'Ryan' poised to cross over $200 mil mark

Highlighting another buoyant weekend at foreign wickets, “Saving Private Ryan” conquered Australia while “Mulan” enchanted Germany and Spain and “Antz” wowed Mexico.

Released day-and-date with domestic in Singapore, Tony Scott’s “Enemy of the State” snared a potent $301,000 on 30 screens, 20% higher than “Ransom’s” entry and slightly below “The Rock.” The action thriller invades Hong Kong and Malaysia this weekend and has mid-to-late December dates in Germany, South Korea and the U.K.

“There’s Something About Mary” and “The Horse Whisperer” both topped $100 million abroad (the first was no surprise, given its U.S. bounty; the latter is a true sleeper) meaning 14 U.S. hits have crossed the ton this year.

‘What Dreams’ rebounds

After going through purgatory at the Australian B.O., “What Dreams May Come” redeemed itself in Italy, conjuring up a celestial $1.3 million in three days on 151 screens. Although reviews were mixed for the Robin Williams starrer, Vincent Ward’s after-life saga posted the territory’s highest screen average and took second spot behind “Private Ryan,” which has earned a terrif $14.2 million in 24 days.

However the frame was not propitious for Miramax duo “Rounders” and “The Mighty” in their offshore debuts. John Dahl’s gambling pic was a busted flush in the U.K, eking out $320,000 in three days on 217 screens, while in Taiwan it took a mediocre $249,000 in two days on 48. “Rounders” has spring dates in most territories.

The Sharon Stone-headliner “The Mighty” initialed with a soft $34,000 in four days at eight cinemas in Hong Kong, which was never going to be an easy market for that kind of character-based drama. A better indication of its prospects abroad will come this weekend as Peter Chelsom’s pic unspools in Italy and the following week in Spain.

Auds love ‘Ryan’

“Private Ryan” stormed into Australia with $2.6 million in four days on 305, the territory’s eighth-highest opening weekend in history, beating “Deep Impact” and “Bean.” Exhibs reported numerous SRO sessions at the weekend and noted Steven Spielberg’s epic is playing young and old, upscale and downmarket, and equally well in rural areas as in the cities.

The World War II drama pulled in $6.3 million from 17 countries and its cume vaulted to $198.9 million, a whisker away from becoming the fifth blockbuster to cross $200 million this year after “Titanic,” “Godzilla,” “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact.” The standout totals include the U.K.’s $28.6 million, Germany’s $26 million and France’s $24.8 million.

“Mulan” swept into Germany with $3.2 million on 537, the second-highest debut by a Buena Vista Intl. animated release behind “The Lion King.” The Spanish bow was a bit less spry, fetching $1.8 million on 207, about level with “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” but below “Lion King” and “Pocahontas.”

The Chinese warrior hauled in $6.8 million from nine territories, elevating the cume to $74.9 million, fueled by impressive soph sessions in Sweden (tallying $1.6 million, off 17%) and Denmark ($897,000, easing 20%).

‘Antz’ have o’seas picnic

“Antz” gathered $1.2 million in three days on 244 in Mexico, 149% ahead of “Mousehunt” and 205% bigger than “Small Soldiers.” All told, DreamWorks’ animated treat coined more than $8.8 million in 21 countries, propelling the total to $38.3 million. The U.K. has generated a juicy $10.1 million in 17 days, France has a lively $4.6 million in 12 days (although tumbling by 34%), Germany a so-so $4.7 million in 18 days and Spain an ordinary $3.2 million after 17 days.

The Farrelly brothers’ “Mary” surged to $109.2 million on the back of a $9.8 million frame in 31 countries. The laffer nabbed a lusty $455,000 on 93 in Holland and $433,000 on 41 in Switzerland, abated by 30% in France for a swell $6.2 million in 12 days and has $6.5 million through the third lap in Spain.

“The Horse Whisperer” reached $100.1 million, the first Robert Redford starrer to hit the century since “Indecent Proposal” back in 1993.

New Line’s “Blade” looked sharp in France, scoring $1.9 million in five days on 241, but was less virile in Hong Kong ($182,000 on 22) and South Africa ($159,000 on 64). The vampire hunter shrank by an acceptable 32% in the U.K. for a meaty $5.7 million in 10 days; the cume is $26.8 million in 17 markets.

Stablemate “Rush Hour” landed in the Philippines with a pretty good $300,000 on 75 ahead of its European rollout which starts Dec. 4 in the U.K. and Spain. The Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker actioner has minted a fine $2.8 million in Taiwan, a sturdy $2.7 million in South Korea, $1.7 million in Hong Kong and $1 million apiece in Singapore and Thailand.

“Snake Eyes” uncoiled in Germany with $1.1 million on 469 screens, not as strong there as in France where it has $4.3 million in 12 days (taking a 40% hit), Italy ($1.5 million in 10 days, rising by 9% after adding 20 screens) and Mexico ($1.8 million in 10 days, slipping 33%). Brian De Palma’s pic pocketed $5.5 million in 19 territories, sending the cume to $29.5 million.

John Frankenheimer’s “Ronin” checked in at third spot in the U.K., delivering a tepid $1.4 million on 314, and slid by 22% in Spain for an OK $1.3 million in 10 days.

“Out of Sight” ($18 million cume) edged up by 2% in Italy for a rousing $2.1 million in 10 days.

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