Sharon Stone squared off against Whoopi Goldberg in Australia last week, and it was Stone’s uncut “Sliver” that narrowly bested Whoopi’s “Made in America” on screen averages as both films garnered impressive numbers.
Elsewhere, “Sommersby” bowed in Japan with a weekend tally of $ 625,000 on 64 screens — OK, but somewhat below what might have been expected after its terrific showing in most other places. Jon Amiel’s meller advanced to $ 72 million overseas, and WB’s other moneymaker, “Forever Young,” climbed to $ 64 million.
“Indecent Proposal” opened with a bang in Mexico, nabbing $ 1 million in three days on 106 prints, as its foreign cume hurtled on to $ 77 million.
Southeast Asian audiences predictably turned out for “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” which had socko preems in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. Look for the first indications of the Western response this week as Rob Cohen’s actioner kicks off in Germany and Belgium.
In Australia, “Sliver” averaged $ 11,738 on 80 screens, vs. “Made in America’s”$ 11,271 average on 107. Warner Bros. had no qualms about pitching the Goldberg comedy against “Sliver” (after all, it went against “Cliffhanger” domestically) and wanted to capitalize on the June school vacation.
‘Aladdin’ a bright light
Both films were overshadowed by “Aladdin,” which had a thumping second week, averaging $ 16,534 on 92 screens. Hoyts launched “Super Mario Bros.” for a $ 6, 412 average on 67 — a more promising start than in the United States. Distrib spent a hefty $ 700,000 on ad publicity, junked the domestic campaign and concentrated on the film’s live elements.
Infusion of new product and a teachers strike in Western Australia saw total receipts vault by more than 50% to $ 5.8 million.
“Point of No Return” opened soft in Sweden and the Netherlands and had a quiet second week in Spain. Euro audiences don’t warm to the concept of female action heroes, it seems.
Lousy weather across most of Europe last week boosted takings, demonstrating again how weather-sensitive the B.O. can be, especially in early summer.
Ticket sales in Paris rocketed by 30% over the previous frame, spurred by lusty holdovers “The Piano” and “Les Visiteurs” and rookies “Tout Ca Pour Ca” (Claude Lelouch’s comedy about love, sex and friendship) and Abel Ferrara’s “Body Snatchers.” The critics mostly liked Ferrara’s pic and it’s shaping as a cult item, although it didn’t fare so well in its Belgium bow.
German biz June 12-13 jumped by 30% over the previous weekend to $ 6 million, a tad less than the whole of the previous week. That was almost entirely weather-driven, since “The Dark Half,” which tapped into the sizable Stephen King fan club, was the only significant new release.
British exhibs said there was a “thin veneer” of healthy trading, despite a 12% lift by the top 10 titles to $ 5.6 million. “Falling Down” held top spot, off 17% in the second weekend. Among the ragtag collection of new titles, “The Vanishing,””Army of Darkness” and “Untamed Heart” were fair and “Close to Eden” and “Swing Kids” were blah.
Spain, Italy middling
Bereft of fresh product, Spain and Italy dawdled, receipts in the latter sliding to a paltry $ 1.8 million. Italo exhibs were perked up a bit by rookie “Fire in the Sky” and holdovers “The Piano” and “Falling Down.”
Dropping fast in its fourth, unimpressive week was “Mad Dog and Glory,” which bears the unappealing moniker “The Boss, the Blond and the Cop.”
“Cliffhanger” had a buoyant second weekend on 15 screens in Hong Kong, down just 9%, for a 13-day cume of $ 1.5 million. In its second lap in Singapore, Thailand and Puerto Rico, the actioner held much better than it did stateside, off by no more than 30%.