19th title set to join; 'Alien' breaks out o'seas

“Alien Resurrection” notched monster world preems in France and Switzerland, while three hits closed in on $100 million abroad last week. That will mean 19 titles so far have reached that pinnacle in 1997 — four more than last year’s total.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Alien” sci-fier looks destined for blockbuster status after bagging $6.6 million on 507 screens in France and $303,000 on 20 in French-speaking Switzerland.

One Gallic programmer described the Fox pic’s results as “wonderful,” and said biz also was buoyed by freshman “On Connait la Chanson.” A musical comedy helmed by Alain Resnais from the same writing team who penned the clicks “Un Air de Famille” and “Smoking/No Smoking,” it whistled up $2.2 million on only 158 screens.

Irrepressible Brit comedy “The Full Monty” boogied along to $95 million after pocketing $10.6 million last week (the frame’s highest-grosser), and was expected to scale $100 million by Nov. 24.

Also nearing the century mark are “Air Force One” ($93.6 million) and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (with an estimated $92 million).

Dynamite trio

Way out in front as the year’s top three gold mines are “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” ($371.7 million), “Men in Black” ($281 million; it should exceed $300 million after it invades Japan on Dec. 6) and “The Fifth Element” ($195.5 million).

Just beginning its continental European rollout after minting more than $16 million in the U.K., “Hercules” ($60.3 million cume) is a sure bet to join the $100 million club. The animated pic flexed its muscles in Sweden for a terrif $810,000 in six days on 138 and Denmark at $343,000 in three days on 65, both ahead of “Aladdin’s” entry.

German exhibs described “The Peacemaker’s” preem as good but not as potent as they’d hoped, in a frame that one described as “nothing to write home about.” Mimi Leder’s actioner was relatively stronger in its first forays in Singapore ($671,000 on 24), Indonesia ($436,000 in nine days on 52), Austria, Finland and Argentina.

The cume is $30.6 million, including South Korea’s $2.3 million in 12 days, Taiwan’s $1.7 million in ditto and Hong Kong’s $1.2 million after two weeks.

Peter Cattaneo’s “Full Monty” retained the No. 1 spot in its 12th round in the U.K., and with $62.5 million in the till now ranks as the second-highest earner ever in that market, behind “Jurassic Park’s” $77.7 mil.

“Monty” had good-to-great bows in Belgium ($491,000 on 33), Sweden ($279,000 in five days on 31), Mexico, Holland and Israel. Impressive holdovers include Australia’s $9.3 million after the fifth lap and France’s $8 million through the fourth.

Wolfgang Petersen’s “Air Force One” grabbed $844,000 from previews on 123 screens Down Under, including a smash $111,500 from five prints at Australia’s biggest cinema, Greater Union’s new 30-screener in Marion, South Australia. The megaplex pulled in a whopping $275,000 in its first week.

Double threat

In Italy, homegrown comedy “Fireworks” continued to reign, and with takings of $37.9 million gives director-star Leonardo Pieraccioni the rare distinction of having the two top-grossing films of the year.

David Fincher’s “The Game” had lively debuts in Belgium and Holland, but has been a snoozer in the U.K. and Australia. The Polygram pic has a respectable $4.8 million in two weeks in France but tumbled by more than 50% as poor word of mouth spread. The cume is about $14 million from 10 markets.

“Spawn” ($9.5 million cume) had one of its healthier entries to date in Spain with $816,000 in three days on 144, playing off a best special-effects nod at a film fest in Sitges.

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