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‘Deep’ $100 million

Bucks soccer as it preps to cross line o'seas

UIP’s “Deep Impact” looks set to become the next member of the $100 million club after weekend dates in Oz, Singapore and Japan.

While World Cup fever has many distribs running for cover and withholding top titles from the overseas box office, DreamWorks’ disaster pic, which has a foreign cume of $94.5 million, was one of a select group to buck the trend in an anticlimactic frame. It staged a good fifth lap in Germany to retain the top spot and became only the second pic this year (behind “Titanic”) to pass the 1 million admissions mark in economically depressed South Korea.

In Germany, UIP stablemate “Blues Brothers 2000” (cume: $12 million) boogied to a mediocre No. 2 bow (plus $208,241 from 48 Austrian screens), and BVI’s “Welcome to Sarajevo” was received coolly (but was worse in New Zealand, with $21,000 from 52 sites).

Warners’ “Murder at 1600” (cume: $15.3 million) sleuthed good screen averages, ringing up $72,335 from 16 cinemas in Austria. New Line’s “Boogie Nights” (cume: $14.4 million) rose 12% after last frame’s soft bow.

Echoing remarks from across Europe, one German exhib says the week was “disastrous,” adding that, in terms of the weather and targeting non-soccer fans, “it could have been a good weekend, but there are simply no good films at the moment.”

It was one of the worst weeks in recent history for local films in Spain, where five pics, mostly co-productions, bowed. More people were interested in watching Spain lose to Nigeria on the soccer pitch.

Best of a soft bunch in Spain was “Elles,” a fortysomething femme pic toplining Carmen Maura, Miou Miou and Marisa Berenson, which just missed a top 10 spot.

But in France, the host of the World Cup, Fox’s “Titanic” (cume: $1.15 billion) managed to set a new Gallic record by passing the 20 million admissions mark. The almost unsinkable ship took $4 million from 498 screens in 19 markets.

“Titanic,” “The Dinner Game,” “Taxi” and newcomer “Marvin’s Room” (ably assisted by having Leo DiCaprio’s name in lights) were, in the absence of heavyweight competish, the main beneficiaries of French soccer widows seeking entertainment.

New Line’s “The Wedding Singer” (cume: $17.5 million) crooned $77,121 from 20 screens in the Philippines. The Adam Sandler comedy retained the top spot in its sophomore sesh in the U.K.

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