15.5 million, Spain’s $15.3 million, Korea’s $15.1 million and Mexico’s $10.8 million.

Japanese distrib Gaga’s gambit of launching “The Core” against the “Matrix” sequel misfired as the space saga unearthed a measly $615,000 on 37 screens in nine key cities.

Down Under, “2 Fast” was 2 good, drumming up $3.8 million in four days on 301, commanding 50% of the entire market. That was Universal’s fourth-largest opening weekend behind “Jurassic Park: The Lost World,” “Twister” and “Liar Liar” and 119% bigger than the “The Fast and the Furious.” With a public holiday Monday, U/UIP was projecting a five-day take of $4.5 million, which would beat the predecessor by 140%.

‘Bruce’ scores

“Bruce Almighty” divined $1.5 million on 241 in Brazil, hailed by BVI as a record for a U.S. comedy locally and the distrib’s second-biggest ever, trailing “The Lion King.” Laffer also posted personal bests for topliner Jim Carrey in Hong Kong ($910,000 on 25, 40% bigger than “The Mask”) and Thailand ($560,000 on 98, 132% ahead of “Mask”). “Bruce” reigned again in Italy, picking up $2.5 million (abating by 27%), bringing the 10-day tally to a celestial $8.6 million.

Disney/Pixar’s “Nemo” had a whale of a time in South Korea, catching $1.8 million on 124 and in Singapore with $570,000 on 33, in both, setting all-time toon records in local currency, outrunning “Shrek” by 9% and “Dinosaur” by 15%.

Remarkably, the fish tale jumped by 46% in its soph session in Malaysia, taking $370,000, upping the total to $780,000; it’s a couple of days away from overtaking “Mulan” to rank as the market’s highest-grossing animated pic.

‘Anger’ shows promise

“Anger Management” confronted an estimated $8.5 million on 3,100 screens in 28 countries, elevating the cume to $29 million, with six major markets ahead. The Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson starrer nabbed a uniformly solid $2.9 million on 529 in the U.K., $1.55 million on 417 in Spain, $1.16 million on 337 in Mexico (No. 1, ahead of “Reloaded’s” third lap), and $703,000 on 104 in South Korea.

The comedy was all but ignored in France, managing just $675,000 on 523, but more warmly received in Holland ($200,000 on 87) and South Africa ($190,000 on 72).

“Bringing Down the House” is demonstrating there’s room for middle-ground pix, taking $1.2 million in its second weekend in Blighty (dipping by 13%) for $3.9 million thus far. The Steve Martin/Queen Latifah headliner fell by a reasonable 35% in Mexico, unlocking $600,000 at the weekend and a tidy $2 million in 10 days.

Fox’s Danny Boyle-helmed horror item “28 Days Later” captured a fair $1.1 million on 251 in Germany after earning a handy $9.7 million in its native U.K. and corpsing in France; it’s collected just $14.4 million in 28 territories.