Of mice and woman

'Stuart Little' and 'Erin' boost o'seas B.O.

As the start of spring vacation gave the B.O. a mighty boost overseas last weekend, there was the novel sight of Julia Roberts squaring off against a mouse in two territories — and the little critter won.

Actually as the distrib of both “Erin Brockovich” and “Stuart Little,” Columbia TriStar Intl. was the frame’s real winner. The Roberts starrer minted $13.3 million from nearly 3,000 screens in 16 markets and the cume rocketed to $26.4 million in just its second weekend of international release. “Stuart Little” nabbed $7.2 million, propelling its tally to $59.7 million.

Warner Bros. Intl. also had a lot to crow about as “Pokemon: The Movie” reigned as the weekend’s top grosser, pocketing $14.5 million on 2,484 screens in 13 countries. Its cume hit $35.6 million, excluding Asia.

“Erin Brockovich” seized pole position in most of its openings, including Italy’s $1.5 million on 377 (Col TriStar’s third-best bow ever there behind “Men in Black” and “Godzilla”), Mexico’s $737,000 on 261, Argentina’s $520,000 on 90, Turkey’s $285,000 on 51 and Norway’s $272,000 on 50.

The legal drama had to settle for second place in Australia, despite taking a superb $1.6 million on 243, plus $457,000 in previews, the distrib’s fourth-highest preem, ahead of “Big Daddy,” and New Zealand (in both, behind “Stuart’s” socko soph session). In Belgium, “Erin’s” creditable $352,000 on 59 was beaten by “Pokemon’s” second outing.

Steven Soderbergh’s pic had sensational holds in Germany (collaring $6.9 million in 11 days, off just 1%) and the U.K. ($6.6 million in 10 days, up 3%) but fell by 30% in Spain ($3.2 million in 10 days).

Sony’s mouse chewed up $2.6 million on 568 in France (No 2. behind breakaway Gallic success “Taxi 2”), a rousing $416,000 on 72 in Switzerland and a mediocre $181,000 on 106 in Holland.

Vacationing kids flocked to “Stuart” in Oz, paying off with an 11-day harvest of $4.7 million, up 5%. Between them, “Stuart” and “Erin” commanded a whopping 54% of the top 20 titles’ B.O.

“Pokemon” posted some awesome opening figures, led by Germany’s $4.6 million on 712 (a record for a U.S. animated release, beating “Toy Story 2” by 55% and WB’s second-biggest bow ever there), the U.K.’s $4.4 million on 635 (Warner’s fourth-best), Spain’s $1.2 million on 250 and Israel’s $399,000 on 33.

Potent preems in Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal ponied up a combined $1.5 million, while the pic had buoyant second rounds in France ($5.4 million to date) and Belgium (tallying $708,000).

“The Tigger Movie” was overshadowed by the Japanese creatures in the U.K., but mustered an OK $900,000 on 410. However, “Tigger” wowed Mexico with $880,000 on 247, 50% better than “Pocahontas” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”; Down Under, it has collected a pleasing $720,000 in 11 days.

In its first international engagement, “Romeo Must Die” stormed into Malaysia with a dashing $339,000 on 48. The Jet Li vehicle took 76% of the top 10’s receipts, the territory’s highest opening this year and WB’s sixth-highest of all time.

“Mission to Mars” was savaged by the critics in the U.K. and grossed a tepid $1.2 million on 401, but was surprisingly strong in Thailand ($415,000 on 71, ahead of the entries of “Sphere” and “Contact”) and Hong Kong ($320,000 on 24). The bows in Sweden and Norway were just fair. Brian De Palma’s pic took a typical 43% hit in Australia, taking $1.4 million in 11 days.

“Any Given Sunday” continues to struggle to find audiences abroad, reflected in its latest tryouts in France ($975,000 on 275) Brazil ($233,000 on 100), Argentina and Greece. Oliver Stone’s pic abated by 36% after a good opening in Italy, scoring $1.6 million to date.

“Scream 3” scared up a uniformly muscular $308,000 on 25 in Hong Kong and $313,000 on 68 in Sweden, and dipped by an acceptable 33% in Spain for a fine $3 million in 10 days.

The cume is $12.4 million from 12 territories.

“The Siege” finally saw daylight in Japan, heisting a solid $1 million on 149, beaten by the $1.3 million on 179 of fellow rookie “The Bone Collector.” “Siege’s” cume is $67.5 million and “Collector” reached $70.8 million–both ahead of domestic.

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