The Ship Sails On

'Titanic' first to break $600 mil o'seas

Where will it all end for “Titanic”? The B.O. leviathan earned yet another laurel late last week by becoming the first blockbuster in history to gross $600 million outside North America, eclipsing previous all-time B.O. champ “Jurassic Park’s” $563 million.

Playing on 5,698 screens in 48 territories, the Fox Intl./Paramount phenom minted $62 million last week — the seventh consecutive frame in which it’s hauled in more than $55 million abroad.

James Cameron’s romantic drama conceivably could set its sights on $750 million overseas, although even that may be a conservative estimate if, as expected, the film collars a fistful of major Academy Awards.

Other distribs are taking evasive action or have simply dropped anchor, enabling “Titanic” to boost its takings in some markets last week. Vying for the honor of the juggernaut’s top earner are France with $76.7 million, Germany’s $74.7 million and Japan’s $72.6 million. Then comes the U.K.’s $68 million (soon to pass “Jurassic Park” as that market’s second-highest grosser behind “The Full Monty”), Italy’s $45.5 million, Spain’s $29.1 million and Brazil’s $27.2 million.

In Australia, with $26.1 million in the till, the Leonardo DiCaprio/Kate Winslet starrer has overtaken “Babe” to rank as the second-biggest title behind only “Crocodile Dundee.”

Holland, with its abnormally low number of cinephiles, often short-changes U.S. films, but not this epic, with $8.3 million in five weeks.

Down below decks, “Amistad” had mixed fortunes, “Face/Off” bowed briskly in Japan and “Jackie Brown” and “Great Expectations” had unexceptional foreign preems.

Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad” grossed a decent $1.5 million on 287 screens in France, but was just OK in the U.K. and had limited appeal in Germany and Japan. The period drama abated by 26% Down Under for a lackluster $620,000 in 14 days.

In its last major engagement, John Woo’s “Face/Off” entered Japan with $2.1 million in two days on 181, bigger than “Con Air’s” opener and on a par with “The Rock.” The cume is $120.7 million.

Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” launched in Spain with a so-so $623,000 in five days on 124. After screening out of competition in Berlin, “Great Expectations” (retitled “Paradise Lost”) took a meek $478,000 in six days on 89 in Italy, ahead of weekend bows in Germany and Spain.

“As Good as It Gets” had cheering debuts in Spain and New Zealand, and its estimated total reached $28 million in 19 markets. Jim Brooks’ comedy is a crowdpleaser in Australia, Germany and Italy.

Frank Oz’s “In & Out” sashayed into France with a merry $2.4 million on 220 and has reaped $5.1 million after 20 days in the U.K.

Gallic comedy “Les Couloirs du Temps: Les Visiteurs 2” continues on a tear, amassing $35.8 million in France and $2.1 million in Belgium, both through the third lap.

“Alien Resurrection” had muscular bows in Hong Kong ($975,000 in six days on 31), South Africa and Portugal; its cume is $82 million, way ahead of domestic.

Paul Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” collected a sturdy $1.1 million in six days on 134 in Brazil but a disappointing $700,000 in ditto on 180 in Italy; cume is $55 million.

In Italy, “Boogie Nights” was lauded by the critics but shunned by auds, suggesting Italians are not turned on by porno-themed films. Wim Wenders’ “The End of Violence” was cut and retooled after being widely panned in Cannes last year, and finally saw daylight in Italy, retitled “Invisible Crimes,” but it aroused little interest.

Ridley Scott’s “G.I. Jane” landed in Germany with a reasonable $1.3 million on 255 and Belgium at $473,000 on 33; estimated foreign total is $45.7 million. “Mimic” flopped in Germany, another miss in a sorry run that has yielded just $13.1 million in 17 territories.

Early in its foreign journey, Gus Van Sant’s “Good Will Hunting” opened quite well in Belgium, Finland and Iceland and had solid soph sessions in Germany and Brazil.

In the U.K., rookies “The Edge” and “Desperate Measures” tanked, while good word of mouth sustained Neil Jordan’s “The Butcher Boy” to $1.5 million in 13 days, off just 12%.

Gaining some momentum from its Oscar noms, “L.A. Confidential” moved up to $41.3 million. Curtis Hanson’s film noir did not catch on in Latin America or Asia, but has pocketed $10.3 million in the U.K., $4.4 million in Spain and $4.3 million in Australia.

Richard Gere starrer “Red Corner” had respectable debuts in Oz and Taiwan but on past form won’t last long.

“Tomorrow Never Dies” advanced to $184.6 million, “Devil’s Advocate” hit $77.5 million, “The Peacemaker” made it to $69.2 million, “The Jackal” topped $67 million and “George of the Jungle” bounded along to $64.7 million.

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