‘A.I.’ prime in Japan; ‘Pearl,’ ‘Lara’ jolly

Spielberg flick racks up $2.6 mil

Japanese auds jumped at the chance to see “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” on Saturday night.

Priming the pump before its debut this Saturday in Japan, Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.” rang up $2.6 million on 286 screens on Saturday — an all-time record for paid previews in the territory, beating prior champ “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” by 14%.

Warner Bros.’ Tokyo office predicted that “A.I.” would rank as the No. 1 title over the weekend from those sneaks alone, topping the third lap of “The Mummy Returns.” The distrib reported SRO biz at a number of theaters, including the 1,250-seat Pantheon in the Shibuya district of Tokyo and the Warner MyCal multiplex at Shinyurigaoka, where all five shows were sold out by 6 p.m.

Elsewhere, “Pearl Harbor” blitzed Hong Kong and Taiwan, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” conquered Australia and Spain, “Evolution” had a promising offshore launch in the U.K., and “Shrek” had a monster preem Down Under.

Day-and-date with domestic, “Dr. Dolittle 2” ventured to Mexico, opening well ahead of the original, but it couldn’t dislodge front-runner “Pearl Harbor” in its soph session.

‘Pearl’ performs

Buena Vista Intl. estimated “Pearl Harbor” added $13.5 million-$14 million to its coffers over the weekend, propelling cume to around $94 million. It’s on course to cross $100 million overseas by midweek, becoming the eighth hit this year to do so, assuming “Miss Congeniality” reaches that threshold by today.

The WWII epic fetched an estimated $825,000 in its first four days in Hong Kong, which BVI rated as on par with the bows of “Armageddon” and “Saving Private Ryan,” 10% up on “Titanic” and 30% better than “The Sixth Sense.”

“Pearl” raked in roughly $800,000 in two days in Taiwan, the market’s seventh highest debut ever, level with “Armageddon” and 12% ahead of the most recent “Star Wars.”

Michael Bay’s pic collected an estimated $923,000 Friday-Saturday from 338 locations in Mexico, which means it will outgun the three-day tally of “Dr. Dolittle 2,” which Fox Intl. projects at $1.2 million on 349. Fox said that figure surpasses the original pic by 30%.

‘Mother’ makes it

Fox’s pickup “Y Tu Mama Tambien” (“And Your Mother Too”) eased by just 17% in Mexico, fetching $5 million in 17 days, which Fox says is a record for a Mexican pic in that frame. The erotic drama seized pole position in Colombia, bringing in $180,000 on 43.

UIP’s “Tomb Raider” unearthed $2.6 million in four days on 189 in Australia (including Wednesday night previews) and an estimated $880,000 in two days on 288 in Spain.

“Shrek” devoured $1.8 million on 209 in Oz after nabbing $2 million in sneaks on the two previous weekends, beating all the recent bows by Disney toons.

The computer animated pic raked in $723,000 in previews Saturday on 426 in the U.K., where “Evolution” chimed in at No. 1 with an estimated $1.8 million Friday-Saturday on 435. Columbia TriStar, which has foreign rights to Ivan Reitman’s romp, noted that the U.K. opening is neck-and-neck with “Deep Impact’s” first weekend there and hailed that as a turnaround after the pic’s underwhelming domestic preem.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading