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'Maguire' opens well in Italy, Oz, and U.K.

There are plenty of U.S. event films and strong local product out there, but not enough to help revive ailing markets Japan and France. Meanwhile, “Jerry Maguire,” “Mars Attacks!” and “101 Dalmatians” kept biz perky in other markets last week, but “Mars” hasn’t clicked in Australia and the other two have had one or two flat spots.

“Jerry Maguire” kicked off in Australia with $2.7 million on 203 (a Columbia TriStar record, beating “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”), and had muscular debuts in Italy, the U.K. and Israel. “Maguire’s” foreign score is about $34 million.

But after earning an OK $2.3 million in the first week on 426 in France, the Tom Cruise starrer was losing steam entering its second week; one programmer suggested that the story of a U.S. sports agent doesn’t have much resonance there. The big disappointment has been Germany, where the pic dropped by 32% in its second lap after a mediocre start.

“Star Wars” sold 122,000 tickets opening day in France on 404 screens for an estimated $900,000. The Paris market, which typically reps around one-third of national receipts, accounted for just 20%, suggesting the pic will be a huge draw in the provinces.

BV’s “101 Dalmatians” bowed in Germany with $2.2 million on 600 (disappointing some exhibs who said it’s drawing kids aged under 12, missing adults) but was more potent in Spain ($1.2 million in six days on 161), Austria ($430,000 on 80) and Poland ($275,000 in three days on 51). Cume is $84.6 million.

‘Patient’ pays

“The English Patient” nabbed a terrif $1.3 million on 84 Down Under screens and had a socko preem in Spain. A winner in Germany and Italy in its sophomore session and in Brazil in its third, the multi-Oscar nominee has cumed an estimated $14 million.

“William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet” landed in Spain with a moderate $608,000 in five days on 116 (overshadowed by “Patient”); Indonesia with a lively $419,000 in eight days on 45; and Norway with an unexceptional $215,000 in five on 35. Foreign total is $32.7 million.

Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” vaulted to $31.7 million, buoyed by good second week holds in France ($7.7 million to date), the U.K. ($7.4 million), Germany ($3 million) and Spain ($2.4 million). The Martians got a cool reception in Italy ($538,000 in six days on 74) but a warmer welcome in Malaysia ($299,000 on 26, including sneaks) and Denmark.

“Daylight” climbed to $119.6 million, and “Space Jam” shot up to $96.4 million, fueled by Italy’s wow $7.3 million after the third lap. “Sleepers” advanced to $96.5 million, and “Evita” to an estimated $79 million, including a hearty $2.6 million after the second stanza in Brazil.

‘Flynt’ falters

Milos Forman’s “The People vs. Larry Flynt” fetched a pleasing $330,000 in its first weekend on 78 in Brazil, but almost everywhere else isn’t working outside a limited number of upscale situations, as evidenced by the cume of about $10 million in 29 territories.

“Metro” posted record preems for an Eddie Murphy starrer in Taiwan ($425,000 in five days on 11) and the Philippines ($275,000 on 40).

“Fierce Creatures” was uncaged in the Netherlands for a tame $220,000 on 38 and bombed in Hong Kong; total in nine markets is $13.1 million.

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