'Mask' covers $17 mil; 'Mercury' sputters in Oz

Leonardo DiCaprio fever is running hot overseas, paying off handsomely for “The Man in the Iron Mask” which earned a strapping $17 million last weekend, fueled by bows in Germany, Spain and Mexico.

But Bruce Willis’ undoubted B.O. appeal could not elevate his latest outing “Mercury Rising” to great heights in its international debut in Australia.

Meanwhile, “Flubber” and “Mousehunt” are proving popular with kids during the Easter school vacation, while “Leave It to Beaver” bombed Down Under.

“Man in the Iron Mask” pulled a tad under $3 million in five days on 440 in Germany, $2.9 million in six days on 208 in Spain and $838,000 in four days on 189 in Mexico.

The DiCaprio/Jeremy Irons adventure reigns in Italy, amassing an excellent $8.5 million in 19 days; in France it’s collected a robust $6.5 million in 12 days (slipping just 14%); and in Oz has a solid $2.1 million in 12 days. The foreign cume is $36.5 million from 19 markets.

Harold Becker’s “Mercury Rising” grossed $903,000 in five days on 109 in hotly competitive Australia, disappointing one exhib who noted it could not beat “Titanic” in its 17th frame and was only just ahead of “Good Will Hunting” in its fifth. Universal/UIP is rolling out the Willis/Alec Baldwin starrer in Spain April 24 and in France and Italy the following week.

“Flubber” added $4.5 million to its coffers at the weekend, and its cume climbed to $75.1 million. The Robin Williams starrer is a crowd-pleaser in Spain with $9 million after its fourth round, but so-so in France at $3 million in 12 days.

“Mousehunt” nabbed a moderate $1.2 million in five days on 414 in France and $339,000 in ditto on 69 in the Netherlands. The figures are much better in the U.K., with $6.1 million, (up 23%), Italy ($1.1 million) and Mexico ($1.6 million), all after 11 days. The cume is about $38.5 million.

“Good Will Hunting” pocketed $4.5 million from steady holdover business as its cume rose to a healthy $63.6 million. The U.K.’s $11.2 million leads the pack, followed by Germany’s $7.4 million, Australia’s $7.2 million, Japan’s respectable $5.8 million and France’s $4.9 million. Less impressive is Spain’s $3.1 million.

Miramax stablemate “Jackie Brown” widened to 277 screens in its third frame in the U.K. after platforming in London, and scored a lusty $1.9 million, bringing the total to $4.6 million. Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the blaxsploitation genre dipped by 28% for a fairly good $4.8 million in 12 days in France. The cume is $17.6 million from 14 territories.

“Sphere” harvested $5.6 million from 2,062 screens in 31 markets, sending the cume to $22.5 million. Generally a medium-voltage performer, Barry Levinson’s pic has taken $3.2 million in France, $2.5 million in Spain (both after their third weekend), $2.6 million in the U.K., $2.3 million in Germany and $1.6 million in Italy, all in its soph session.

“Wag the Dog” garnered positive reviews and a sturdy $696,000 in four days on 68 prints in Italy. The political satire miscued in Australia, and has taken a mediocre $1.4 million after its third lap in Germany/Austria, and $1.2 million in its fifth in Spain.

“Boogie Nights’ ” B.O. results generally are not living up to the hype. New Line’s porn industry saga has accumulated just $12.7 million in 20 territories. The U.K. contributed a virile $7.2 million, but the film failed to catch on in Italy, France, Spain, Australia and Mexico.

“Deconstructing Harry” drew plenty of Woody Allen fans, making $186,000 in five days at 15 theaters in Australia, where “The Borrowers” (foreign cume $17.4 million) initialed with a ho-hum $347,000 on 179, and “The Big Lebowski” fetched a healthy $167,000 on just 18. The Coen brothers’ pic has taken a reasonable $1.9 million in 25 days in Germany.

“Tomorrow Never Dies” moved along to $208.2 million, “Bean” reached $186.7 million, “Devil’s Advocate” ascended to about $87.5 million, “The Jackal” peaked at $82.1 million and “L.A. Confidential” at $47.5 million.

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