‘X2’ storms Russia

Sequel holds well in second week o'seas

“X2: X-Men United” registered Russia’s third-highest opening this weekend — $2.1 million from 175 screens — to cap a boffo $121 million international haul after 10 days.

Amid a soft frame before the day-and-date release this week of Warner’s “The Matrix Reloaded,” Fox’s “X-Men” sequel fell 44% but maintained market dominance in its second weekend.

The exception was Japan, where “Chicago” is still dancing up a storm in week four, as is local anime “Meitantei Conan.” “X2” took $1.6 million from 437 screens in Japan for a cume of $7.4 million, down 47% on last week. The territory’s other studio premiere, “Maid in Manhattan,” grossed an estimated $218,000 from 170.

“Maid’s” cume is now $64.5 million from 1,050 screens in 40 markets.

Toon competish

In Australia auds for “X2” may have been hit by Roadshow’s release of its “Matrix” animation package “The Animatrix.” Roadshow and the Motion Picture Distributors Assn. are mum on the figures for the Friday-Sunday release on approximately 40 screens, but exhibs reported “relatively strong” trade.

“X2” dropped 55% in Oz, taking $1.7 million from 359 screens; cume is now $7.2 million. Also in Oz, Miramax’s niche pickup “Whale Rider,” from New Zealand director Niki Caro, released wide on 203 screens for a strong $1.3 million haul.

In Blighty “X2” dropped 44%, earning about $4.9 million from 449 screens; cume is $21.5 million. Other debuts were frightener “Darkness Falls” and laffer “Old School,” which debuted strong — $1.7 million from 317 screens, including previews. “Darkness Falls” took $756,000 from 265. It fared better in Spain, where it drew $833,000 from 224 screens.

Spain recorded the best hold for “X2.” Week two auds were off 27%, and the pic grabbed $1.7 million from 378 screens; cume is $7.3 million. Across the border in France, the weekend tally was $4 million on 701, a 38% drop for a cume of $12.3 million. In Brazil, the Bryan Singer-helmed mutant movie earned $1.1 million from 426; cume is $4.2 million. And in Mexico “X2” took $1.6 million from 730, down 54%. Cume south of the border is about $8.8 million.

‘Anger’ is healthy

In Germany, “Anger Management” opened at No. 1 through Saturday but fell behind “X2” as the weekend progressed. Sony’s Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson laffer took $2.2 million from 860 in four days. “X2” was down 54% to approximately $2.8 million from 907. Cume there is now $10.6 million.

“Anger Management” amassed $279,000 from 75 in three days in Austria and $244,000 from 36 screens in four days in Switzerland.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” released in China but no figures are available, partly due to the SARS scare, which has closed theaters in Beijing.

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