Trio stirs o’seas B.O.

'Marshals,' 'Scream,' 'Mercury' boost biz

It was “U.S. Marshals,” “Scream 2” and “Mercury Rising” to the rescue of an otherwise listless overseas B.O. last weekend.

Meanwhile Universal’s domestic dud “Blues Brothers 2000” had a fairly encouraging international debut in Australia, attracting the baby-boomer crowd, with $479,000 in four days on 142 screens. John Landis’ pic will roll out in Europe after the Cannes film fest, where it’s being screened out of competition with the hoopla of a party attended by the director and cast.

The unstoppable “Titanic” hauled in $17.5 million from 4,790 screens, propelling the foreign cume to $1.054 billion. James Cameron’s blockbuster continues to amaze in China, harvesting $2.4 million in its fifth lap on 571 (off 16%), for an unprecedented tally of $28.7 million.

“U.S. Marshals” collared an estimated $7.6 million from 1,918 screens in 24 territories. Working off incomplete figures due to the May vacation in many territories, Warner Bros. Intl. calculates the cume at between $15 million and $17 million.

The Tommy Lee Jones/Wesley Snipes starrer opened especially strong in Asia, nabbing $1.1 million in three days on 49 in Taiwan, $468,000 in three days on 80 in Thailand, $434,000 on 25 in the Philippines, and $332,000 on 25 in Hong Kong. Korea delivered a fine $300,000 from 40 prints and Malaysia did $238,000 on 64.

Stuart Baird’s chase movie clocked a reasonably good $1.6 million on 421 in Germany (placed third behind “Titanic” in its 17th round and soph “Scream 2”), an estimated $1 million on 162 in Australia, a lively $616,000 on 120 in Brazil, a very good $503,000 on 151 in Mexico and a so-so $502,000 on 173 in Italy.

“Scream 2” slayed ’em in the U.K., collecting an estimated $4.2 million on 288, the second-highest opening weekend of the year after “Titanic,” and Buena Vista Intl.’s third-best live-action bow ever, behind “Ransom” and “101 Dalmatians.” Wes Craven’s thriller grossed about $7.3 million at the weekend, and the cume hit $22.8 million.

Harold Becker’s “Mercury Rising” took a rousing $1.3 million on 129 in its Italian debut, reportedly with lines around the block and the cops called in to control the crowds.

“Starship Troopers” landed in Japan with a moderate $1.5 million in two days on 172, and its foreign total reached $62 million, beating domestic’s disappointing $54 million.

“Alien Resurrection” pocketed $1.5 million in its second weekend on 195 in Japan (abating by a reasonable 33%) for a sturdy $7.2 million in nine days. The cume is $98.9 million.

In its world preem in Spain, BVI pickup “Firelight,” a 19th Century-set romance toplining Sophie Marceau, took a tepid $157,000 on 82. Miramax will release domestically in June.

“Wag the Dog” bow-wowed in France with an OK $1.5 million on 228. It’s scored a lackluster $10 million in 20 territories, including a respectable $2.1 million after the fourth lap in Italy.

Down Under, “The Wedding Singer” breezed along to a splendid $5.5 million in 18 days, slipping 24%.

“As Good as It Gets” garnered $4 million on 1,600 screens, and jumped to $127 million. “Good Will Hunting” moved along to $76.2 million, “Anastasia” touched $64.9 million and “Jackie Brown” topped $33 million.

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