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Japan inhales ‘Air’

Ford pic at No.1, passes $100 mil o'seas

“Air Force One” posted BVI’s biggest bow ever in Japan, bombarding $4.7 million from 176 screens in a No. 1 spot preem, helping the Harrison Ford starrer to reach a $105.8 million cume.

Also in Japan, Mandalay’s “Donnie Brasco” (cume: $83 million) has earned a surprisingly good $4.1 million in three laps.

“Air Force One” and Sony’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” last week brought to 20 the number of films to cross the $100 million mark overseas, while Fox’s “Alien Resurrection” impregnated Europe and parts of Asia.

Sony’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” waltzed its way to $100.7 million after romancing $81,428 from good bows on 26 screens in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia. Stablemate “Men in Black” beamed to a $285 million overseas.

Fox’s “Alien Resurrection” slimed its cume to $30.2 million in three weeks overseas. After upbeat reviews, pic terrified its way into top spot in the UK, knocking stablemate “The Full Monty” into second place. Also in the UK, New Line’s “One Night Stand” (foreign cume: $4.8 million) had an OK bow, while “Seven Years in Tibet,” BVI’s “Nothing to Lose” (foreign cume: $11.7 million), and “Welcome to Sarajevo” went into freefall.

“Alien” invaded top berths across Europe, including Germany, Spain (where Spelling’s “In & Out” rose 35% in its second lap), Sweden (with $830,780 from 80 sites), Holland ($344,715 from 52 houses) and Austria ($343,699 from 52 cinemas).

Fox’s “Volcano” (cume: $72.8 million) had a so-so belated release in Italy, where the only other freshman was “L’Appartement,” with a modest $22,300 from 9 sites. The star of Italy is Brit comedy “Bean” (cume: $155.9 million), which has grossed a whopping $12 million in two laps and added more screens to capitalize on the season’s best bow after local smash “Fireworks.”

Nevertheless, “Hercules” (cume: $80.3 million) looks set to cross $100 million in the next week or two, after swiping top spot in France and Belgium, while holding well in Germany and Spain. “Hercules’ ” Franco bow outgrossed Mandalay’s “Seven Years in Tibet” (nine-market cume: $16 million), which still nabbed great screen averages, while holding well in Germany but sinking in the U.K. The Brad Pitt starrer posted Lithuania’s biggest screen averages ever, $5,694 from two sites, because the female lead, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, is Lithuanian.

Also in France, UIP’s “Kiss the Girls” (cume: $4.5 million) spooked $179,425 its first day on 156 screens.

BVI’s “Starship Troopers” (cume: $3 million) followed last week’s stellar outings in Singapore and Malaysia with a top spot South Korean bow of $1.5 million from 70 houses, ahead of outings in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In Australia, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was the week’s best bow. UIP’s “The Peacemaker” (cume: $46.8 million) has smashing paid previews, but only a so-so first day with $131,450 on 170 screens while sleuthing a good $202,575 and $180,929 from 30 and 16 houses in New Zealand and Greece, respectively.

Fox’s “The Full Monty” (cume: $112.4 million) continued to titillate Europe, stripping $223,201 from 25 Danish sites, $52,340 from 18 Polish houses and $27,360 from four Slovenian screens.

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