‘Bodyguard’ secures B.O.

Propelled by a socko start in Germany, “The Bodyguard” stormed overseas last week past a $ 100 million gross, while “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” had an awesome opening in France.

Among the other crowd-pullers: “Beauty and the Beast” soared to $ 175 million; “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” ascended to $ 137 million; “Sister Act” to $ 72 million; and “Death Becomes Her” to $ 55.5 million.

Endowed with such largess, Euro exhibs said the traditional post-vacation dip either has not been as pronounced or hasn’t happened yet.

In Germany, the top 10 receipts shot up by nearly 50% to $ 15.7 million as more than 1 million people flocked to “The Bodyguard,” which scored $ 6.7 million on 337 prints. It was the best-ever opening weekend for a Warner Bros. pic in Germany and the country’s third-highest bow after “Terminator 2” and Teutonic comedy “Otto.”

The romantic thriller figures to do even better this week as WB added 210 prints — half of them subsidized by the government and supplied to low-grossing cinemas.

“The Bodyguard’s” foreign cume stood at $ 102.5 million as of Jan. 13.

Of the other newcomers in Germany, “Bitter Moon” did fine at 73 cinemas, while “Candyman” was middling and “Midnight Sting” (aka “Diggstown”) was dismal.

Ticket sales in Paris the week of Jan. 12 dropped 12% to 670,000, despite pleasing debuts by “Sneakers” and Emir Kusturica’s “Arizona Dream,” the latter helped by the presence of Jerry Lewis, a French fave, and Johnny Depp.

“Dracula’s” first-day take Jan. 13 was $ 1.1 million on 324 screens. Francis Coppola’s epic sold 45,800 tickets at 50 theaters in Paris and suburbs that day, accounting for nearly 40% of admissions in the capital and 25,000 Jan. 14.

Reporting sellout sessions, Gallic exhibs say Coppola is greatly respected in France — up there with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen — which might help ensure the film avoids its steep domestic decline.

In Britain, beaming exhibs reported excellent biz as receipts totaled $ 10.4 million. “The Bodyguard” and “A Few Good Men” improved their weekend takings by 12% and 17%, respectively, the latter due to increased prints. Rookies “Raising Cain” and “Man Trouble” were, predictably, dire, while “Reservoir Dogs” had a splendid preem at just 11 theaters.

Italo grosses fell about 40%, the top 10 garnering $ 9.5 million at the 85 key locations, but exhibs say the season, which kicked off last September, is running about 12% ahead of 1991-1992. Still the pace-setters are “The Bodyguard, ” with $ 15 million after five weeks, and “Beauty and the Beast,” with a staggering $ 25 million after six.

“Universal Soldier” had an auspicious start, nabbing $ 127,000 on just five screens in three Italo cities.

After an indifferent showing Stateside, “Consenting Adults” began its foreign excursion with a promising first week in Sweden. Buena Vista has prepared a new trailer and commercial for the Alan J. Pakula film.

In Japan, “The Bodyguard” climbed to $ 22.4 million through the sixth weekend , shading “Home Alone 2,” which has harvested $ 22 million through its fourth.

“Dracula” has collected $ 6.5 million through its fourth weekend, good in a territory that generally doesn’t clamor for horror. “Death Becomes Her” has pocketed $ 11 million after six weeks.

Australian B.O. receipts slipped to a still-robust $ 6.9 million as “Dracula” was off 41% in its second week, with a $ 3.5 million cume. “Bodyguard” set an opening-day Oz record Jan. 14, collaring $ 415,000 on 135 prints.

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