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Big bucks for yuks o’seas

Auds drawn to 'Scary Movie,' 'Starsky,' 'Scooby'

Comedy was king over the weekend overseas as the Easter vacation saw “Scary Movie 3” wow auds in Spain, “Starsky & Hutch” captivate Aussies and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” draw armies of kids in Europe and Latin America. For more adult tastes, “The Passion of the Christ” experienced upswings in Brazil and Argentina and good holds in Europe and Asia. “Scary Movie 3” gave Miramax its best-ever opening in Spain, toppling “Chicago,” as the horror spoof yocked up an estimated $5.4 million in five days on 424 screens.

“Scary 3” cume vaulted to approximately $105 million, with Japan ahead. “Starsky & Hutch” collared roughly $2.6 million in Australia, a clear No. 1, and a fair $200,000 in Argentina. Warners reported the “Scooby” sequel rang up $15.5 million at the weekend, elevating cume to $44.7 million. Europe generated $10.3 million, including France’s sturdy $2.7 million on 583 screens, 22% below the original’s bow.

‘Scooby’ strong in U.K.

The Mystery Inc. gang ruled the U.K., devouring an estimated $4.2 million in its soph session, level with the first weekend sans sneaks, upping the market total to a terrif $16.5 million. “Scooby” eased by just 4% in its second sojourn in Spain, minting $1 million, bringing the territory tally to a decent $2.8 million. The family pic rustled up $1.4 million in Mexico, snaring $5.2 million in 10 days, and $853,000 in Brazil, off just 10% from its debut, banking $2 million to date.

Mel Gibson’s “Passion” spiked up by 15% in its fourth weekend in Brazil (still No. 1), spurring the market total to a socko $10.8 million, and by 6% in its third in Argentina, cuming $3.3 million. Through its second chapters, religious drama has commanded $1.5 million in Hong Kong (easing by just 9%), $1.5 million in the Philippines and $1.2 million in Singapore (down 28%). Entering its second weekend in Spain, crucifixion saga jumped by about 50% on Friday, and some execs were projecting a three-day harvest of $3.2 million.

‘Passion’ not fading

“Christ” launched Wednesday in Italy and while no estimates were available Sunday, consensus amongst international distribs is that the film will have done massive business over the Easter frame.

The Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore combo in “50 First Dates” appealed to the Brits as the pic wooed $3.1 million on 319, with previews, slightly below the bow of “Anger Management” but ahead of “Runaway Bride.” Romantic comedy courted a solid $1.5 million in five days on 338 in Mexico and fetched an impressive $6.8 million through its third in Oz.

Beginning its offshore adventures, “Hellboy” mustered a fine $560,000 on 38 in Singapore and $255,000 on 17 in the Taiwan capital Taipei, hitting No. 1 in both. After a fair start to its international campaign in Russia, Johnny Depp starrer “Secret Window” opened in Oz, capturing a respectable $930,000 on 197. “Gothika” climbed to $65.6 million purely from holdovers, surpassing domestic’s $59.6 million. Aiding that effort was the U.K.’s nifty $6.2 million in 10 days, falling by a reasonable 38%.

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