Roller-coaster B.O.

There were some high-profile winners — and losers — at the foreign B.O. last week as audiences again showed their predilection to overturn notions of universal popularity.

True, there are no surprises with “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which rocketed to $ 151 million after 13 weeks overseas.

Another model of consistency, “Schindler’s List,” topped $ 28 million internationally, powered by boffo bows in Italy ($ 520,660 in five days on 43), Mexico ($ 211,220 in three days on eight), Brazil ($ 271,873 in three on 39) and Taiwan ($ 276,530 in four on 23).

Here, though, we come to the curious part of the story. “In the Name of the Father” opened soft in France ($ 433,650 at 88 houses) and Hong Kong.

Jim Sheridan’s drama was far more potent in Brazil ($ 190,330 in three days on 54) and in its second lap in Australia (slipping 21%).

“The Pelican Brief” bowed in the No. 1 slot in Germany and Australia and started breezily in Italy, Austria and South Africa as its foreign cume ascended to $ 18.5 million.

But Alan J. Pakula’s thriller isn’t winning every case: It tumbled by a whopping 42% in its third lap in the U.K.

Steven Seagal’s “On Deadly Ground” corpsed in the U.K. However, Seagal and WB can take some comfort from Taiwan, where the pic snared $ 1 million in the first week at 16 theaters.

“My Life” won’t have a long life in Britain after opening OK in London and badly in the provinces. “The Joy Luck Club” had a middling debut while “Shadowlands” had a splendid second at just four theaters in London.

Ticket sales in Paris continue to trail last year by about 5%, but a homegrown click is emerging in the comedy “La Cite de la peur.””Philadelphia” opened strong in France and Spain while “For Love or Money” tanked in France.

“The Three Musketeers” climbed to $ 43.5 million overseas without much help from the Japan preem: $ 1 million in the first weekend on 80 screens. At that rate it won’t catch “Cool Runnings,” Buena Vista’s sleeper, which collected $ 5. 7 million through the fourth weekend in Japan after widening from 18 to 78 screens.

“Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” advanced to $ 22.1 million and had a good second outing (off 17%) in Germany and Switzerland (down 2%).

Italo grosses lifted by nearly 25%, bolstered by rookies “Schindler’s List, “”Pelican Brief” and local comedy “Silence of the Hams” and a gutsy second lap by “Philadelphia.”

Australian B.O. edged up by 6% as “Pelican Brief” averaged a hot $ 11,275 on 122 screens and “Cool Runnings” abated by a mere 10% in its second lap. But “Menace II Society” bowed tamely.

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