Preems push o’seas B.O.

'Ashes,' 'Kings,' 'Beauty' bows boost weekend

Impressive foreign preems by “Angela’s Ashes,” “Three Kings” and “American Beauty” coupled with wow bows by the “The World Is Not Enough” in Italy and Turkey and “The Sixth Sense” in Spain and Holland highlighted a juicy B.O. frame at the weekend.

“Double Jeopardy” had a dandy debut in Mexico but was less compelling in Thailand and Hong Kong, while “The Bone Collector” had a solid launch in the U.K. and the “Joan of Arc” biopic misfired in Germany. Results from some studios were not available due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Alan Parker’s “Angela’s Ashes” minted $2.1 million in three days at 325 sites in the U.K. (including previews), 7% higher than the entries of “Michael Collins” and “The Man in the Iron Mask.” Positioned to cash in on Academy Awards hype, the gritty Irish drama has February and March dates in most of the world.

The Emily Watson-Robert Carlyle starrer took second spot behind “Sleepy Hollow,” which had a lively soph session, easing by 24% and collecting a terrif $9 million to date. “The Bone Collector” scored $1.3 million on 289 in the U.K.

In Australia, Village Roadshow (which co-produced with Warner Bros.) gave “Three Kings” a hefty launch that paid off to the tune of $1.1 million in four days at 155 war zones. David O. Russell’s film received warm reviews and is generating strong word of mouth.

Platformed at nine theaters in Israel, “American Beauty” delivered a potent $100,000 in four days for a per screen of more than $11,000.

Continuing to set records for the Bond series, “The World Is Not Enough” snared $5.7 million in three days on 242 screens in Italy (eclipsing “GoldenEye” by 51%) and $395,000 on 81 in Turkey (UIP’s second-best preem there ever behind “The Jackal” and the industry’s sixth-highest).

The 007 caper raked in $8.3 million on nearly 3,000 screens in 30 countries, propelling its cume to $177.7 million.

“The Sixth Sense” captured $3.4 million on 223 in Spain, the second-biggest opener in history behind only “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” The Bruce Willis starrer spirited away $1.5 million on 92 in Holland, including previews, hailed by BVI as an industry record, topping “Independence Day.”

Showing great holding power in its second frames, the thriller abated by 8% in France, amassing $14 million to date and accounting for 40% of the entire market, and dropped by 13% in Belgium for $2.5 million and by 20% in Switzerland at $2 million.

All told, “Sixth Sense” earned $13.6 million in BVI’s territories, pushing its total there to $155 million, plus an estimated $90 million from markets where it’s handled by Spyglass’ distribs.

Bruce Beresford’s “Double Jeopardy” took a hot $950,000 in three days on 258 in Mexico, a moderate $236,000 on 57 in Thailand and a tepid $240,000 in four days on 29 in Hong Kong. The revenge saga dropped by 31% in Oz for a pretty good $3.6 million in 11 days.

Luc Besson’s “Joan of Arc” saw just $570,000 on 244 in Germany, where “Stigmata” landed with $1.1 million on 353. “Stigmata” pocketed an OK $172,000 in five days on 15 in Belgium and $161,000 in three days on 26 in Austria. Horror pic’s best perf to date is Mexico’s $5 million, followed by Brazil’s $2.2 million.

“American Pie” retained pole position in Germany, buoyed by strong word of mouth as it baked up $5.6 million in its second round at 685 houses, tallying $11.9 million. Teen comedy’s cume hit $86.5 million.

“Tarzan” ascended to $254.6 million after a $5.1 million frame, led by Japan’s $19.5 million through its fifth outing.

In Australia, “The Cider House Rules” squeezed out $114,000 at 33 sheds (plus about $20,000 from sneaks), faring a bit better in upmarket situations than in mainstream multiplexes, but below expectations. Distrib Roadshow said Thursday-Friday biz for “Cider House” was soft, but picked up Saturday and it hopes that will be sustained by positive reviews and word of mouth.

Aiming for kids during the school vacation in Oz, “Mystery Men” fetched a so-so $347,000 on 103 but “Dudley Do-Right” bombed, scraping up $71,000 on 120.

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