Cinemas across most of Europe and Australia thrived during the Easter break, though there were some odd disparities in audiences’ responses to new U.S. releases.

“Forever Young” had a knockout start in France, Germany and Italy; “Nowhere to Run” hurtled into France; and “The Aristocats” reissue was a crowd pleaser in Italy, while in the rest of Europe “The Jungle Book” continued to delight family audiences.

The Oscar-aura is enhancing “Unforgiven,” which has made about $ 7 million internationally since the Oscars, pushing the total to a respectable $ 42.4 million. Japan, where it opens this week, could push it to another level.

Of the holdovers overseas, “The Bodyguard” cruised to $ 266 million (amazingly strong after 19 weeks in Japan where it bagged $ 45.6 million), “A Few Good Men” climbed to $ 88.7 million, “Last of the Mohicans” to $ 66.8 million and “Scent of a Woman” to $ 37.5 million.

“Groundhog Day” stumbled in Sweden, its first foreign outing, but in Australia, pic avereaged $ 7,344 on 85 screens. Columbia TriStar pitched the film to 15-to 40-year-olds, playing up the romance.

Ticket sales in Paris bounced up by 26%. Italo grosses edged up to $ 4.7 million.

Top 10 receipts in Germany totaled $ 11.8 million, a bit up on the previous week. “Body of Evidence” bowed OK despite critical panning.

British exhibs were delighted with Easter biz led by “The Jungle Book” and “Mr. Nanny.”

In Australia, takings soared by 83% to $ 7.3 million, paced by local hero Yahoo Serious’ new comedy “Reckless Kelly,” which averaged a fabulous $ 11,278 on 130 screens.

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