‘Dies’ hits $77.1 mil o’seas

Fox’s “Titanic” and UIP’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” provided much of the action at the Christmas box office overseas, with occasional sparkles provided by such newcomers as “In & Out” and “Flubber.”

The good cheer even spread to “Spice World: The Movie” (cume: $4.2 million), which after a less than spicy start to its foreign campaign last week, crooned to the top spot in the U.K. with $3.8 million from 483 sites.

UIP’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” has hit $77.1 million after just three frames, buoyed by good holds in the U.K. ($17.7 million), France ($12.9 million) and Germany ($16 million), while rising (like many other titles) 10% in Spain ($3.9 million) and 60% in Holland ($2.6 million).

The 18th Bond grabbed $2.5 million from 198 Oz screens (25% ahead of its predecessor, “Goldeneye”) for the No. 2 spot behind “Titanic” (which rose 9% in its second frame for a local cume of $5.5 million), but ahead of “Flubber” (cume: $7.2 million), which posted BVI’s biggest live-action bow in Oz, laffing $1.2 million from 229 prints (22% higher than “Ransom”), no doubt helped by a publicity visit by star Robin Williams.

Scott Rudin’s comedy “In & Out” (cume: $4.9 million) also had an excellent turn Down Under, outing $741,180 from 154 houses (while also laffing $210,000 and $23,665 from 46 Argentinian and four Uruguayan sites, respectively). Also in Oz, Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm” swung a good $96,360 from 17 arthouse locales, behind $187,440 from 21 houses for “Her Majesty Mrs. Brown” (cume: $4.5 million).

Local pix triumph

“Tomorrow Never Dies” also nabbed $2.1 million from 133 screens in Italy (12% ahead of “Goldeneye”), which while good, continues the trend of local fare outperforming the big Hollywood guns. Italo tragi-comedy “Life Is Beautiful” nabbed a whopping $15.6 million from 496 screens in 11 days, while time travel yarn “Adrift in Time — The Adventure Continues” thrilled $8.2 million in two laps from 320 sites and comedy “Three Men and a Leg” grossed $1.5 million from 50 prints in its first lap.

Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond also grabbed a huge $1.4 million from 41 Singapore screens and posted the biggest opener ever in Malaysia with $1.5 million from 66 sites (195% ahead of “Goldeneye”), while hosting the biggest Bond bow ever in New Zealand with $311,571 from 40 houses, ahead of $124,000 from 39 screens for “Flubber,” which splattered $269,000 from 50 screens in Argentina (29% greater than “Toy Story”).

‘Titanic’ afloat

Fox’s “Titanic” has done swinmmingly with $25.9 million after just two weeks on the foreign circuit. Pic bowed in the No. 1 spot in Thailand, its ninth port of call, with $539,660 from 100 cinemas, while retaining the top spot in most markets, including Japan (cume: $11.6 million), where BVI’s “Air Force One” (cume: $124.8 million), “Men in Black” (cume: $313 million) and “Seven Years in Tibet” (cume: $38 million) held well.

Christmas spirit even hit Fox’s “Home Alone 3” (27 nation cume: $4.6 million), which after being routed in a disastrous string of Euro preems last frame notched a few happy moments, including the top spot in Indonesia ($220,460 from 61 sites) and $287,850 from 53 Norwegian theaters. But Denmark was tepid ($74,437 from 40), while pic was swept aside in South Africa ($131,821 from 50) by Sony’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (cume: $127.5 million), which charmed its way into the top spot with $296,885 from 62 houses.

UIP’s “The Jackal” (cume: $9.3 million) shot great bows in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, with $576,456, $1.2 million and $953,656 from 42, 125 and 155 prints, respectively, while Fox’s “Anastasia” (11-nation cume: $6.4 million) tooned up $819,792 from 193 prints in Brazil. Animated musical posted Fox’s second biggest bows ever (after “Independence Day”) and the best animated preems in history in Peru and Boliva, with $127,057 and $36,614 from 20 and three screens, respectively. “Seven Years in Tibet,” took in $34,650 and $10,050 from 11 Peruvian and two Bolivian prints, respectively.

“Tibet” continued its string of good bows in non-English lingo markets, including $147,520, $90,807 and $66,948 from 25 Columbian, 25 Venezuelan and 10 Chilean prints, respectively.

Warner’s “The Devil’s Advocate” (cume: $7.2 million) took $383,596 from 100 screens in Mexico and $70,365 from 15 prints in Finland, while “L.A. Confidential” (cume: $29.8 million) rose strongly across Europe.

BVI’s “George of the Jungle” (cume: $34.1 million) swung $260,000 from 52 Swedish screens, while “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (cume: $6 million) screamed $1,840 from two screen in Lithuania, that nation’s first horror release.

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