'Club' bows weak as 'Sixth' senses success
That sinking feeling experienced last week by many exhibs overseas was prompted by waning holdovers and a handful of new releases that ranged from reasonably good to blah.“The Sixth Sense” continued its meteoric run, “Blue Streak” notched pleasing numbers in its first offshore tryouts and “Big Daddy” drew decent crowds in several European markets. But “Fight Club” appears headed for an early K.O. abroad after ringing up a lowly $3.8 million from openings in 13 territories and its second lap in Brazil (where it plunged by 39%). Domestic disaster “Jakob the Liar” is destined for a brief life overseas, judging by dire debuts on limited screens in Germany, the U.K. and Oz. “The General’s Daughter” started soft in Japan and was nothing special in Australia while quite sturdy in Taiwan. It’s collected an unimpressive $26.3 million from 32 markets. The frame had enough momentum to boost the ranks of this year’s $100 million-plus grossers to 11 after “Runaway Bride” sprinted to $105.1 million (spurred by Japan’s $9.5 million in 18 days) and “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” touched $101.4 million. ‘Sixth’ sizzles “Sixth Sense” rang up a socko $652,000 in six days at nine theaters in London ahead of its Nov. 12 nationwide rollout and snared a torrid $450,000 in six days on 16 in Greece. Expanding to 273 prints in Italy, pic fetched a superb $4.6 million in 12 days. After an awesome opening in Japan, thriller held remarkably well, abating by just 17% in its second weekend and scoring $21 million after 12 days. Other standout perfs include Mexico’s $5.5 million in 11 days, Brazil’s $6.8 million after 20 days and Australia’s $14.1 million. Cume raced to $81.1 million. “Big Daddy” gave Columbia TriStar its eighth-highest opening in Germany, and had jolly debuts in Austria and Portugal. Cume reached an estimated $51.3 million. “The Haunting” levitated to $78 million, buoyed by $727,000 bow on 40 in Belgium and a respectable soph session in France (dropping 24%). Bewitching Powered by its third outing in the U.K. and a dandy second in Spain, “The Blair Witch Project” topped $45 million. Thriller has been hot in Mexico, Argentina and Sweden and medium-warm in Taiwan and South Korea. Summit stablemate “American Pie” has cooked up about $44.8 million, including Italy’s juicy $3.6 million in 12 days, where “Notting Hill” (foreign cume: $238.8 million) has raked in a stellar $15.3 million in 19 days and is set to overtake “The Mummy” as the season’s top grosser. “Tarzan” climbed to $87.3 million on the back of the U.K.’s smash fourth frame, where it’s already outgrossed “Mulan,” “Hercules” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and will surpass “Aladdin” by Nov. 15. After solid but not spectacular bows, “The Messenger: Joan of Arc” held quite well in France (sliding 30%) and proved reasonably steady in Belgium (easing 18%) and French-speaking Switzerland (off 15%). “Fight Club” played fair in Spain with $1.1 million in six days on 249 and in Mexico at $615,000 in six days on 315, but didn’t have much heft in other markets, including Thailand, Argentina, Denmark and Holland.
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