O’seas B.O. still packing summer heat

The summer season abroad is wrapping with a bang, despite a heat wave in Europe, the distraction of papal rallies in Paris and distribs’ natural desire to steer clear of counterprogramming blockbusters “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Men in Black.”

Last week, “The Lost World’s” cume rocketed to $246.3 million, powered by Japan’s massive $64.6 million, the U.K.’s $37.6 million, Australia’s $15.6 million and Taiwan’s $15.4 million.

Steven Spielberg’s juggernaut abated by a reasonable 28% in Germany, collecting a socko $20.4 million in 14 days, plus $2.7 million in 13 days in Austria (off 42%) and $1.3 million in the same period in German-speaking Switzerland (down 44%). In a typical staggered release pattern in China, the dino epic has coined a terrif $3.5 million in three weeks.

‘Black’ attack

“Men in Black” climbed to an estimated $112 million, the 12th title to cross the century mark this year. In France, the sci-fi comedy bagged $15.7 million in 14 days, but tumbled by 42%, a larger-than-expected decline aggravated by sweltering weather and the Pope’s visit, which drew 300,000 young pilgrims and made the city a difficult place in which to get around. One Gallic programmer said biz was better in the provinces.

Barry Sonnenfeld’s hit showed sturdy legs in the U.K., garnering $37 million in 20 days, and in Spain with $7.5 million through the sixth weekend.

Spanish bookers said no distrib was willing to release major films in the week before the Aug. 22 invasion of the dinosaurs, and noted most holdovers were off by 20%-40%.

German exhibs beefed that only “Lost World” was taking big money, and they dismissed freshers “Jackie Chan’s First Strike,” “Everyone Says I Love You” ($24.8 million cume) and “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion” ($4.5 million in 11 territories).

In the U.K., “Speed 2: Cruise Control” was savaged by critics and found the competition tough, resulting in a six-day take of $2.2 million on 350. But the actioner steamed into Japan with a handsome $6.8 million in four days on 167, and was buoyant in Mexico ($1 million in two days on 300) and Argentina ($832,000 in six days on 61). The Sandra Bullock starrer minted $15.8 million last week abroad, and its total vaulted to $60.9 million, streaking past domestic.

John Woo’s “Face/Off” fetched $1.6 million on 34 in his native Hong Kong, the territory’s sixth-highest opening ever, after an outdoor preview screening for 5,000 people attended by the director.

The BVI release nabbed $520,000 on 68 in Holland — No. 1 in a soft market — and $300,000 on 31 in New Zealand. “Face/Off” has a robust $3.9 million after 12 days in South Korea and $2.7 million in 19 days in Brazil.

Mel Smith’s comedy “Bean” has amassed an estimated $38 million from nine markets, including $12.2 million in 13 days in the U.K. (down 33%), $5.2 million in 25 days in Spain, $4.9 million in Holland and $13.3 million Down Under.

“Con Air” flew to $85.9 million and set a BVI live-action opening record in the Philippines with $996,000 on 77.

BVI’s first co-production with Argentina, “Ashes From Paradise,” improved by 21% in its second lap in that territory for an excellent $1.8 million to date, and will debut in Brazil in mid-September.

Clint Eastwood’s “Absolute Power” (estimated cume: $32 million) landed in Australia with a so-so $814,000 on 140, including previews, while “Conspiracy Theory” plunged by a disappointing 39% for $3.2 million in 14 days. The Mel Gibson/Julia Roberts starrer launched in Taiwan with a fine $919,000 in five days on 37, despite a weekend typhoon.

Oz fatigued

Rookies “Addicted to Love” (cume $15.9 million) and “Brassed Off” didn’t enliven the Oz B.O. “Batman & Robin” topped $108 million and fetched a moderate $488,000 in nine days on 78 in Indonesia; the Batpic’s scorecard includes a beefy $24 million in the U.K., $10.4 million in Oz, $8.5 million in Brazil, $7.9 million in Germany, $7.5 million in France and a fair $6.6 million after 19 days in Japan.

Wes Craven’s “Scream” passed $40 million, highlighted by the U.K.’s $13.5 million, France’s $7.1 million and Australia’s $5 million.

“Anaconda” ($42 million cume) perished in Holland; “The Chamber” corpsed in France, Belgium and Switzerland; and “That Old Feeling” bombed in Brazil, Argentina and Thailand.

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