End-of-summer heat

U.S. pix raise temperature at int'l B.O.

The B.O. summer abroad is winding down on an exuberant note, driven by “Armageddon,” “Lethal Weapon 4,” “The X-Files” and “Dr. Dolittle,” and seguing into a fall bulging with hits from the U.S. summer.

Perhaps the frame’s biggest surprise was “The Avengers,” which had very respectable openings in France, Singapore and French-speaking Switzerland.

One Gallic programmer said “The Avengers” TV series is famous in France and auds responded to a slick, up-market campaign by Warner Bros., but the spy caper plunged 60% entering its second week; that parallels its arc in the U.K., Sweden and Israel.

Domestic underachiever “Snake Eyes,” starring Nicolas Cage, had its offshore preem in Sweden, taking a fair $494,000 in six days on 61 screens — double the bow of Cage’s “City of Angels” but just 50% of “Con Air’s.”

Summer standout “Armageddon” minted $23.7 million from 4,249 screens in 30 territories last week, propelling the cume to $149.1 million.

Pic debuted in Australia with a very solid $3 million on 338 screens, including previews, an all-time record for Buena Vista Intl., beating “Ransom.”

But excluding sneaks, that was 16% below “Deep Impact’s” debut, and some exhibs expected a stronger lift-off for the Bruce Willis vehicle.

“Godzilla” climbed to $131 million (with Japan contributing $31.8 million in 46 days), and it’s set to overtake domestic’s $135 million this week after stomping into Spain.

“Lethal Weapon 4” nabbed an estimated $20.4 million on 3,123 screens in 30 countries and the cume zoomed to about $83 million.

It smashed the all-time opening record in Taiwan, scoring $1.7 million in two days on 49 screens, commanding 60% of the B.O. in the capital Taipei. Italy welcomed it with a muscular $1.1 million in three days on 112 (a 45% market share) plus previews.

“The X-Files” conjured up $13.3 million from 2,479 screens in 16 territories, elevating the total to $40.3 million.

Fox’s paranormal pic paced the field in the U.K., taking a spirited $5.9 million in six days on 419 (including previews).

“Dr. Dolittle” drummed up $6.2 million on 1,391 screens in 19 markets and advanced to $57 million. British auds have embraced the talking-animals laugher, ringing up $22.8 million near the end of the fourth lap.

“The Man in the Iron Mask” moved along to $108.2 million, fueled by Japan’s strapping $11.3 million in 19 days. “Deep Impact” topped $182 million, highlighted by Japan’s hefty $45.2 million.

“Six Days, Seven Nights” collected $5.2 million from holdovers and dashing debuts in Belgium ($600,000 in six days on 49), the Netherlands and Denmark; its total hit $38.8 million.

“Sliding Doors” platformed in New Zealand with $132,000 at 10 theaters, breaking house records in Auckland and Wellington; it has a superb $6.5 million after four weeks in Australia.

The omens are not bright for Joe Dante’s “Small Soldiers,” which has captured just $496,000 in two weeks in Hong Kong, its first foreign date.

Wes Craven’s “Scream 2” is a big hit in France but it has miscued in Japan; the cume is $61.5 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 Film News from Variety