An injection of fresh product plus the onset of cooler and, in some cases, inclement weather after the summer heat wave in Europe buoyed the B.O. in many territories last week.
“Die Hard With a Vengeance” cruised to $210 million B.O. abroad, while “Judge Dredd” charged into France and Germany and “Under Siege 2: Dark Territory” rampaged through the Far East.
Vying for the honor of No. 2 title of the summer, behind the “Die Hard” sequel, “Batman Forever” vaulted to $130.6 million, and “Casper” raced to $125.2 million.
“Apollo 13” made flying starts in Taiwan with $1.5 million in five days on 38 screens and Brazil with $1 million in three days on 120. Ron Howard’s space saga rocketed to $30.4 million from just five markets.
In Taiwan, the astronaut pic was beaten by “Under Siege 2’s” $1.8 million on 28 screens (a Warner Bros, record), but make no bets about which will hang in longer. The Steven Seagal vehicle also had potent preems in the Philippines ($994,000 on 24 screens) and Thailand ($521,000 on 47), and an OK second in South Africa (off 37%, totaling $603,000). Cume is $13.5 million.
Buena Vista Intl. has harvested $107.5 million to date from “Die Hard’s” part 3; and in Japan it’s grossed $69.6 million through the ninth round for Fox. Japanese cinemas also are profiting from the remarkably consistent “Waterworld” (coining $24.1 million in 26 days, off 17%) and “Apollo 13” ($24.4 million in 42 days, down 14%). Kevin Costner’s epic surfaced in Hong Kong with $950,000 at 16 theaters, averaging a socko $60,000, and its offshore total rose to $37.8 million.
British exhibs said milder weather and a public holiday Aug. 28 enlivened biz. Bryan Singer’s thriller “The Usual Suspects” initialed strongly in the capital, while “Die Hard” abated by 20% after its huge bow, “Waterworld” improved by 6% in its third lap and “Casper” jumped 17% in its fifth.
Germany had its best frame for at least three months, thanks to cooler temperatures and rookie “Judge Dredd,” along with holdovers “Congo” (off 33% in its second), “While You Were Sleeping” and surprise click “Don Juan De Marco.” However, one exhib expects “Dredd” to run out of steam after two or three weeks.
The Sylvester Stallone pic is headed the same way in France, where it fell sharply after the initial weekend; the eponymous comic-strip character is unknown there.
Paris ticket sales in the week ending Aug. 29 went against the European trend by slipping about 10%, despite a sturdy second lap by “First Knight.” “French Kiss” bowed Aug. 30 with a lively $295,000 on 200 screens, despite terrible reviews.
“Dredd” unwound brightly in Belgium but corpsed in Denmark, and its overseas total topped $31 million. In Australia, dire word of mouth saw Stallone’s pic plummet by 42% in its sophomore session. Another factor was “Apollo 13,” which was sneaked Aug. 25-27 on 90 screens for a terrif $636,000, then launched Aug. 31 for $231,600 on 164 prints.
“Pocahontas” had a good opening Down Under, although some 40% below “Aladdin,” and is positioned to cash in on the mid-September school vacation. It was unexpectedly beaten by the second week of “French Kiss,” which slid just 19%. The animated pic has grossed $41.5 million in 20 territories, including a lusty $22 million in Latin America and an OK $10 million in Japan. Aussie cross-dressing comedy “All Men Are Liars” started soft on 16 screens in Sydney and the ‘burbs, and will roll out in other states later this month.
In Spain some cinemas reported ticket sales were double the previous frame, driven by frosh “First Knight,” “French Kiss” and local entries Adolfo Aristarain’s adventure “The Law of the Frontier” and drama “Tell Laura I Love Her.” “Crimson Tide” fell by a reasonable 30%, tallying $2.8 million in 10 days, and its foreign cume is $20.3 million.
“While You Were Sleeping” awoke in Holland with a win some $500,000 in five days on 51 screens, just ahead of “Batman Forever’s” $497,000 on ditto. The Sandra Bullock starrer ($40 million overseas) along with “Dumb and Dumber” kicked off the fall B.O. season in Italy Sept. 1. That will propel “Dumb” well over $100 million overseas after being stuck on $99 mill for a while. “Nine Months” began its foreign campaign in Singapore with a tidy $178,000 in five days at 12 theaters.
“Braveheart” climbed to $28.6 million and took a pleasing $240,000 in six days on 14 in Argentina.