‘Titanic,’ ‘Tomorrow’ steamroll o’seas posts

'Home' left in dust as two actioners bow in Euro markets

A fleet of foreign preems for “Titanic” and the European rollout of “Tomorrow Never Dies” made for a torrid pace at the overseas box office over the weekend.

The blockbuster duo stayed out of each other’s way, allowing the Bond pic to set records in Europe and the boat pic to dock great perfs in Asia. Those foolhardy enough to take them on — most notably “Home Alone 3” and “Spice World: The Movie” — were left high and dry.

Arguably one of history’s most anticipated starts to a foreign campaign, Fox’s “Titanic” had a terrif weekend, given the length of the piece, with a clutch of top spot debuts. Pic flooded $4 million from sellouts in 210 Japanese theaters, setting several house records and beating “Forrest Gump’s” Nippon bow by 116%. But BVI’s “Air Force One” (overseas cume: $121.5 million), Mandalay’s “Seven Years in Tibet” (cume: $36.8 million) and Sony’s “Men in Black” (cume: $307.8 million) weathered the onslaught with OK dips of 23%, 25% and 33%, respectively.

‘Titanic’ on top Down Under

James Cameron’s epic “Titanic” sailed into pole position Down Under, posting Fox’s second-best bow there after “Independence Day” with $2.1 million from 222 sites, ahead of good paid previews for “Tomorrow Never Dies,” earning pic second spot and $387,000 from 126 prints, while Fox’s kiddie pic “The Wiggles” screamed $242,000 from 152 sites and Miramax’s “Mrs. Brown” (cume: $4.3 million) curtsied $55,320 from paid previews on 21 prints.

In Taiwan and Hong Kong, boat pic docked $750,740 and $808,888 from 18 and 27 houses, respectively, broke many house records and posted Fox’s biggest ever non-holiday Hong Kong bow. Pic easily sailed past the lively turns by BVI’s “Starship Troopers” (cume: $7 million) in those markets and UIP’s “The Jackal” (cume: $4.3 million).

UIP’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” went into full throttle in Europe, nabbing $35.8 million after last week’s massive bow in the U.K., where pic retained top spot ahead of BVI’s “George of the Jungle” (cume: $30.1 million) going wide and swinging $1.5 million from 322 sites.

Bond pic actioned $7.9 million from 776 houses in Germany’s third-biggest bow of the year, behind “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Men in Black,” and was 5% ahead of “Goldeneye” and was the best bow ever for a pic rated for over-16s.

In Spain, “Tomorrow” was 65% ahead of “Goldeneye,” with $1.4 million from 202 prints, while surpassing its predecessor by 6% in Sweden with $1.2 million from 93 sites.

“Titanic” also set records in Norway, Belgium and Denmark, as well as Lebanon and the Persian Gulf.

Competition stiffed

Going up against the Bond juggernaut in many Euro markets — and being left well alone by auds — was “Home Alone 3,” which after a series of embarrassing encounters saw its world preems amount to a series of box office meltdowns. Pic mustered a miserable $3 million from 21 Euro debuts, least cringe-worthy of which were the U.K., with $706,000 from 306 screens.

Ditto for Polygram’s “Spice World: The Movie,” which was anything but spicy in its blah foreign preems in Spain, Holland and Belgium, with $197,448, $121,701 and $100,328 from 142, 78 and 35 prints, respectively.

Warner’s “Devil’s Advocate” (cume: $4.4 million) wowed $368,461 from 44 screens in Italy, behind Sony’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (cume: $119 million), which waltzed a fine $793,170 from 69 prints, and Mandalay’s “Seven Years in Tibet” (cume: $36.8 million), which spirited a good $800,000 from 91 cinemas.

The Brad Pitt Tibetan starrer also took $429,584 from 151 Mexican prints, where BVI’s “Flubber” (cume: $4.5 million) slimed $611,000 from 243 prints (exceeding “101 Dalmatians” by 21%), which was narrowly behind sophomore “Anastasia.”

Fox’s “Anastasia” (eight-nation cume: $1.6 million) had a royal weekend, bowing top spot in a clutch of South American markets.

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