‘Titanic’ claims $440 mil overseas

Set to zoom past 'The Lion King' on int'l B.O. all-timers list

“Titanic” is still very much the word at cinemas overseas, as James Cameron’s blockbuster harvested a whopping $47 million in 43 territories last weekend, propelling the foreign cume to $440 million.

The fourth film in history to gross more than $400 million abroad, “Titanic” is set to cruise past “The Lion King” ($454 million) and, beyond that, is sure to beat “Independence Day” ($505 million).

Just how high can Fox Intl.’s meteor fly? Powered by the Oscar noms, the hot-selling soundtrack and an extraordinary level of repeat business, the phenom looks capable of overtaking “Jurassic Park” ($563 million) and could peak at around $600 million.

Smashing debuts

The period drama had smash debuts last weekend in Poland ($940,000 on 55), Norway ($847,000 on 58) and Lebanon ($147,000 on eight).

In Japan, the pre-Oscar publicity helped to increase receipts by 10% in its ninth frame for $3.1 million on 238 screens, tallying $61.1 million to date.

In France, “Titanic” dipped by just 15% for $6 million in its sixth lap ($56.8 million thus far) despite the arrival of “Les Couloirs du Temps: Les Visiteurs 2.” The sequel to the 1993 click hauled in an estimated $12 million on 550 screens, an all-time industry record. The time-travel saga was severely panned, but, like “The Fifth Element,” the pic appears critic-proof.

“Titanic” surged along to $57.7 million in Germany (off 12%), $44.5 million in its fourth go-round in the U.K. (commanding 45% of the market) and $35.5 million in Italy. In Spain, where the juggernaut has amassed $23.4 million through the sixth lap, Fox reported its receipts in local currency zoomed past “Jurassic Park’s” to rank as the highest-grosser ever.

Third on Oz all-time list

In Australia, with $22.4 million in the kitty, Fox’s epic has just moved past “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Jurassic Park” to become the third-highest earner in history, behind only “Babe” and the legendary “Crocodile Dundee.”

Other cumes include Brazil’s $17.6 million, Mexico’s $15.2 million and Argentina’s $4.4 million after its soph session.

‘Tomorrow’ climbs o’seas

Most other studios were closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. UIP said “Tomorrow Never Dies” climbed to $181.7 million after pocketing $1.1 million on 886 screens overseas.

In the U.K., “In & Out” checked in with a dandy $1.5 million on 253, while “Mortal Kombat Annihilation” and “Fairy Tale: A True Story” had slow starts and “Good Burger” and Aussie kidpic “Paws” tanked.

In Australia, “Boogie Nights” bowed with a solid $354,000 on 69, hyped by a visit from helmer Paul Thomas Anderson. Kevin Costner came Down Under to talk up “The Postman,” but auds did not get the message, resulting in a dire $160,000 on 100. Polygram launched “Hard Rain” with an underwhelming $314,000 on 107.

“The Jackal” took a nifty $410,000 in five days on 60 in the Philippines, and a fair $1 million in 12 days in Belgium; estimated cume is $58.2 million.

“The Full Monty” added another laurel to its c.v., becoming the first British click in history to gross £50 million on home turf. Its total there is $81.2 million, and internationally the cume is $161.6 million.

In Taiwan, “Mouse Hunt” caught a terrif $565,000 in two days on 49, overshadowing David Fincher’s “The Game,” which initialed with $261,000 in five days on 17. Polygram’s thriller has taken a reasonable $4.7 million in nine days in Japan, and the cume moved up to $47.5 million, beating domestic’s $46.4 million.

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