Meteoric B.O. rise

'Armageddon,' 'Space' lift o'seas weekend

Bracing bows by “Armageddon,” “Lethal Weapon 4” and “Lost in Space,” plus “Godzilla” cruising past $100 million distinguished another buoyant weekend at cinemas overseas.

Also enriching the B.O. pot, “Dr. Dolittle” made a profitable house call in the U.K., while “Sliding Doors” had a splendid opening in Australia after earning tidy sums in previews.

The No. 1 film abroad last weekend was “Armageddon,” which posted $12 million on 2,371 screens in 20 territories, propelling the cume to $61.3 million.

Michael Bay’s sci-fier set opening records for Buena Vista Intl. in Mexico with $2 million on 401 screens (the fourth-highest debut ever there) and Malaysia at $540,000 on 60 (the sixth-best in history).

Demonstrating remarkable stamina for its genre, the Bruce Willis vehicle hauled in $4.3 million in its third orbit in Germany, easing just 4%, for a socko $22.1 million thus far.

Other impressive tallies include $6.3 million after the third in Spain (off a mere 7%), $2.7 million in Taiwan (down 30%) and $1.8 million in Hong Kong (both in its sophomore session).

Arresting total

The latest in the “Lethal Weapon” franchise arrested $10.4 million from 1,691 screens in 16 countries, lifting the total to $23.8 million.

Richard Donner’s cop caper collared $1.78 million in two days on 153 in Japan (130% of its predecessor’s launch on 170), $879,000 on 105 in Sweden (the No. 1 debut of this year), $682,000 on 92 in the Philippines, $640,000 on 40 in South Korea (a Warner Bros. record) and $274,000 on 73 in South Africa.

The Mel Gibson/Danny Glover-starrer had superb second rounds in France ($3.5 million on 636 prints, sliding by a reasonable 27% for $10.3 million in 12 days), Brazil ($3.3 million to date) and Belgium ($1.3 million).

Considering the competition in Japan, “Deep Impact” did very well to earn $1.59 million in its seventh frame on 207, shrinking by 10%, and the total hit $33.4 million. The foreign cume is a lofty $161.8 million.

“Godzilla” clambered up to $102.3 million after a $7.9 million weekend on 2,247 screens in 23 territories, only the fifth title this year to make the ton.

Roland Emmerich’s extravaganza has amassed $21 million after the fourth lap in Japan (falling 17%), $19.9 million in the U.K. (tumbling 49%), $9.6 million in Mexico and $6.6 million in Brazil (all through the third).

‘Dolittle’ does a lot

In the U.K., “Lost in Space” seized pole position with a stellar $5.1 million on 513 screens, including previews, just ahead of fellow deb “Dr. Dolittle’s” $5 million on a much smaller rollout of 379 prints, also including sneaks. Excluding previews, “Dolittle” was the narrow victor.

New Line’s “Space” has accumulated $26.8 million abroad, including a solid $2.6 million in Spain, $1.5 million in Brazil and $1.1 million in Hong Kong. Fox’s talking animals comedy has grossed $30.7 million in 12 territories.

Romantic comedy “Sliding Doors” charmed $1.4 million in four days on 198 in Australia bringing the cume, with previews, to a terrif $2.6 million.

“The X-Files” collapsed by 58% Down Under for a moderate $2.9 million in 11 days and beamed into South Korea with an OK $442,000 on 56.

“Black Dog” fetched a respectable $295,000 on 99 in its Oz preem, hyped by a p.a. tour by topliner Patrick Swayze.

“City of Angels” topped $49 million, buoyed by a $5.5 million frame on 1,461 screens in 24 countries. Warner’s romance opened brightly in Norway and Denmark and has pulled a hearty $5.3 million in Germany and $2.4 million in Spain, both in its soph sesh.

“Titanic’s” weekend take slipped below $1 million after 34 weeks of international release, making $932,000 in seven markets, for a cume of $1.182 billion.

“The Horse Whisperer” galloped into New Zealand with a sturdy $156,000 on 34 and its cume in 10 markets reached $9.5 million, highlighted by Australia’s $5.4 million.

“Mulan” ascended to $31.1 million, spurred by South Korea’s excellent $2.8 million after the third frame.

Among the sub-par performers, “Species 2” took a tame $658,000 in four days on 252 in Germany; Aussie comedy “The Castle” went wide in the U.K. after platforming in London, for a paltry $258,000 in 10 days, now on 150 screens; and “Paulie” died in France.

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