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'Titanic' hits record in U.K., dips in Spain

“Titanic” continues to take B.O. crowns overseas, but in Spain, the combination of wow bows by hit local cop satire “Torrente, the Wrong Arm of the Law” and BVI’s “Flubber” proved too much for the ship.

“Torrente” is not only the highest-grossing Spanish opener this year, but the biggest bow since Fernando Trueba’s “Two Much” in December 1995.

The epic sank from the top spot, while the pair trounced fellow freshmen Fox’s “Anastasia” (which, considering its Russian storyline, disappointed in Russia with just $63,745 from 21 sites), UIP’s “The Rainmaker” (foreign cume: $4.4 million), Sony’s “Gattaca” (cume: $3.6 million) and Polygram’s “Hard Rain” (cume: $2.6 million).

“Torrente” was helped by the popularity of its star, local TV wit Santiago Segura, who also helmed.

“Flubber” (cume: $52.1 million) also bounced “Titanic” from the top spot in Austria and was the star of Germany, splattering a pleasing $3.7 million from 643 sites. Also in Germany, Mandalay’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (cume: $20.3 million) spooked the week’s second-best bow.

Microbudget British comedy “The Full Monty” has just been bumped from its top spot as the highest-grossing pic ever at the British box office by — you guessed it — the Oscar-laden “Titanic.”

Fox’s epic sailed to $87.7 million in the U.K. and, given a post-Oscar boost, could pass “Crocodile Dundee” for the same honor Down Under within weeks. Nudging $94 million in both France and Spain, pic is poised to become the first release ever to pass $100 million in those markets.

“Titanic’s” foreign tally steamed to an eye-popping $775.4 million, after sinking another $54 million in 54 markets during the week and posting record-busting bows in Yugoslavia and Croatia, with $382,410 and $317,195 from 10 and 15 prints, respectively.

But in Italy, “The Full Monty” knocked “Titanic” from the top spot, although the boat may resurface in a post-Oscar boost, given that “Good Will Hunting” rose 35% in its third round.

A royal- and Leonardo DiCaprio-studded preem overcame downbeat reviews for UIP’s “The Man in the Iron Mask,” which nabbed second spot in its foreign bow in the U.K. (behind “Titanic”). “Gattaca” was disappointing, while Miramax’s “Jackie Brown” (cume: $4.1 million) shot a fine $200,000 from a one-screen preview.

WB’s “Fallen” (cume: $5.9 million) was the best bow of the week in France, where New Line’s “Boogie Nights” (cume: $11.6 million) didn’t overly titillate. “Boogie” did gyrate a thrilling $195,685 from 17 screens in Hong Kong, where UIP’s “The Boxer” knocked $29,880 from seven cinemas.

“Fallen” was also best bow of the week Down Under, followed by New Line’s “Money Talks.”

But the world preem in Oz of Geoffrey Rush starrer “A Little Bit of Soul” was a disaster, mustering $71,255 from 103 prints for a miserable screen average of $692. Also in Australia, first-day estimates for the foreign bow of “Primary Colors” suggest punters are a tad tired of Clintonesque dramas. Pic is estimated to have taken $60,000 from 89 prints.

Elsewhere, WB’s “Good and Evil” (cume: $2.2 million) had 11 limited bows ranging from abysmal (Czech Republic and the Philippines) to poor (Israel and Norway) to OK (Belgium, Finland, South Africa and Malaysia) to good (Switzerland and Singapore).

Polygram’s “Bean” (cume: $178.5 million) looks sure to pass $200 million overseas after an excellent $1.7 million bow from 138 cinemas in Japan. WB’s “The Postman” (cume: $7.4 million) bagged $749,290 from 106 Japanese screens, while UIP’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” (cume: $198.4 million, and soon to pass $200 million) dipped 37% in its second stanza. BVI’s “Face/Off” (cume: $129 million) fell 23% in its fourth lap.

“The Rainmaker” was hot in Brazil ($517,870 from 41 prints), where Miramax’s “Mrs. Brown” (cume: $8.5 million) royaled $26,000 from five sites.

“Scream 2” (cume: $5.5 million) gave Miramax its best bow ever in South Africa, murdering $174,000 from 47 prints.

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