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Dogs have their day in U.K. amid hot int’l B.O.

An infusion of hot new titles sent B.O. receipts skyward in some major markets over the weekend, but there were a few downers, as “Jingle All the Way” had some wildly mixed results and “The Birdcage” bombed in Japan.

“Daylight” burst into Spain with a rousing $1.4 million on 164 screens and Mexico with a solid $501,000 on 196; in view of the actioner’s second-weekend plunge in the U.S., the key here will be its holding power. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” minted $13.2 million overseas, propelling the cume to $137.5 million, and “Independence Day” soared to $421.5 million.

After several languid months, the U.K.’s takings shot up by a remarkable 91% as “101 Dalmatians” raced in with $4 million on 461 screens (a record December preem) and “Star Trek: First Contact” gravitated to $3.8 million on 331 including previews.

“Dalmatians” bit off a tasty $786,000 on 235 in Mexico, the highest bow ever by a Buena Vista Intl. live-action release there, beating “Die Hard With a Vengeance.”

“Hunchback” held pole position in its third weekend wide in France, collaring $4.6 million for a fat $18 million to date, and in Germany with $2.2 million, cuming $9.1 million. Expanding to 150 prints in Italy, the animated pic pocketed $2.5 million, $5.8 million to date.

“The First Wives Club” enlisted lotsa new members as it rolled out in Germany with $2.1 million on 306 and Austria at $323,000 on 35; cume is $25.8 million in 19 markets.

However, Teutonic auds were pretty cool toward “High School High,” which in its major-market debut collected $936,000 on 290.

In Japan, “Independence Day” eased by just 9%, bagging $5.7 million in the second weekend on 277 after its record-busting debut: The nine-day bounty is $21.4 million. “Jingle All the Way” sledded in with a dire $621,000 on 116, puzzling some tradesters who had counted on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s B.O. clout to ensure at least a decent lift-off. “The Birdcage” took in $662,000 on 122, one of the few missteps (along with France and the U.K.) in a foreign journey that thus far has yielded $59.8 million. In its first major engagement, Sony’s family adventure “Fly Away Home” landed with a disappointing $305,000 on 51.

Brian Levant’s “Jingle” fetched $10 million from debuts in 21 territories, simple arithmetic indicating it missed more often that it hit. The best results to date are Germany’s $5.2 million in 11 days, Mexico’s $958,000 in 10 days, and Brazil’s $844,000 opener on 178. Among soft preems are France’s $455,000 on 342 and Italy’s $256,000 on 138. The Fox film’s cume is $23.7 million.

In a generally blah frame in Australia, “Space Jam” was no slam dunk, scoring $938,000 on 189, surprisingly just ahead of “Dragonheart’s” $890,000 entry on far fewer screens – 112. Aussie exhibs were rather deflated about “Space Jam” in view of its socko U.S. opening, but the jury is out until schools start vacation next week. “Dalmatians” had more bark than bite in Oz, tumbling 33% for $1.5 million in 11 days. The new “Star Trek” fell 49% for a fair $3 million in 17 days.

“Dragonheart” also had a dashing $107,000 bow on 15 in Denmark; total in 34 territories is $45.5 million. “Space Jam” had much more bounce entering New Zealand ($173,000 on 39, the sixth-highest preem for a Warner release there) and Indonesia ($221,000 on 41, including previews). Through its second weekend, the live-action/animated pic has a fine $946,000 in Singapore and a less impressive $740,000 in Hong Kong.

“Ransom” ($14.6 million in six markets) tore through its second weekend in South Korea, tallying a hot $2.2 million.

“The Long Kiss Goodnight” posted a hearty $1.2 million in five days on 250 in France, a feisty $455,000 in two days on 50 in South Korea, and $1 million in four days on 240 in Germany, counterprogrammed against family fare. Among holdovers are the U.K.’s $5.4 million in 17 days (off 48%), Spain’s slim $1 million in 11 days, and Sweden’s $617,000 in 10 days. The cume in 11 markets is $11.2 million.

“Jack” evidently proved too corny for Gallic tastes, unspooling in France with a meager $350,000 on 225. The Robin Williams starrer has coined a fair $17.3 million in 20 markets, the healthiest contributions being the U.K.’s $4.1 million, Taiwan’s $2.9 million and Brazil’s $2 million.

In its first European engagement, Scott Hicks’ “Shine” launched at five theaters in Switzerland, generating $35,000 – about level with “Il Postino,” which came out at the same time last year and proved to be a marathon runner (still playing in some Swiss cinemas after 53 weeks).

Plumbing real B.O. depths, “Fled” staggered along to $5.8 million in 27 territories, “The Phantom” has eked out $6.2 million in 16, and “The Island of Dr. Moreau” has $14.3 million in 25.

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