Euro, Japan vacations boost exhibs

Spring vacation began over the weekend in a raft of territories in Europe and Japan, buoying exhibs who were expecting to make a killing from “Star Wars,” along with hold-overs “101 Dalmatians” and Oscar fave “The English Patient.”

Late last week, “Space Jam’s” foreign cume hit $100.1 million, ranking as the second blockbuster to gross $100 million overseas this calendar year after “Ransom.” “Dalmatians’ ” total stood at $94.1 million and “Sleepers” was at $98.4 million; both were set to join the $100 million club by March 24.

‘Star’ quality

It won’t be long before the “Star Wars” reissue zooms to that level, judging by the epic’s stellar bows in France ($4.8 million on 404) and Thailand ($621,000 in five days on 67). Launched March 20 in Australia, George Lucas’ pic harvested an estimated $604,000 on 165, including midnight sessions: the third-biggest opening day in history in Oz, behind “Independence Day” and “Batman Forever.” The sci-fier has taken $6.7 million since reissue; previously it amassed $198.6 million, according to Fox Intl. Over the weekend the film rolled out in more than 20 territories; it’s slated for May in Japan.

“Dalmatians” landed in Japan with an encouraging $2.3 million in four days on 197 (positioned to cash in on the 18-day vacation) and Italy with a lively $1.2 million in six days on 69 (expanding over the weekend to about 200 prints). The family pic has improved after a slow start in Germany, tallying $4.5 million in 13 days, and in Spain it’s collected $2.4 million in ditto.

‘Peak’ perky

“Dante’s Peak” erupted with potent results in Singapore ($982,000 on 29), Malaysia ($921,000 on 51) and Mexico ($1.1 million in six days on 206), and after 11 days in Japan has grossed a moderately good $5 million.

The Japanese B.O. has been sluggish for about 15 months; the only true megahit has been “Independence Day,” which has coined more than $87 million. “Star Trek: First Contact” has taken a tepid $2 million in 11 days in Japan (not a Trekkie stronghold) and $51 million overseas.

“Jerry Maguire” scored good openings in Spain, Sweden, Belgium, the Philippines and Portugal, and had strong second outings in the U.K. and Italy; estimated cume is $48 million. However, one Spanish tradester lamented the B.O. is running behind last year, noting, “We haven’t had a blockbuster yet.”

The pre-Oscar attention continued to give “The English Patient” plenty of momentum as it muscled into the U.K. ($2.6 million in six days on 230, including previews) and France ($1.5 million on 147) and hit its second rounds in Spain and Australia, and its third in Germany and Italy. The foreign total is about $25 million.

Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” topped $40 million, highlighted by the U.K.’s $9.3 million, France’s $9.2 million, Germany’s $4 million and Spain’s $3 million.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety