‘Force’ takes Japan

Harrison Ford starrer leads big o'seas B.O.

Undeterred by torrential rains, “Air Force One” posted BVI’s biggest bow ever in Japan, bombarding $3.2 million from 176 screens in a top spot preem, helping the Harrison Ford starrer touch down with a $103.4 million cume.

During a brisk weekend at the foreign box office, “Air Force One” and Sony’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” brought to 20 the number of films to cross the $100 million mark overseas, while Fox’s “Alien Resurrection” took its place at the table of up and coming blockbusters.

BVI’s “Hercules” (cume: $78.1 million) looks set to attain the $100 million status in the next few weeks, bringing BVI to a record six $100 million overseas movies in one year. “Herc” swiped the top spot in France, with $4.3 million from 605 sites, and Belgium, with $577,000 from 98 prints, while holding well in Germany and Spain.

“Hercules’ ” French bow outperformed Brad Pitt starrer “Seven Years in Tibet” (eight-territory cume: $15.9 million), which ascended with a good $3.6 million from 370 cinemas while holding well in Germany but sinking in the U.K. “Tibet” also posted Lithuania’s biggest screen averages ever, $5,694 from two sites, because one of the film’s female leads, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, is Lithuanian.

Sony’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” waltzed its way to $100.6 million after romancing $81,428 from good bows on 26 screens in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia. The Julia Roberts starrer also smooched $29,514 from one Russian theater, while stablemate “Men in Black” beamed to a $284.4 million overseas.

Fox’s “Alien Resurrection” slimed $13.9 million in its third lap overseas, pushing its cume to $26 million. Pic scared up a good $4.4 million from 445 prints in a No. 1 U.K. bow, knocking stablemate “The Full Monty” into second place and leaving “One Night Stand” and “Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag” floundering in its wake.

B.O. ‘Resurrection’

“Alien” scored several top spots across Europe, spooking $3.9 million from 620 German houses, $1.9 million from 207 sites in Spain (for Fox’s second best bow there behind “Independence Day”) and $634,022 from 80 Swedish screens. The Sigourney Weaver starrer also grabbed $260,908 from 52 Dutch cinemas, $252,991 from 52 Austrian screens, $227,596 from 42 Filipino prints, $365,374 from 42 Malaysian houses and $494,613 from 38 Singapore sites.

Fox’s “Volcano” (cume: $72.6 million) grossed $830,468 from 181 theaters in Italy, where it was overshadowed by “Bean” (cume: $155.9 million), which has grossed a whopping $10.4 million in 10 days. “Bean” will add Italo screens (going to 580 on Friday) to capitalize on the season’s best bow after local smash “Fireworks.” With French sci-fi hit “The Fifth Element” at No. 3, U.S. entries are shut out of the season’s top three spots. “Bean” also posted Croatia’s biggest bow ever with $185,849 from 11 screens.

BVI’s “Starship Troopers” (cume: $2.5 million) followed last week’s stellar outings in Singapore and Malaysia with a great South Korean bow of $1 million from 70 houses —South Korea’s fourth-largest preem ever.

In Australia, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was the weekend’s best bow, with $750,000 from 139 prints, followed by good turns for “Mimic” and “Grosse Point Blank,” with $228,588 and $148,000 from 75 and 42 sites, respectively. UIP’s “Kull the Conqueror” took a blah $102,000 from 92 houses. “The Peacemaker” took $342,194 from paid previews on 114 screens in Oz, while sleuthing a good $152,847 from 30 New Zealand cinemas.

BVI’s “Face/Off” (cume: $111.2 million) ripped into the top spot in Norway with $308,000 from 40 prints, while stablemate “George of the Jungle” (cume: $21 million) swung into the No. 1 slot in Colombia with $185,000 from 23 theaters while holding well in Mexico. Polygram’s “The Game” (cume: $88.7 million) thrilled $23,096 from two sites in Iceland.

Fox’s “The Full Monty” (cume: $110.4 million) continued to charm Europe, stripping $135,152 from 25 Danish sites, $52,339 from 18 Polish houses and $27,358 from four Slovenian screens.

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