Laughs, but not least

Homegrown comedies lead o'seas B.O.

Homegrown films — all laffers — ruled the roost in the U.K., Italy, Germany and France, while some U.S. majors took a brief breather before fall moves into high gear.

Adding spice to the frame were the fab foreign preem of DreamWorks’ “The Peacemaker” in Israel and exuberant launches by “My Best Friend’s Wedding” in Spain and “G.I. Jane” in South Korea.

“The Lost World: Jurassic Park” was headed for a monster weekend in France after delivering $1.9 million on a whopping 593 screens Oct. 22, selling nearly 343,000 tickets, which was 27% better than the first day of “Jurassic Park.” Steven Spielberg’s dino pic’s offshore cume is $337.1 million.

The Mimi Leder-helmed “Peacemaker” hijacked a socko $414,000 on 25 in Israel, United Intl. Pictures’ second-biggest opening of the year behind “Lost World.”

‘Fireworks’ ignites

In Italy, “Fireworks,” director-actor Leonardo Pieraccioni’s follow-up to “The Cyclone” (which took $44 million, an Italo record) devoured a smash $13.5 million on an unprecedented 610 screens. It’s an all-time high, beating “Independence Day’s” $9.9 million.

In Germany, exhibs were tickled pink by “Ballermann 6,” a coarse tale about drunks partying on Majorca, from producer Bernd Eichinger. “It’s playing like crazy,” one booker said. In the U.K., “The Full Monty” continues to fight off all challenges during its eight-week run: The cume late last week was $42.8 million. Fox’s “Monty” pulled $8.4 million from eight territories for a cume of $49 million. Peter Cattaneo’s pic snared $1.9 million on 136 in Oz, and a total of $2.8 million, including previews on the two prior weekends, and $304,000 in six days on 32 in New Zealand. Ridley Scott’s “G.I. Jane” enlisted $855,000 in two days on an estimated 60 screens in South Korea, and has collected a fine $3.9 million in 18 days in Italy. Largo Entertainment reported a cume of $5.8 million in five markets.

Spain loves ‘Wedding’

“My Best Friend’s Wedding” was the top-grossing title abroad, amassing close to $10 million from 1,768 screens for an estimated cume of $60 million. The P.J. Hogan-directed romantic comedy wooed $1.7 million in three days on 177 in Spain. It’s Columbia TriStar’s second-highest preem ever there behind “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” “Air Force One” harvested $6.3 million, lifting its cume to $59.1 million. The presidential actioner stole $1.1 million on 83 in the Philippines (the second-highest preem there after “Independence Day”) and $340,000 in six days on 45 in Norway.

Buena Vista Intl. stablemate “Face/Off” nabbed $6.2 million abroad and the cume spiked up to $84.6 million.

“Men in Black” climbed to an estimated $265 million cume, “The Fifth Element” hit $173 million (the year’s third-highest grosser), “Bean” moved up to about $117 million and “Conspiracy Theory” reached $37.2 million.

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