‘Indecent’ tops; Cannes fans B.O.

A national holiday in some areas and the strong appeal of “Indecent Proposal” in others resulted in slightly higher grosses across Europe last week than usual for this time of year.

“Indecent Proposal” had an outstanding opening in the U.K. at its May 14 preem, scoring the strongest opening weekend of any pic this year so far there. The “Indecent” money machine has racked up more than $ 18 million in foreign grosses so far in the very early weeks of runs in all major Euro countries plus Argentina, Brazil and Taiwan.

On a smaller scale, publicity from the Cannes Film Festival boosted revenues of pix competing there as they began their post-Cannes runs.

First to profit off the fest was the Catherine Deneuve-starrer that opened it , “Ma Saison Prefere,” which earned nearly $ 1 million in its first five days in France and is playing to packed houses in Paris. Pupi Avati’s “Magnificat,” another Cannes entry, in its sixth week of release, made the Italian top 10 last week for the first time, no doubt propelled by the buzz from Cannes.

A clutch of other strong films managed to withstand the “Indecent” onslaught and will continue to keep exhibs happy during the summer months. “Groundhog Day” proved to be a continuing draw in the U.K. (English-speaking audiences find it funny) and Germany (where it’s the top-grossing pic of the week), and has totaled more than $ 11 million so far in foreign release.

WB’s powerhouse romantic duo “Sommersby” and “Forever Young” have hit $ 60 million and $ 57 million in foreign respectively so far. “Scent of a Woman” has overtaken the $ 50 million mark.

The status of Steven Seagal’s “Under Siege” as an international draw with action-pic audiences was confirmed last weekend with the pic’s Japanese preem. It earned $ 1.2 million on 143 screens.

U.K. exhibs reported a good week overall, though the replay of the English Cup soccer final may have hurt biz a little bit. The Channel Four-produced comedy “Wild West” opened to fair returns in selected London theaters, while New Zealand pic “Brain Dead” did somewhat less than expected.

In Italy, the “Indecent” phenomenon continues unabated, pushing box office revenues up by $ 1 million more than in thesame period as last year. The long version of “Blade Runner” managed to lure Italo film buffs last weekend and a $ 3,429 per screen average while “Swing Kids” opened to only so-so biz.

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