Winners and losers of the U.S. summer B.O. season are venturing overseas with roughly the same success rate — although there have been some surprising reversals.
“Dennis the Menace’s” feeble start in Japan –$ 433,220 in five days on 98 screens — must have been a rude shock for Warner Bros. The moppet character isn’t familiar in Japan and WB chose to release the pic three weeks before the school vacation.
Initial foreign numbers for “Last Action Hero” are encouraging for Columbia TriStar, though the jury is out until the first major playdate: July 30 in the U.K.
The British censor has given John McTiernan’s pic an age 15 rating, which doesn’t worry the distrib. Exex say the film is tracking superbly in Britain, especially with Arnie’s core audience, and there wasn’t time to make the cuts that would have lowered the rating to age 12.
“Action Hero” got a critical drubbing in South Africa, but that didn’t seem to affect the three-day gross of $ 178,900 on 49 prints — not blockbuster biz but comparable to “Hook.” In Taipei, Taiwan, the weekend take was $ 441,800 on six screens.
“Hot Shots! Part Deux” looks likely to yield more bucks for Fox overseas than domestically, judging by its impressive second laps in Australia, Japan and Korea and the six-day haul of $ 237,000 at 23 theaters in the Philippines. In Japan it’s running ahead of the original in Tokyo and Osaka but not in the provinces, where it’s double-billed with “White Man Can’t Jump”; the first “Hot Shots” was paired with “Dying Young.”
There are no surprises in “Jurassic Park’s” whirlwind performance in Latin America. Scorecard includes $ 4.5 million through 14 days on 142 prints in Brazil, $ 661,800 in eight days on 29 in Argentina and $ 582,000 in seven days on 36 in Colombia.
No shocks either for “Aladdin,” which enchanted Koreans with a sellout opening weekend in Seoul, bagging $ 184,000 in three theaters. Buena Vista Intl. projects the animated click will do 50% better than “Beauty and the Beast,” which garnered $ 2.6 million in rentals in Korea. “Aladdin” also had a terrific first weekend at 22 cinemas in Argentina, clocking 71,000 admissions and $ 336, 000.
‘Indecent’ heats up
United Intl. Pictures has been toasting “Indecent Proposal’s” foreign gross, which zoomed to $ 109 million through July 8 — outstripping the U.S. total.
Adrian Lyne’s meller is running hot in Mexico, collaring $ 5.1 million in 24 days on 120 prints and Spain with $ 3.35 million in 14 days on 100. Apart from “Proposal,” Spanish exhibs characterized trading as weak, as the “Bambi” reissue had an OK second and “Strictly Ballroom” and “Dragon” bombed.
In its European preem, “The Adventures of Huck Finn” did moderately well in Germany over the July 3-4 weekend, when sweltering weather knocked receipts overall nearly 50%. BVI may have difficulty positioning “Huck” in markets that aren’t familiar with Mark Twain.
Boffo bows by “Cliffhanger” in Scandinavia, Israel, Malaysia, the Australian state of Queensland (ahead of the July 8 national bow) and New Zealand helped propel its foreign cume to $ 21.8 million through July 3-4.
“Cliffhanger” was off 29% in its second weekend in Britain, rated by exhibs as highly creditable considering the distractions of glorious weather, Wimbledon tennis finals and Test cricket. “Mad Dog and Glory,” limited to just five screens in London, and “Red Rock West” were blah.
Europeans can’t get aroused by “Point of No Return,” which opened soft in Germany and fair in the U.K. In the latter, WB minimized its downside by eliminating the television campaign to reduce the ad spending.
“Super Mario Bros.” began tamely in Japan and Spain and had a lackluster second week in France. “Coming out of the U.S., the word got around that this isn’t an interesting picture, and it’s not clearly targeted at kids or adults,” said one Spanish tradester.
WB has had nice profit earners in “Sommersby” (foreign cume $ 77.5 million), “Forever Young” ($ 61.5 million) and “Falling Down” ($ 36.5 million, and is still raking it in).
Germany has unearthed a sleeper in “Abgeschminkt” (Making Up), writer-director Katja von Garnier’s 55-minute romantic comedy; with it is a short intriguingly titled “The Most Beautiful Bosom in the World.”