BVI tops 1999 int’l B.O.

Revs up 12%

Disney’s Buena Vista Intl. claimed victory at the 1999 overseas box office with a year-end total of $1.32 billion, a 12.5% improvement on last year’s result.

Universal, Warners and Fox also passed the billion-dollar mark abroad.

The BVI figure is the studio’s best foreign box office total ever, surpassing 1997’s record of $1.253 billion, and it marks the fifth consecutive year it has surpassed the billion figure.

While rivals didn’t dispute BVI’s expected win, the Mouse House was the first studio to have its year-end foreign tallies completed.

Universal and Warner Bros. will fight it out for second place, with final tallies of around $1.1 billion, ahead of Fox’s announced $1.016 billion.

Its third consecutive year to pass $1 billion, Fox’s 1999 total was down 48% from last year’s “Titanic”-inflated result.

BVI prexy Mark Zoradi said his studio’s star performers were “Tarzan” (1999 take: $221 million), “A Bug’s Life” ($170 million), “Runaway Bride” ($128 million), “The Sixth Sense” (a big surprise with $124 million), “Enemy of the State” ($114 million) and “Armageddon” ($83 million).

At the end of the year, “End of Days” contributed about $60 million to the result and “Toy Story 2” about $24 million.

If BVI had any disappointments during the year, they were probably “The Waterboy” and “Holy Man” grinding to a halt at $28.5 million and $12.5 million, respectively.

Zoradi said Japan “led the way” in “a spectacular year,” while other top markets were the U.K., France, Germany and Mexico. Brazil and parts of Asia struggled owing to economic conditions.

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