Exhibs in most foreign territories were finishing 1993 on a winning note as vacationing audiences feasted on the chiefly American confections of fantasy and comedy — with a dash of drama.
Across Europe, “Aladdin” was the standout as its international total levitated to $ 200 million through Dec. 30. Robin Williams dazzled the Southern Hemi-sphere, too, as “Mrs. Doubtfire” opened to packed houses in Australia, Brazil and South Africa.
Distribs rued the bad luck of Christmas Day falling on a Saturday, which took the edge off a normally strong trading day in some markets.
But Sunday generally was buoyant and cinemas thrived on weekdays as folks caught the holiday and moviegoing mood.
In contrast to its sagging domestic results, “A Perfect World” is a crowd-pleaser in Europe, the Far East and Latin America.
Although overshadowed by the genie, “Beethoven’s 2nd,””The Muppet Christmas Carol” and “Addams Family Values” garnered a reasonable slice of the Christmas cake.
United Intl. Pictures’ booster campaign for “Jurassic Park” kicked the foreign gross up to $ 530.4 million through Dec. 29.
In France, “Aladdin” smashed recent Christmas records, grossing $ 7 million in its seventh week nationwide and propelling the cume past $ 27 million.
However, “Addams Family Values” debuted with $ 1.1 million in five days on 276 screens, disappointing exhibs who had higher expectations after the popularity of the predecessor and the TV series.
“Beethoven’s 2nd” is performing well below the original in France, collecting $ 2.58 million in 12 days on 312. Exhibs say it’s suffering against “Aladdin.”
Counterprogrammed as a serious alternative to the holiday floss, “A Perfect World” bagged $ 5.3 million in two weeks. That’s the best start for a Clint Eastwood film, said one exhib who believes Kevin Costner’s presence has a lot to do with that.
“The Muppet Christmas Carol,” while strong in Germany and fair in Spain and Italy, was lousy in France. Why the Gallic off-note? The Muppet characters are completely unknown there and distrib Gaumont/Buena Vista Intl. could not warm up a cold market.
After a quiet weekend in Britain, admissions picked up and “A Perfect World,” which bowed Boxing Day (Dec. 26), scored $ 618,800 in the first three days on 247 prints. It’s the No. 2 film behind “Aladdin.”
In Italy, Christmas weekend receipts in the 98 key cities houses totaled $ 9. 6 million, way down on last year’s $ 15.2 million, when there was a three-day weekend.
The hottest ticket is “Son of the Pink Panther,” an unhappy memory for MGM domestically