O’seas auds on ‘Mission’

Foreign B.O. believes in the 'Impossible'

Tom Cruise remained a powerful draw at the foreign box office and the second weekend of “Mission: Impossible 3” maintained its lead overseas with $40.5 million at 7,390 screens in 57 markets.

Rivals gave “MI3” a wide berth for the second frame in a row, limiting launches to a few select markets. Warner Bros., dipping its toe in international waters with “Poseidon” in half a dozen Asian territories, saw solid returns with $4.4 million at 729 screens and four first-place finishes.

Sunday’s “Mission” estimate repped a respectable 42% decline from the launch sesh and pushed the international “MI3” total to a solid $129.2 million. While the numbers haven’t overwhelmed, the sequel showed decent traction in major markets.

Best performer continued to be South Korea with $6.08 million, down just 27% for a 12-day cume of $20.35 million, and the U.K. with $5.03 million, off 42% for a $17.8 million Blighty total.

France led the rest of the pack with $2.79 million, off 53% from its holiday-weekend launch to lift its total to $10.4 million. And in Germany, where the opening weekend was held to disappointing levels, the soph sesh declined only 19% to $2.22 million for a Teuton cume of $5.8 million.

“MI3” drew decently in other major markets, with Spain declining 48% to $1.9 million, Mexico off 40% to $1.73 million, Australia down 44% to $1.74 million, Brazil off 39% to $1.5 million and Italy sliding 54% to $1.42 million.

With worldwide grosses now at $214 million, “MI3” is following the same pattern as the previous two pics in taking in more than 60% of its total from foreign markets. The trio has now totaled $1.25 billion, with $480 million domestic and $765 million internationally.

“MI3” also has become the third pic to clear the $100 million hurdle in foreign grosses this year, joining BVI’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and Fox’s “Ice Age: The Meltdown.”

“Ice Age 2,” as it’s known overseas, showed significant staying power among family auds in its sixth frame, with $7.6 million at 7,282 engagements in 41 markets, pushing its foreign cume to $421 million and its worldwide total to $608 million. Top figure came from Italy, with $1 million at 558 for a four-week cume of $22.1 million; best foreign numbers have come from Germany with $54.9 million, the U.K. with $49.8 million and France with $45.2 million.

Overall biz stayed well above the same weekend of 2005, when the soph sesh of “Kingdom of Heaven” led with $27.2 million, followed by the third frame of “XXX: State of the Union” with $3.5 million.

International biz is expecting to see serious coin from day-and-date launches for Sony’s “The Da Vinci Code” this weekend and Fox’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” in the following frame.

“Poseidon,” which won’t open in major foreign markets until next month, limited its launches to territories where action pics play well and piracy represents a significant problem. It landed its top numbers with first-place finishes in Thailand with $1.25 million at 220 playdates, 6% better than “Troy,” and in Singapore with $938,000 at 60, 3% better than “The Day After Tomorrow.”

“Poseidon” opened in second in India with $793,000 at 175, trailing a Bollywood film but posting the top per-screen average. It also led in the Philippines with $589,000 at 145 screens and in Malaysia with $539,000 at 70 and finished second in Indonesia with $264,000 at 69.

Aside from “MI3” and “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” holdover biz was fairly quiet, with UIP’s “Inside Man” leading the rest of the pack with $2.2 million at 1,200 playdates in 35 markets. The Denzel Washington thriller has cumed $83.6 million overseas to push the worldwide total past $170 million.

BVI’s “Scary Movie 4” took in $2 million at 2,853 screens in 31 markets to boost foreign cume to $60 million, and its “Eight Below” also put the bite on $2 million at 1,954 for an international total of $33.5 million.

BVI also continued to pull in kiddie coin via “The Wild, with $1.2 million at 2,315 in 29 markets, and with “Bambi II” pulling in $350,000 at 447 in its third German frame of weekend matinee showings. “The Wild” has cumed $31 million overseas, and “Bambi II,” which went straight to DVD domestically, has hit $34 million internationally.

Fox’s Chinese opening of “The Sentinel” took in $1.2 million, and Sony’s “When a Stranger Calls” scared up $1.1 million at 634 in 19 markets, with most coming from a U.K. launch of $840,000 at 250. Fox’s Japanese launch of “The Pink Panther” pulled in a mild $421,000 at 132.

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