O’seas pro on ‘Con Air’

Day and date with its domestic takeoff, “Con Air” went into high altitude with eleven top-spot bows at the overseas box office over the weekend, nabbing $5 million from results which were largely in line with BVI’s previous Nicholas Cage starrer “The Rock.”

In a heat-affected Blighty, pic bumped $2.2 million from 390 screens to stage the fourth-largest June bow in U.K. history, while running $800,000 from 144 prints in Brazil, flattening the bow of Fox’s “Inventing the Abbots” ($134,783 from 35 sites) and deflating “The Fifth Element” by 47%.

The aero-actioner scored an excellent $603,000 from 25 Hong Kong theaters, tripling the results of fellow freshman “The Saint,” delivered BVI’s second-largest non-animated bow in Mexico with $543,000 from 180 sites, elevated $350,000 from 28 houses in Argentina and landed Israel’s third largest bow of all time (behind “Independence Day” and “Ransom”), with $232,000 from 28 cinemas.

In top bows in Chile, Colombia, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela, screen averages ranged from $6,250 to $2,666.

More launches

And the torrid pace is set to continue, with BVI clearing “Con Air” for takeoff in about 50% of the foreign box office before the end of June, including Germany, Spain and South Korea.

The other star of the frame was UIP’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (cume: $7.9 million), which staged a socko second foreign outing in Singapore after its boffo Oz bow. More than 400,000 Singaporeans (13% of the Island’s population) flocked to see the pic on 40 screens, swelling UIP’s coffers by almost $2 million (including previews). The stunning screen average of $49,309 makes it the territory’s largest bow of all time.

Fox’s “Volcano” (cume: $5.5 million) erupted to the top spot in the Philippines with $732,657 from 61 screens, while WB’s “Addicted to Love” charmed the Far East, nabbing top spot in South Korea with $607,493 from 29 prints, while coming in second in Taiwan (behind “The Fifth Element”) with $410,620 from 34 screens.

Japan wild for classic

Fox’s “Star Wars” added another $1.4 million in Japan, bringing the local cume to $5.1 million to add to the reissue’s foreign cume of $103.9 million.

Glenn Close was badly beaten by Jean Claude Van Damme in Oz, where the preem of Bruce Beresford’s “Paradise Road” took an estimated $577,600 from 85 screens behind an unexpectedly good bow for CTSI’s “Double Team,” with an estimated $760,000 from 96 prints.

Back in Europe, the controversial “Crash” was one of the few other freshmen to do decent biz, wrecking $274,579 from 56 U.K. prints, while “The Fifth Element” thrilled $83,000 from 15 prints in a top-spot Finnish bow.

Also good was BVI’s reissue of “The Lady and the Tramp,” which charmed $261,000 from 145 Italian cinemas; expect that to rise when school vacations start within the week.

Snake takes Norway

CTSI’s “Anaconda” (six-market cume: $5 million) slithered into top spot in Norway with $102,178 from 25 copies, while hissing $65,386 from 20 Danish screens and $125,517 from 33 New Zealand cinemas.

But UIP’s “The Chamber” (cume: $3.3 million) took a measly $244,266 from 153 prints in Germany, while freefalling 51% in its second Italo frame.

In France, “Gridlock’d” mustered just $109,195 from 56 prints, where “Michael’ took an estimated $290,200 from 234 prints.

UIP’s “Beavis and Butthead Do America” (cume: $7.6 million) dithered $46,305 from 10 Swedish screens. Fox’s “The Crucible” (cume: $12.9 million) tanked with $10,000 from 10 theaters in Holland.

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