'End of Days' out fast in bows

Record-busting preems by the latest 007 adventure and “Tarzan,” plus good-to-excellent debuts by “End of Days” ignited the box office in a slew of offshore territories over the weekend.

Unleashed in five markets, “The World Is Not Enough” set new highs for the Bond series, led by the U.K.’s socko $10.1 million in three days on 443, a UIP record and the fourth-biggest bow ever in that territory.

The Pierce Brosnan starrer nabbed $2.4 million in four days on 320 in Australia (including previews), the fifth-best non-holiday opening, and $492,000 in three days on 82 in South Africa, an all-time industry best beating “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”

Israel’s $257,000 on 34 was UIP’s second-highest entry ever there behind “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” while Hungary ponied up $151,000 on 28. The seven-territory cume raced to $15.3 million after a $13.1 million weekend.

“Tarzan” set new benchmarks for Disney’s animated canon in its latest engagements, fetching $7.2 million on 756 screens in France (nearly 20% ahead of “The Lion King,” and the fourth-biggest launch in history behind local champs “Asterix & Obelix vs. Caesar” and “Les Visiteurs 2,” and “Star Wars: Episode I”) and $2.5 million on 242 in Spain (a BVI record, eclipsing “Ransom” by 30% and the industry’s sixth-highest opener).

The loin-clothed hero minted $949,000 on 96 in Belgium (30% up on “Lion King”); improved by 3% in its second round in Holland, advancing to $973,000; and reigned for the third weekend in a row in Germany, tallying $12.3 million.

All told, “Tarzan” harvested $16.7 million on 2,822 screens, propelling its cume to $127.1 million; it seems headed for north of $250 million.

This is the ‘End’

Testifying to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s drawing power abroad, “End of Days” rolled out in 15 territories day and date with domestic, grabbing pole position everywhere except Sweden, where it trailed “Tarzan.”

“Days” detonated a terrif $1.4 million on 330 in Mexico, BVI’s third-highest live-action bow behind phenoms “Armageddon” and “The Sixth Sense.”

The $1.3 million Italian score on 301 screens was a personal best for Arnie (just 5% ahead of “True Lies”) but not exceptional by current standards.

Peter Hyams’ millennium thriller grossed a potent $871,000 on 108 in the Philippines (the fifth-highest preem ever and BVI’s second-biggest after “Armageddon”); a sturdy $548,000 on 60 in Argentina; $438,000 on 73 in Sweden; an industry-high of $302,000 on 22 in Russia; and $257,000 on 45 in Norway. Overall, “Days” coined $6.3 million from 1,116 screens.

“The Blair Witch Project” thrilled auds in Germany, but the omens aren’t bright for Jane Campion’s “Holy Smoke,” which had a blah world preem in France, taking $328,000 in five days at 100 theaters, after sharply dividing critics at the Venice fest.

“Blair Witch” scared up $2.2 million on 417 in Germany, elevating the cume to $56.2 million, with quite a few markets including Japan, Italy and Australia to come.

“Blue Streak” took a fair $1.9 million on 568 in Germany and a solid $256,000 on 17 in Taiwan, but was ho-hum in Austria and Holland; its cume is $20.2 million from 23 territories.

BVI has generated $101.1 million from “Sixth Sense” in its territories –the distrib’s fifth $100 million hit this year, and only the second time a U.S. studio has parlayed five titles to that status in a calendar year; BVI clocked up six century-makers in 1997. “Sense’s” international total (adding in the Spyglass territories) is $148.4 million, including Japan’s stellar $43.1 million.

‘Daddy’s’ draw

“Big Daddy” was cold-shouldered in Italy, managing $246,000 on 108 screens. Adam Sandler’s pic has cumed $58.8 million with Japan as the only major market remaining.

Running out of puff, “Phantom Menace” pocketed just $1 million in three territories; its cume topped $485 million and appears unlikely to reach $500 million.

“Fight Club” mustered $3.8 million from holdovers, and its cume reached a tame $30 million in 31 markets for Fox, plus an estimated $3.5 million in Italy, where Fox does not have rights.

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