‘Titanic’ overflows

O'seas total tops $40 mil for sixth frame in row

Showing no signs of flagging overseas, James Cameron’s epic “Titanic” minted another $44.6 million in 48 territories outside North America last weekend — the sixth consecutive frame in which its bounty has surpassed $40 million.

The estimated overseas cume for the mother of all disaster movies had risen to $516 million by the close of business Monday; its domestic take was an estimated $403.8 million.

“Titanic” was fueled by a slew of industry record-setting debuts over the weekend:

A total of $1.2 million on 71 screens in South Korea; $523,000 on 42 in Turkey; $487,000 on 40 in Venezuela; $208,000 on five in Egypt; and $128,000 from just three cinemas in Russia.

German record-setter

Credit the film’s amazing stamina for becoming the highest-grosser in history in yet another territory, this time Germany (beating “Independence Day”) with $65.2 million in the till.

Compared with the superliner, most other titles look like tugboats, but a few new releases posted healthy results over the weekend.

Launched internationally after the Berlin fest, “Good Will Hunting” took a reasonably good $666,000 on 133 in Germany, and on limited screens had promising starts in Greece, Israel and German-speaking Switzerland. The Miramax pic will roll out in most of the world over the next three weeks.

“As Good As It Gets” nabbed a lively $1.3 million on 250 in France, where biz was dominated by Gallic superclick “Les Couloirs du Temps: Les Visiteurs 2,” which pulled in an awesome $10.1 million in its soph session on 650, for a 12-day cume of $26 million.

All told, James Brooks’ comedy harvested $6.2 million from 1,324 screens in 16 territories for the weekend, elevating the cume to $16.6 million. Debuts ranged from solid in Belgium, Denmark and Portugal to soft in Taiwan and Norway.

Generally, “As Good As It Gets” is playing more strongly in the key cities than in the provinces. Best perfs to date are Australia’s $5.3 million after the third frame, Germany’s $4 million in 11 days, and Italy’s $2.5 million through the fourth round.

‘Amistad’ struggles

However, the omens are not propitious for Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” judging by its offshore preem in Australia — a feeble $242,000 on 79. The critics were not enthused and audiences evidently were not interested in the subject, one exhib noted.

“The Wings of the Dove” unspooled Down Under with a classy $151,000 on 19 screens after pocketing a sterling $2.8 million in the U.K. Cume in six markets is about $4 million.

“Alien Resurrection” erupted in Italy with a fairly fiery $1 million on 167, pushing the foreign total to $78.2 million. Fox stablemate “Anastasia” alighted in Belgium for a pleasing $314,000 on 104 and had a buoyant third in France, tallying $8.9 million; cume is $25.4 million.

Jim Sheridan’s “The Boxer” went wide in the U.K. with moderate results after two spirited weeks in Ireland: the combined tally is $1.4 million in 17 days. In Spain, the drama punched up a muscular $524,000 on 168, but the opening figures were drab in Germany and Holland.

Warner Bros. did not report the unhappy tidings for “The Postman,” which added to its string of misses by stiffing in the U.K.

“Flubber’s” cume climbed to $38 million, propelled by an impressive $2.4 million in its third lap in the U.K., where the total is $11.2 million. “George of the Jungle” ascended to $62 million, including a merry $5 million after the third in Germany, while “Starship Troopers” topped $52 million.

Italy is proving one of the stronger markets for “Kiss the Girls,” delivering $1.5 million in 10 days; foreign cume is $17.4 million. “The Borrowers” entered Spain with a fair $288,000 on 137: the cume is $16.6 million in eight markets, highlighted by the U.K.’s $12.1 million.

Lee Tamahori’s “The Edge” bowed in Oz with a soft $347,000 on 130; cume is $6.3 million from five territories.

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