LONDON — “Pirates of the Caribbean” may have lost as much of 40% of its business in the U.K. due to the scorching weather. In Spain, where exhibs usually see one-third of their business head off to the beach in July and August, the drops were even more severe.

While the French flocked in record numbers to see “Terminator 3,” elsewhere they failed to follow the American custom of escaping to air-conditioned moviehouses.

The blazing temperatures also had an impact on French television: The heat, it seems, extended the reach of broadcasters outside the country, and thousands of Gallic TV fans were complaining that broadcasts from Eastern Europe were crashing in on their favorite programs.

In the wake of the record-breaking heat wave that has kept virtually all of Europe and the U.K. boiling for weeks, industryites are cautiously relieved that the biz damage appears to be limited largely to modest hits to exhibs’ bottom lines.

Other sectors of the Euro entertainment business actually saw upticks, as sweltering locals and tourists were searching for fun as well as relief from the heat. Outdoor entertainment saw the biggest boosts.

In the short term, and in most European cities, box office took the hardest hit, but it’s clear that not all of the news was bad.

Some cities have seen a positive historic shift in their summer fortunes. In Prague, where most of the multiplexes have been built in the past few years, one observer noted, “There isn’t much air conditioning except for the movie theaters, so you had a lot of people choosing movies as the best way to beat the heat.”

On the other hand, exhibitors may be using the inclement weather as an easy excuse for poor numbers. One booker in Spain noted, “The movies weren’t very good, which may have had as much impact as the weather.” More than one pundit questioned German producer-distributor Constantin’s citing of bad weather as a key factor in their poor sales reports.

Film production across Europe was generally unaffected; the exceptions were films that required different meteorological conditions for their subjects. Marketing coordinator Leigh Darilek of Prague production firm Stillking said its active lineup of commercial and film shoots was “not affected, since most of our commercials this summer have been studio shoots.” Not so fortunate was one of the key Prague shoots this summer, Terry Gilliam’s “Brothers Grimm,” which one insider noted “needed rain and horrible weather for their story.”

In France, despite conditions that led to medical emergencies and government vows to change the long-held tradition of doctors deserting their hospital posts for long summer breaks, both box office and film production purred along. The French Bureau de Film, which monitors the film production scene, reported no disruptions.

Traditionally, few shoots go on in France during the sacred summer holiday season. “Areas that tend to be popular locations for shoots tend to be too crowded and hot at the height of the holiday season,” Benoit Caron of the French Film Commission explained.

Not surprisingly, the summer outdoor concert season fared well, with music tours such as the Rolling Stones’ continent-crossing “Licks” tour posting huge receipts in Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands during the peak of the torrid weather. Robbie Williams crooned to over 400,000 fans across three sold-out nights at Knebworth. And at the annual Street Parade in Zurich on Aug. 9, nearly 1 million barely clothed revelers danced to one of the world’s biggest techno-music parties.

Al fresco moviegoers also saw the silver lining in the cloudless skies. At Switzerland’s Locarno Film Fest, 9,500 attended the “Calendar Girls” Euro preem in the Piazza Grande — an all-time high — and one fest regular noted, “This was the first Locarno in 10 years where not one of the Piazza Grande screenings got rained on.”

On the London legit front, numerous key theaters aren’t air-conditioned, and playgoing can make for a sweaty night out. So it isn’t surprising that the National Theater, with its three chilled auditoria, remains a destination of choice, even if a recent matinee of Katie Mitchell’s thrilling production of Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” had rows of empty seats.

Across the Thames, seats were readily available for virtually every show, as opposed to the six or seven sellouts that Broadway has seen in an unusually boisterous season.

Preferring to take the bullish view was composer-impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has three of his own shows on the West End (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Tell Me on a Sunday,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”) as well as “Bombay Dreams,” which he produced but did not write. “Some of the shows have had a very good summer,” said Lloyd Webber. ” ‘Phantom’ has had a really sold-out summer again.”

Lloyd Webber added that the long-running revival of “Chicago” “is doing $320,000 a week still, and ‘Mamma Mia!’ is going great guns.”

More exotically, film and stage maestro Franco Zeffirelli presented his “Aida” to a crowd of 16,000 on Aug. 10 in Verona, Italy’s ancient Roman amphitheater. The heat, described by one theatergoer as “volcanic,” was at least appropriate to the tale’s arid Egyptian setting.

(Matt Wolf, Alison James, John Hopewell, Ed Meza and Archie Thomas contributed to this report.)