Fall turns on heat

Asteroid pic adds to tally; 'Mary' merry

It’s been a stirring start to the fall season abroad as “Armageddon” hurtled toward $200 million last week, “There’s Something About Mary” caused much merriment Down Under and “A Perfect Murder” began its foreign assignment in Argentina with a nifty $433,000 in six days on 45 screens.

Warner Bros.’ explosive “Lethal Weapon 4” became the ninth title to cross the $100 million threshold overseas this year, and “Titanic” crested at $1.2 bil-lion — double the domestic result — nearing the end of its marathon voyage.

Release of “Primary Colors” in Germany could have been propitious timing, but audiences seemed far more interested in the real-life U.S. president’s travails than in John Travolta’s antics.

“Run Lola Run,” Tom Tykwer’s techno version of “Bonnie & Clyde,” grabbed pole position in its third frame in Germany, the first time a Teutonic title has led the field this year. “Love Scenes From Planet Earth,” a comedy about singles searching for love in Munich, held the third spot in its second lusty lap.

Joe Dante’s “Small Soldiers” marched into Singapore with a lively $424,000 on 25 after a so-so campaign in Hong Kong, but “Twilight” barely flickered in France, Belgium and Israel, and “Paulie” croaked in Italy.

There’s plenty of juice left in the summer’s B.O. champ, “Armageddon,” which socked away $16 million from 3,501 screens in 41 markets. Its cume vaulted to $190.3 million and could burst through $200 million by Sept. 14 .

In Italy, the Bruce Willis starrer scored $3.3 million in six days on 314 screens, including previews, the third-highest debut in history behind “Independence Day” and “Titanic,” and in local currency more than 40% better than “The Rock.” Its $913,000 salvo in six days on 46 in Greece ranks as an all-time industry record.

“Lethal Weapon 4” gunned down $9.7 million from 3,021 screens in 34 countries, paced by France’s $18.4 million, Germany’s $12.8 million, Japan’s $12.7 million and Brazil’s $5.9 million. The cume stands at $106 million.

Entering its first major market, the Farrelly brother’s raunchy “Mary” rang up $2.3 million on 232 in Australia, including sneaks — 20th Century Fox’s eighth-biggest opening and 11% ahead of “The Full Monty’s” launch.

“The X-Files” unearthed $7.2 million on 2,203 prints in 24 territories from holdovers and potent preems in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Uruguay and Iceland. Fox’s sci-fier climbed to $60.4 million, highlighted by Germany’s $14.7 million and the U.K’s $11.7 million in 20 days.

“Dr. Dolittle” advanced to $71 million after fetching $4.4 million on 1,520 screens. The Eddie Murphy vehicle had a jolly start in Singapore and continued to draw crowds in the U.K., tallying $27.9 million.

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