‘Perfume’ smells good in 2nd place finish

Local pics up as 'Pirates' holds top spot

The end of summer left overseas wickets a bit chilly: Buena Vista Intl.’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” was able to take the top spot among Hollywood imports in the latest frame, with just $7.6 million at 4,387 playdates.

But in a limp sesh, local pics in major territories, including Spain, Germany and France, benefited.

German pic, Tom Tykwer’s “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” was even able to land at No. 2 on the world charts, by making $6.66 million in its second frame.

Holdovers rounding out the charts were family fare and comedies: BVI’s “Cars,” Sony’s “Little Man” and UIP’s “You, Me and Dupree.”

UIP also had a solid launch of Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center.” Pic was able to raise its cume to $9.1 million, including a $2.6 million take in France, which topped the Gallic charts. Perf was in line with the bow of “Munich.” But word-of-mouth seems poor in France, making bizzers wonder whether the title will crumble quickly.

Pic also had No. 1 launches in Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Thailand. “Trade” accounted for more than 50% of the biz in Thailand, grossing $350,000 at 35 playdates, despite a military coup there.

Meantime, “Chest” continued its roll overseas. Pic has hit $625.3 million internationally, and is still playing in 34 territories. This time, “Chest” scored most of its take from a sophomore sesh in Italy, with $4.1 million at 845 screens.

Pic could now surpass “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’s” $652 million take overseas, which would make it the third highest international grosser ever. “Chest’s” worldwide cume is $1.045 billion.

In the U.K., where “Pirates” has sailed off the charts, Clive Owen-starrer “Children of Men” took top spot in its worldwide preem. Pic took $2.4 million from 370 screens, for a per screen average of $4,697. That mark was significantly better than any other film in the U.K. top 15, and vindicated UIP’s big-spending campaign.

Blighty exhibs were roundly satisfied with the “Children” bow, and attributed its success to the cast, the London-setting and strong reviews. A glitzy Sept. 19 Blighty preem was attended by helmer Alfonso Cuaron, Owen and Michael Caine, which helped build buzz.

Another pic yet to open Stateside, Stephen Frears’ second-place “The Queen,” played well in its second U.K. frame. Pic nabbed $1.7 million, up 6% from its bow. Helen Mirren-starrer is being helped by word of mouth and solid reviews. “Queen,” opening the New York Film Fest in advance of its fall slot here, has taken more than $5 million in two frames.

Ninth-place “Dirty Sanchez,” Britain’s gross-out answer to “Jackass,” goosed $487,182 in its opening frame. Its content has caused a stir among crix.

Thanks to “Trade Center,” French B.O. jumped 12%. But a couple of local pics also helped boost Gallic B.O.: “Les Aristos,” a comedy about a family of broke French nobles who are forced to experience “real life,” came in at No. 2. Pic, which grossed more than $2.3 million in its first week, is the second feature from helmer Charlotte de Turckheim. French drama “President” also made the top five by pulling in $1.1 million in its debut week.

In Spain, local film “Alatriste” topped the charts for a fourth straight frame. Pic made $1.6 million and has cumed $18.1 million after a 36% drop last weekend. “Alatriste” also broke Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver” record ($12.5 million) for top Spanish pic this year.

“Little Man” continued to perform in Spain, coming in at No. 2. Sony’s comedy showed legs by taking in $4.9 million from 1,646 screens in 31 markets, led by its Spanish soph sesh of $1.4 million. “Man” has cumed $29.5 million overseas and $82 million worldwide.

In other action, BVI’s “Cars” drove $5.5 million to putter past $200 million. It’s the seventh pic to cross the milestone this year, along with “Dead Man’s Chest,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” “Mission: Impossible 3,” “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

UIP’s “Dupree” remained a moderate player with $3.8 million in two dozen territories, led by a third-place launch in Germany behind “Perfume” and “Cars.”

“Dupree,” which opens next in Spain on Oct. 11, has cumed $35.6 million overseas.

(Sheri Jennings in Italy, Archie Thomas in the U.K., Liza Klaussmann in France, Esther De Prado in Spain and Ed Meza in Germany contributed to this report.)

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