“Forrest Gump” looks a safe bet to sail to $300 million B.O. overseas – with or without a clutch of Oscars – after scoring a huge $7.6 million in five days on 164 screens in Japan.
That’s the biggest opening ever for a Paramount film in that market, and the foreign cume levitated to $232.6 million. Robert Zemeckis’ pic bowed in Indonesia with a promising $56,300 in two days on 27.
Japan was super-competitive leading into the school vacation starting this week. “The Mask” wasn’t unsettled much by “Gump” and pocketed $4.1 million in the third round on 142, $13.6 million to date. New Line’s champ has grossed $164.2 million abroad. “The Specialist” climbed to $5.7 million after 12 days on 128, $104.4 million overseas.
However, Aussie all-animals kidpic “Napoleon,” released in a version specially made for Japan by “Milo & Otis” helmer Masanori Hata as “Kulta,” had a quiet start with $266,000 in two days at 48 theaters. Distrib Nippon Herald is looking for an upturn as kids go on vacation.
Jim Carrey fever raged in Australia as “Dumb and Dumber” hauled in $1.2 million from a combination of previews the previous weekend and the March 16 opener on 161 prints. “It’s huge, and audience reaction is very strong,” said one exhib, forecasting “Dumb” will gross upwards of $15 million.
Peter Farrelly’s laffer is on the way to matching “Mask” in Brazil, collaring $3.5 million in 17 days, and in Holland with $1.6 million after three weeks.
Down Under, “Color of Night” had a fairly robust preem but some exhibs don’t expect a long run, while “Nobody’s Fool” had a subdued start, despite the Oscar attention. “Legends of the Fall” dropped by 34% after a wonderful opening; it probably suffered from negative reviews.
“Legends” had impressive debuts in Spain ($985,000 weekend on 120), Taiwan and Hong Kong. Stablemate “Little Women” enchanted Brazil with $261,000 on 30 and Israel with $45,000 on 10 (both weekend figures) and had a steady sophomore sesh on 85 in Italy, tallying $973,000.
Warm weather took some of the shine off the Italo B.O., although local gay comedy “Men, Men, Men” had a spirited second on 160, $1.9 million cume, and “Nell” had a swell fourth, $4.6 million to date. “Un Eroe Borghese” was healthy in its second in the cities but poor in the sticks – predictable for somber, political fare.
A big publicity push and the popularity of thesp Kim Rossi Stuart didn’t pay dividends for “Heartless,” contempo drama about a Rome heist that goes awry.
“Stargate” launched in Germany with a smash $4.1 million on 318 screens – the biggest ever live-action bow for Buena Vista Intl., distributing on behalf of Scotia. Helmer Roland Emmerich went back to his homeland to promote the pic, and German auds were ready for another sci-fier after “Star Trek Generations.” Exhibs were delighted with the 81-screen debut of “The Shawshank Redemption” and with biz overall.
In the U.K., “Disclosure” notched the fifth biggest preem in history for Warner Bros., commanding $4.2 million, including previews, in six days on 349 screens. Foreign total: $108.7 million. However, the maiden release from Polygram’s new banner, “Nell,” did not jell, surprising one booker who expected a better showing. “Pret-a-Porter” plunged by 38% in its sophomore session, OK in the West End but not a fashion item elsewhere.
Comme ci, comme ca
In France, biz tumbled by 30% with the end of school vacation, yet “Gazon Maudit” had a fine fourth and “Nell” held fairly well in its third. Bertrand Tavernier’s Berlin fest prizewinner “L’Appat” (Fresh Bait) hooked decent business in Paris and the larger provincial cities but struggled in the ‘ burbs. “Immortal Beloved” (retitled “Ludwig Van B”) followed a similar pattern. “Pret-a- Porter” fell by 40% in its second as exhibs reported some walkouts by people who were attracted by the sexy sell, got bored and didn’t wait for the denouement.
“Just Cause” began its overseas campaign in South Korea with a creditable $554,000 in five days at 21 theaters, but in Seoul was No. 2 behind Luc Besson’s actioner “Leon” (“The Professional” Stateside).
“Pulp Fiction” advanced to $80 million, fueled by excellent bows in Argentina ($317,000 on 15) and Mexico ($213,000 on 71, equivalent to 130,000 admissions) and a rousing second on 59 in Brazil, $1.2 million cume.
“Star Trek Generations” is a fading star after five weeks in Germany and the U.K., and didn’t fire up in Taiwan (not a noted “Trek” territory) with $178,600 in five days on 31. Pic seems to be burning a little brighter in Thailand, notching $161,570 in five days on 30.