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‘Hulk’ smashes Asian box office

'Bruce,' 'Daddy' also pull viewers o'seas

This article was corrected on June 23, 2003.

It was bulk “Hulk” in Southeast Asia over the weekend while “2 Fast 2 Furious” took line honors across a big chunk of Europe.

Adding more muscle to the frame, “Bruce Almighty” conquered Australia and “Daddy Day Care” drew lots of ankle-biters in its first offshore appearances in Mexico and Brazil.

“The Hulk” took an explosive $700,000 from 39 playdates in Hong Kong, slightly ahead of “X2’s” recent bow and double that of “Gladiator.”

Helmer Ang Lee’s epic posted Universal’s seventh-highest preem ever in Singapore, garnering an estimated $580,000 at 28, and the distrib’s fourth best in Malaysia with $525,000 on 38.

The Eric Bana/Jennifer Connelly starrer captured approximately $672,000 on 43 in the Philippines (Universal’s eighth largest debut) and $630,000 on 181 in Thailand (its seventh biggest).

All told, the big green guy scored an estimated $3.1 million from 325 screens in five markets, auguring well as it rolls into 12 countries next weekend including Australia, Taiwan and Latin America.

“For markets where ‘The Hulk’ has small, cult-type awareness, these results are awesome and a great start for the film internationally,” said Randy Greenberg, senior VP of international marketing and distribution for Universal Pictures.

Stablemate “2 Fast 2 Furious” collared an estimated $21.7 million from 2,914 engagements in 19 territories, driving the cume to $34.2 million, with 70% of foreign markets still to open.

John Singleton-helmed actioner drew roughly $5.2 million on 507 in Germany, commanding 35% of the market’s B.O. and doubling the preem of “The Fast and the Furious.”

“2 Fast” nabbed an estimated $4.6 million on 414 in the U.K. (86% ahead of the original); $2.5 million on 448 in France (55% bigger); $1.2 million on 287 in Spain (75% ahead); and $1.1 million on 168 in Italy (65% better).

Paul Walker vehicle fetched $830,000 on 83 in Holland (eclipsing the first pic by 250%), $800,000 on 72 in Austria (twice as big), and $850,000 on 39 in Belgium (more than double).

Pic has racked up $7.3 million through its third lap Down Under and $4.3 million in 10 days in Mexico.

“Bruce Almighty” conjured up $3.6 million in Oz, a personal best for Jim Carrey, a tad bigger than “Liar Liar.”

Eddie Murphy starrer “Daddy Day Care” was a strong No. 2 behind “2 Fast” in Mexico, picking up $1.1 million (50% bigger than “Dr. Dolittle”), and No. 2 in Brazil with $530,000, including Thursday sneaks.

Excluding previews, the opening was 18% ahead of the debut of “The Nutty Professor” and more than double “Dr. Dolittle.”

“The Matrix Reloaded’s” estimated cume levitated to $377.2 million, powered by a $6.6 million payload in its third orbit in Japan, bringing the local total to a socko $53.3 million.

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