U.S. pix hot but Europe B.O. pokey

“The Bodyguard” cruised triumphantly past the $ 200 million mark overseas last week, while “Beauty and the Beast” hovered on the brink at $ 195 million.

Columbia TriStar’s twin powerhouses, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “A Few Good Men,” advanced to $ 72.5 million and $ 53 million, respectively, through last weekend.

“Sister Act” climbed to $ 97.5 million, boosted by a muscular second-weekend haul of $ 2.1 million on 140 screens in Italy, and is a cinch to hit $ 100 million this week.

Nearing the end of its run, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” has pocketed $ 169.6 million. UIP’s surprise hit “Death Becomes Her” has earned $ 71 million and will likely wind up with about $ 75 mil.

Absence of hot new releases saw the B.O. decline in most of the major European territories. France was the shining exception as ticket sales in Paris accelerated by 30% to 935,800, fueled by the annual film ticket discount promotion.

Admissions in Paris in the first six weeks of this year are up a healthy 14% over 1992, and exhibs are relishing the school vacation that starts this week.

In Britain, tradesters rated “Dracula’s” 30% drop in the second weekend as better than expected after its awesome preem. That inevitably depleted the top 10’s takings, which fell to $ 10.2 million. “Damage” had a sizzling start on 10 screens in London, and “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” opened quite well ahead of the school vacation this week.

Italo top 10 receipts totaled nearly $ 7 million, satisfying exhibs in a week that had only one new release, “Under Siege,” which nabbed $ 675,000 on 34 screens.

German grosses fell by 11% to $ 11.2 million, as “Bodyguard” still reigned in its fifth week for a $ 26 million total. Among “Bodyguard’s” other big scores to date: Japan with $ 31 million, Italy logged $ 24 million, the U.K.’s $ 21 million, France’s $ 18 million and Spain with $ 12 million.

In Spain, “Consenting Adults” took a fair $ 360,000 in the first week on 61 screens.

On the arthouse circuit, Sally Potter’s “Orlando” is making tidy sums in Germany ($ 150,000 in two weeks), Italy and Holland.

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