The heat is on

'Godzilla' bows big; 'Mary,' 'Ryan' make it a date

A hot spell in Europe provided some stifling competition for bows of “Godzilla” and “Lethal Weapon 4,” while “Saving Private Ryan” and “There’s Something About Mary” hit the bull’s-eye at the overseas box office.

Holdover hits surpassed or neared markers: BVI’s “Armageddon” (foreign cume: $212 million) passed $400 million worldwide; Fox’s “Dr. Dolittle” laffed to $81.5 million and looks a safe bet to pass $100 million, with dates to play in Germany, Japan and Eastern Europe; and Columbia TriStar’s “Godzilla,” which stomped to five No. 1 Euro bows, slithered to $181.2 million and looks a safe bet to pass $200 million by the end of the month.

Lizard’s best perf was in France, where pic had CTSI’s third-biggest bow there after “Men in Black” and “Terminator 2,” crushing Polygram’s “I Want You,” which managed just $30,234 from 28 prints. Cannes laureate “La Vie Revee” bowed strongly with $1.7 million from 222 screens.

“Godzilla” set CTSI records in Belgium ($850,882 from 71 prints) and Italy, for that nation’s third-biggest bow of all time behind “Independence Day” and local pic “Fuochi D’Artificio.” “Godzilla” hit big in Norway and Turkey, with $461,097 and $366,086 from 61 and 65 copies, respectively.

“Godzilla” held the top spot in its second lap in Germany, despite a 50% dip, where UIP’s “Out of Sight” was the best freshman ahead of local film “Am I Pretty.” Local romantic laffer “Das merkw Verhalten” is poised to pass the 1 million admissions mark next week.

UIP’s “Saving Private Ryan” (cume: $27.5 million) had a terrific week with seven great bows, led by a top-spot preem in Spain, outruning fellow freshman “Jane Austen’s Mafia!” (cume: $6.5 million), which nabbed $505,000 on 150 screens.

Warner Bros.’ “Lethal Weapon 4” (cume: $124 million) had a good, if not heartstopping, preem in the U.K., where people were busy making the most of a sudden hot spell. It failed to knock UIP sophomore “Saving Private Ryan” from the No. 1 slot.

Fox’s “There’s Something About Mary” (six-nation cume: $8.1 million) worked its bawdy charms on Latin America and Asia, with $1.2 million from 155 houses. In its third lap Down Under, “Mary” elbowed sophomore “Lethal Weapon 4” (which dipped 33%) out of the top spot on Mel Gibson’s home turf.

CTSI’s “The Mask of Zorro” (cume: $9 million) nailed the top spot in Mexico and the Philippines.

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