‘Kill’ finds its mark

Tarantino pic tops 'Passion' in weak o'seas B.O.

“Kill Bill Vol. 2” was the top gun overseas last weekend, ending “The Passion of the Christ’s” five-week winning streak, in a frame that saw ticket sales in Europe plummet as many folks enjoyed the hot, sunny weather.

Miramax’s splatterfest drummed up an estimated $18.5 million on around 2,500 screens in 21 markets, outgunning the first edition everywhere except Japan (where it was surprisingly aced by Disney’s debutante “The Haunted Mansion”), Holland, Belgium and Denmark.

The sequel captured $5 million on 411 prints in the U.K., with previews (in local currency 4% bigger than the original), $2.8 million on 516 in Germany, also with sneaks (40% higher), $2.3 million on 201 in Australia (35% to the good) and $1.9 million on 346 in Italy (15% up). Vengeance tale also ruled in Holland ($428,000 on 103), Scandinavia (a combined $1.1 million), Belgium ($328,000 on 48), the Czech Republic and Israel.

Some execs were scratching their heads over “Bill’s” muted $1.7 million entry on 319 in Japan, which in dollars was around 47% below “Vol. 1.” “Haunted Mansion” snared $4.7 million on 450 in Japan, BVI’s eighth-biggest preem in the territory and in yen 8% below “Pirates of the Caribbean.” However, Disney’s Haunted Mansion theme park attraction that inspired the pic is one of the most popular at Tokyo Disneyland.

Heading to $100 mil

The Eddie Murphy starrer’s cume raced past domestic’s $75.5 million to $78.3 million, on track to hit $100 million. “Mansion” has been a consistent crowd-pleaser in Europe, Mexico and Australia, but soft in the rest of Asia.

“Passion” commanded an estimated $8 million in 54 markets, including Thailand’s solid $225,000 bow in 70, and its cume levitated to $206.4 million, with Japan ahead. Mel Gibson’s drama plunged by 66% in its third chapter in Italy, drawing $1.35 million, bringing its market total to a stellar $23.6 million and making it the Crucifixion saga’s top territory.

“Starsky & Hutch” led the field in France, collaring $4.7 million on 612 (marking the third best debut locally by a U.S. release this year), Russia ($771,000 on 137) and New Zealand ($355,000 on 48). Cop caper fell heavily after middling preems in Spain (tallying $2.2 million in 10 days) and Mexico ($1.2 million in ditto). Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson headliner caught $9.2 million in 29 markets, elevating cume to $52.8 million.

“50 First Dates” wooed a pleasing $2.5 million on 664 in Germany and a top-ranked $982,000 on 288 in depressed Spain, $471,000 on 84 in Austria, $375,000 on 58 in Switzerland and $265,000 on 78 in Singapore (in the latter, easily beating “Bill.”) Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore vehicle fetched $7.8 million in 27 markets, boosting cume to $36.3 million, including the U.K.’s juicy $10 million through its third engagement, Australia’s $9.6 million and Mexico’s $3.9 million.

‘Hellboy’ charms

After conquering Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, “Hellboy” went 5-for-5, raising $695,000 on 116 in Thailand, a bit better than “The Hulk,” and $320,000 on 69 in the Philippines, outrunning “The Scorpion King.”

“Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” climbed to $76. 5 million in 55 territories, surpassing domestic, highlighted by the U.K.’s $25.7 million, Mexico’s $8.3 million and France’s $7.1 million. But Warners’ family canine has bombed in Germany, and it’s been fairly tame in Southeast Asia.

Testimony that Mexico has a bad case of the blahs, “Secret Window” opened at No. 1 there with an ordinary $628,000 on 300. Thriller was zapped in its soph sessions in Europe, due to a combo of “Kill Bill” and the weather, tallying a good $3.1 million in Italy, a fair $2.5 million in Spain and a dull $2.5 million in France.

“Dawn of the Dead” spooked up a mediocre $620,000 on 173 in Spain, a respectable $920,000 on 156 in Italy and $300,000 on 149 in Brazil. Horror item has grossed a decent $1.9 million in 11 days in Germany (tumbling 46%) and a strapping $10.1 million in the U.K.

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