Madonna starrer “Evita” had a lyrical weekend, chirping $829,914 from 92 Japanese theaters, $238,306 from 28 cinemas in the Philippines, and $91,795 from six Israeli sites. Pic also wowed $78,000 from its limited Spanish bow on one print each in Madrid and Barcelona, while going wide to 42 houses in South Africa, taking $152,191 over the weekend. Total cume is $37.4 million.

After 18 days, “Evita” dropped only 2% in Germany (local cume: $5.1 million) and retained the top spot in its sixth lap in the U.K., ahead of freshmen “The Frighteners” from UIP, which scared $762,360 from 105 theaters and a nine-market cume of $4.3 million; and Fox’s “That Thing You Do!,” which popped $82,970 from 161 prints. But BVI’s “Flirting With Disaster” had an excellent limited bow, taking $100,000 from 15 screens.

BVI’s “101 Dalmatians” (cume: $61 million, with a huge $28 million of that coming from the U.K.) barked a boffo $273,000 from 11 prints in Taiwan, doubling the figures for “Babe” but on par with “Pocahontas” and “Toy Story.”

Tom Cruise starrer “Jerry Maguire” bagged $270,000 for CTSI from 11 screens in Taiwan, ahead of dates in Hong Kong and South Korea.

New Line managed to reverse some of the bad fortunes that have befallen “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (cume: $35.2 million) by effectively using star Geena Davis and director-husband Renny Harlin during a promo tour Down Under. The actioner opened in top spot with $1.4 million from 144 Aussie theaters, outperforming the Oz bows of “Eraser,” “A Time to Kill,” “Cliffhanger” and “Die Hard 2.” The star tour, coupled with a holiday weekend and a lack of significant competish, no doubt contributed to the excellent bow.

Fine ‘Creatures’

Despite New Line’s marketing juggernaut, UIP’s “Fierce Creatures” overcame mixed reviews to stage a fab foreign preem Down Under, taking $1.3 million from 177 screens over the long weekend.

The other star of the lap was Ron Howard’s “Ransom” (cume: $81.1 million), which swelled BVI’s coffers by $12.7 million over the weekend and gave BVI its second-largest, live- action picture bow in France, nabbing $3.7 million from 450 cinemas in a top spot debut ahead of the Franco bow of “The Rock” but behind “Die Hard With a Vengeance.”

The Mel Gibson starrer also staged BVI’s biggest live-action picture bow in Belgium with $691,000 from 67 houses, while holding well in Mexico (down 9%), Brazil (off 15%) and Italy (where pic dipped 28% after BVI’s biggest debut in that market).

UIP’s “Daylight” (32 territory cume: $88.8 million) blasted an excellent $261,580 from 29 prints in Norway and a good $125,673 from 35 Danish cinemas.

No ‘Sleeper’ overseas

BVI/Polygram’s “Sleepers” (cume: 68.5 million) bowed in the No. 1 spot in Argentina with $270,000 from 35 cinemas, while Nicole Kidman starrer “The Portrait of a Lady” continued to disappoint Polygram, delivering $69,464 from 18 theaters in Holland and $122,499 from 13 Japanese prints. Cume is a sluggish $9 million.

Fox’s “Independence Day” continued its global domination in fine style with its eight laps in Japan contributing $70 million toward the pic’s staggering $473 million foreign cume.

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