‘Lolita’ lusty; ‘Best’ bright

'World,' 'Monty,' 'Men' still hot o'seas

Italian audiences succumbed to “Lolita’s” charms, while “My Best Friend’s Wedding” captivated lots of Aussies and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” had monster preems in three European markets last week.

All told, it was another satisfying frame at cinemas overseas as “Men in Black” (estimated cume $225 million), “Face/Off” ($57.2 million), “Air Force One,” “Contact,” “Bean” and “The Fifth Element” continued to mint handsome sums.

‘Lolita’ sparks

In its world preem, “Lolita,” Adrian Lyne’s take on the relationship between a middle-aged man and a teenage girl, seduced a lusty $1.2 million in five days on 190 screens in Italy. Huge media coverage was sparked by the visits of the director, thesps Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain, and Dmitri Nabokov (whose father Vladimir wrote the novel); and by enraged community groups.

Soph “Air Force One” ($32.5 million cume) has earned a sturdy $3.5 million in 13 days in Italy (off 17%), where “Contact” landed with a sterling $1.2 million in six days on 143. Wolfgang Petersen’s presidential actioner has been a crowd-pleaser everywhere except the U.K., where it buckled under the competition.

In a fascinating shoot-out in France, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” grossed a heady $459,000 in the first day on 314, topping “Air Force One’s” $359,000 on 448. “It’s love vs. war,” quipped one wag.

Robert Zemeckis’ “Contact” ($22.6 million cume) entered the U.K. with a solid $2 million in six days on 282, but could not dislodge Fox’s mercurial “The Full Monty,” which reigned for the fifth consecutive week, amassing $26 million in 34 days. In its second territory, “Monty” disrobed in Switzerland with a merry $175,000 in five days on 21.

In the U.K. “Spawn” plunged by 53% after a moderate bow, hatching just $2.9 million in 13 days, while John Duigan’s “The Leading Man” bombed and Atom Egoyan’s “The Sweet Hereafter” got warm crits and a tasty $80,000 in six days on 12.

“Contact” is a steady earner, typified by Japan’s $7.8 million in 20 days, France’s $3.7 million in two weeks (sliding 34%), Spain’s $2.6 million in 13 days (off just 17%) and Brazil’s $1.3 million in 13.

‘World’ bows wow

“The Lost World” posted the third-highest bow in history in the Netherlands behind “Independence Day” and “Jurassic Park,” grabbing $1.2 million on 99. Steven Spielberg’s epic set all-time industry records in Portugal ($594,000 in six days on 65), Hungary ($387,000 on 32) and Turkey ($556,000 in 12 days on 46 after a record first week).

The dinopic has collected $2.2 million after 13 days in Sweden (off 43%) and $1.4 million in 13 days in Denmark (down 44%), and its cume vaulted to $321.7 million.

“My Best Friend’s Wedding” gave Columbia TriStar its second-best opening ever Down Under behind “Men in Black,” snaring $3.1 million on 156, and had uniformly good preems in Singapore, South Africa and Denmark. The Julia Roberts starrer eased by just 20% in the U.K. for a resounding $6.5 million in 13 days. Estimated cume is $21 million.

Mel Smith’s comedy “Bean” beguiled Belgium with $1 million in five days on 62, including previews; the cume is about $108 million.

In Japan, “The Fifth Element” (foreign cume $164 million) has snared a fine $8.8 million nearing the end of its third lap.

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