'Hollow' a hit in France; 'Kid' clicks in Japan

After sitting on the sidelines for the first week of the Olympics, offshore distribs stepped back into the ring last weekend, counter-punching with a slew of releases including “Hollow Man” in France and Belgium, “What Lies Beneath” in Mexico and “Final Destination” in Germany.

But there was a surprising result in Japan, where “Disney’s the Kid” took pole position with $1.7 million in two days on 188 screens, effortlessly outgunning “The Patriot’s” muted $992,000 on 207.

In this case the star power of Bruce Willis proved more potent than Mel Gibson’s, although it appears Nippon auds were not gripped by “Patriot’s” subject as prerelease tracking wasn’t strong for the Revolutionary War saga.

“Patriot’s” cume reached $87.8 million and its subpar opening in Japan, its last major market, means it has no chance of hitting $100 million.

Willis’ family pic has demonstrated its playability overseas by collecting a pretty good $2.8 million through its fourth lap in Spain.

Cume taking shape

Paul Verhoeven’s “Hollow Man” conjured up a muscular $2.5 million in five days on 552 in France and $338,000 on 56 in Belgium, plus $235,000 on 28 in Switzerland. Boosted by top-ranking bows in Hungary and the Czech Republic, the invisible-man saga minted $7.9 million from 2,179 engagements and its cume reached $38.8 million. Matching “Gladiator’s” feat earlier this year, “Man” reigned in Spain for the fourth straight weekend, tallying $7.6 million.

Robert Zemeckis’ “What Lies Beneath” turned in a thrilling $1.5 million from 419 screens in Mexico, Fox’s third-largest preem there behind “X-Men” and “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Chiller also unearthed a spry $190,000 on 30 in Israel.

New Line’s “Final Destination” commanded the top spot amid subdued trading in Germany with $1.8 million on 549 and its cume moved up to $50.7 million — within spitting distance of domestic’s $53.3 million. “Destination’s” top perfs are the U.K’s $15.5 million, Spain’s $4.3 million and France’s $4 million; Japan lies ahead.

Fox’s “Me, Myself & Irene” laffed its way to No. 1 in the U.K. with a moderate $1.8 million on 358; its cume is a disappointing $41.2 million with only Germany and Japan remaining among major markets.

“Gone in Sixty Seconds” ascended to $117.2 million and isn’t far away from overtaking “Con Air’s” $122 million cume. The Nicolas Cage car-heist caper has fetched a superb $11 million after its third lap in Japan (off 30%) and a solid $2.5 million in 10 days in Italy (falling 40%).

“The Cell” landed in Italy with $880,000 on 195, not stupendous but enough to rank No. 1, and spirited away a so-so $1.6 million in 10 days in the U.K.

“Road Trip” motored into Italy with a sluggish $402,000 on 187 and Holland at $193,000 on 59, but in Germany socked away $10.6 million after its fifth outing.

Tightening belt

“Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps” waddled into Germany with a blah $768,000 on 591, was fair in Israel and Norway, and went hungry in Taiwan; the Eddie Murphy starrer fared relatively better in Spain, notching $642,000 on 233.

“Space Cowboys” didn’t fly high in the U.K., mustering a mediocre $777,000 on 235 (only the third-best entry there for a Clint Eastwood pic), but it’s resonating more effectively in Spain, ringing up $1.2 million in 10 days (slipping 17%).

The Coen brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” eased by just 19% in the U.K., whistling up a pleasing $1.9 million in 10 days, and raked in a fine $4.7 million after its fourth stanza in France (down 23%).

“Mission: Impossible 2″ peaked at $305.6 million, “The Perfect Storm” topped $130 million and “Big Momma’s House” hit $48.4 million.

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