‘Christ’ nails big B.O. in Asia, Latin America

'Scooby' sequel ruled in U.K., received mixed results elsewhere

Transcending religions and cultures, “The Passion of the Christ” drew millions of adherents in Asia, Latin America, Spain and France over the weekend.

Mel Gibson’s religious drama rang up an estimated $2.3 million on 157 screens in South Korea, hailed by 20th Century Fox as the first time a U.S. pic has bowed at No. 1 this year in a market that’s been dominated by a string of local blockbusters.

Biblical epic nailed approximately $851,000 on 132 in the Philippines (the industry’s 10th biggest preem, commanding an extraordinary 74% of the territory’s B.O.), $579,000 on 39 in Hong Kong (the strongest debut for a U.S. studio release in ’04) and $549,000 on 32 in Singapore.

Through its third chapters, crucifixion saga has amassed $14.5 million in Mexico, ranking as Fox’s third-highest grosser of all time behind “Ice Age” and “Titanic,” and $7.9 million in Brazil, the distrib’s second biggest after “Titanic.”

Cume up to $39.5 mil

Fox reported the pic’s weekend haul at $9.2 million in its markets in Asia and Latin America, propelling cume to $39.5 million. That doesn’t include results in Australia and Europe.

No estimates were available for “Christ’s” debut in France after its $523,000 opening day last Wednesday, but based on its Friday-Saturday numbers in Spain, some execs were projecting a three-day tally of $3.6 million there.

In its soph sesh in the U.K., pic dipped by around 22% Friday-Saturday, suggesting a weekend harvest of around $2.3 million.

“Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” was unleashed in 27 markets, grossing $15.7 million, according to Warners’ Sunday estimates. Family pic ruled the U.K., mustering a terrif $6.3 million on 402, including sneaks, and Mexico, devouring $2.5 million.

Sequel’s results elsewhere were mixed, ranging from Spain’s solid $1.1 million, Australia’s $1 million and Brazil’s $940,000 to Germany’s blah $516,000.

‘Cat’ weak in U.K.

“The Cat in the Hat” proved stiff competition for “Scooby” Down Under, minting $1.17 million, 56% better than “The Grinch” bow. But “Cat” was dogged by Warner’s pic in Blighty, fetching $3.2 million on 457, including previews. The Mike Myers starrer tanked in France, managing just $225,000.

“Gothika” scored an estimated $2.2 million on 308 in the U.K, $275,000 on 51 in Sweden and a soft $145,000 on 72 in South Korea. Halle Berry starrer minted $5.5 million at the weekend. Cume reached $57.5 million and will soon overtake domestic’s $59.6 million.

“Dawn of the Dead” scared up a fair $660,000 on 203 in Mexico, with sneaks, and fell by an acceptable 35% to $1.7 million in the U.K., bringing its 10-day tally to an impressive $6.5 million.

Strong word of mouth kept “50 First Dates” atop the Aussie B.O. as the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore headliner wooed $1.9 million in its second stanza (off just 11%) , hiking the market total to $4.8 million.

“Along Came Polly” whistled up an estimated $5 million in 32 countries, raising cume to $69 million, led by the U.K.’s $14.4 million, Germany’s $10.9 million and Spain’s $5.1 million.

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