'Bean, 'Flubber', boat still atop B.O.

UIP’s “The Man in the Iron Mask” and Polygram’s “The Big Lebowski” staged respectable foreign bows at the weekend overseas box office, where the heaviest hitters were such stayers as “Bean,” “Flubber” and “Titanic.”

“The Man in the Iron Mask’s” foreign preems in the U.K. and Israel lured $1.9 million and $143,060 from 32 and 25 prints, respectively.

Pic was weekend’s best opener in the U.K., where Miramax’s “Jackie Brown” (cume: $4.1 million) took a breathtaking $142,000 from a one-screen preview. Sony’s “Gattaca” (cume: $3.6 million) grossed $392,203 from 121 sites with $177,500 from 64 Spanish sites, $159,464 from 40 Italian and $44,653 from 15 Venezuelan screens.

The stanza’s other foreign debutante, “The Big Lebowski,” had great turns in Switzerland (beating “Titanic” in Zurich), with $98,915 from 10 screens, and Austria, with $46,835 from 13 prints. In Germany, “Lebowski” struck $437,340 from 87 cinemas while Mandalay’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (cume: $20.3 million) spooked a good $1.1 million from 268 sites.

But Germany’s star was BVI’s “Flubber” (cume: $51 million), which splattered a pleasing $3 million from 643 sites, while bouncing “Titanic” from the top spot in Austria, with $400,000 from 83 prints. “Flubber” sailed past “Titanic” in Spain, with $1.3 million from 193 theaters, ahead of $1 million from 171 screens for Fox’s “Anastasia,” $431,830 from 164 houses for UIP’s “The Rainmaker” (cume: $4.1 million) and $384,410 from 138 sites for Polygram’s “Hard Rain” (cume: $2.6 million).

Considering its Russian storyline, “Anastasia” (cume: $35.6 million) was less than animated in Russia, with a mere $42,145 from 21 sites, while also disappointing in Norway, with $69,490 from 50 houses.

Polygram’s “Bean” (cume: $178.5 million) looks sure to pass $200 million overseas after an excellent $1.7 million bow from 138 cinemas in Japan.

UIP’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” (cume: $196.9 million, and soon to pass $200 million) dipped 39% in its second Nippon frame for a local tally of $5 million, and BVI’s “Face/Off” (cume: $128 million) dipped 23% in its fourth lap for a local tally of $9.6 million.

Fox’s “Titanic” (cume: $756.2 million) steamed another $34.5 million from 5,633 prints in 54 markets.

Boat epic is expected, in the next day or two, to pass “The Full Monty” to become the highest-grossing pic ever in the U.K. and, given a post-Oscar boost, could pass “Crocodile Dundee” for the same honor Down Under.

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