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A new ‘Face’ on top

Thriller leads U.K. B.O., knocks off 'Monty'

BVI’s “Face/Off” became the 16th member of the overseas blockbuster club over the weekend, racing to a cume of $104 million after scoring $2.6 million from 396 U.K. screens in a thrilling No. 1 bow.

John Woo’s “Face/Off” trampled the minimum biz of “Maximum Risk” (cume: $32.7 million), which had a measly $43,514 from 28 theaters.

“Face/Off,” which finally knocked Fox’s “The Full Monty” from the U.K.’s top spot by a 7% margin, is BVI’s fourth release to pass the $100 million mark overseas and, with major territories such as Japan to come, should easily pass $150 million.

“The Full Monty’s” foreign cume rose to $80.5 million while worldwide the pic raced to blockbuster status with a cume of $107.8 million.

BVI stablemate “Air Force One” (cume: $87.2 million) is on track for blockbuster status by early December and landed in the top spot in New Zealand with a hearty $227,000 from 38 sites.

Meantime, Polygram’s “The Game” (cume: $9.3 million) wowed France and Singapore with $2.1 million and $156,184 from 352 and 19 screens, respectively, but was below par in Thailand with $81,362 from 41 theaters.

WB’s “Conspiracy Theory” (cume: $49 million) bowed OK in the No. 3 spot in Germany (behind holdovers “Air Force One” and “Scream”) with $1.5 million from 475 houses, while “G.I. Jane” (cume: $17.3 million) excited Brazil by marching into the top spot with a sweaty $1 million from 170 screens and dipped only 13% in its sophomore sesh in Spain to cling to the No. 1 slot.

In Spain, “The Full Monty” rose 21%, while Polygram’s “A Life Less Ordinary” (cume: $4.7 million) was OK, but hardly breathtaking, with $323,777 from 100 screens, but better than Bruce Beresford’s “Paradise Road” (16 territory cume: $960,000), which mustered a disappointing $64,000 from 40 screens.

Also in Spain, Warner’s “L.A. Confidential” (cume: $10.5 million) charmed $282,687 from 81 screens and an excellent $246,722 from 22 sites in Belgium. Pic also sleuthed a pleasing $190,103 from 34 Brazilian cinemas, $163,953 from 34 Italian screens and $102,217 from 14 prints in Argentina. Pic dipped only 12% in the U.K. and was on par with its Danish debut, where it has the second-highest screen average behind freshman “G.I. Jane.”

“Contact” (cume: $62 million) beamed Warners’ best bow ever in Greece with $177,989 from 21 cinemas, while connecting $235,207 from 60 screens in Sweden, way ahead of fellow freshman “The Peacemaker,” which managed just $141,528 from 58 screens.

But “The Peacemaker” (cume: $14.5 million) did stage some outstanding openings, sleuthing $611,978 and $230,850 from 41 and 30 cinemas in Taiwan and Norway, respectively, plus a good $211,887 and $100,954 from 31 and 20 Swiss and Turkish prints, respectively.

In Australia, UIP staged the world preem of “Kiss the Girls,” nabbing $630,000 from 132 sites for the second spot behind stayer “The Full Monty,” but ahead of BVI’s “Nothing to Lose” (cume: $7 million) with $308,000 from 93 prints. But that was better than CTSI’s “Gattaca” (cume with Puerto Rico: $317,000) with $264,000 from 92 prints, and the take of Russell Crowe/Youki Kudoh starrer “Heaven’s Burning” with just $16,525 from 20 sites.

Polygram’s “Bean” (cume: $138.5 million) laffed up an excellent $125,883 from 11 Hungarian houses, while spoofing Lebanon’s best bow ever with $97,141 from eight prints, where Fox’s “Volcano” (cume: $66.4 million) erupted with $54,000 from seven screens, but spluttered with just $55,000 from 20 in Finland.

In Japan, Warners’ “Fire Down Below” (cume: $4 million) took an OK $364,250 from 94 screens, better than stablemate “Fathers’ Day” (cume: $7 million) with $28,150 from 15 sites.

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