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‘STAR’ SHINES O’SEAS

'Dalmatians' nipping at heels of Lucas pic

Luke Skywalker bestrode the B.O. in a bunch of overseas markets over the weekend, although, surprisingly, the “Star Wars” reissue was outgunned in several territories by the playful puppies of “101 Dalmatians.”

Among the other high points of a buoyant session, “Dante’s Peak” had fiery debuts in Asia, “Donnie Brasco” had a promising foreign bow in France but was less potent in Spain, and Oscar contenders “Jerry Maguire” and “The English Patient” continued to do excellent biz.

Rolling out in 20 territories, “Star Wars” garnered a stellar $20.4 million over the weekend, pushing the foreign cume to $226.6 million (pre-reissue, it was $198.6 million, according to Fox Intl.).

The brightest figures in the galaxy were the U.K.’s $6 million on 432 prints (a whopping 46% market share), Ger-many’s $4.6 million on 556 (33% of the Teutonic B.O.), Australia’s $2.2 million on 165, Spain’s $1.1 million on 187 and Brazil’s $1 million on 154. Those figures generally represented Fox’s second-highest preem ever behind “Independence Day.”

However, George Lucas’ epic was overshadowed in Italy by “Dalmatians,” which nabbed $2.3 million in the second round on 215 for $3.7 million to date, vs. “Star Wars’ ” $987,000 on 206.

It was a similar story in Switzerland, where the sci-fier opened with $371,000 on 41, topped by “Dalmatians’ ” $532,000 on a far wider release of 71 screens, and in South Africa, where the scores were $118,000 on 48 and $268,000 on 78, respectively.

All told, “Dalmatians” pocketed $7.7 million, propelling the cume to $103.6 million.

‘Jam’ jams in the U.K.

Given the intergalactic invasion in the U.K., “Space Jam” bounced in with a pretty cool $2.3 million on 366, and its foreign total topped $104 million.

In Japan, “Mars Attacks!” launched with a good but not dazzling $1.8 million on 136, ahead of Disney’s pooch pic, which took in $1.3 million in its second, bringing the total to $4.7 million to date. Tim Burton’s satire has cumed $45 million abroad.

Volcano epic “Dante’s Peak” has grossed a solid but not exceptional $7 million in 16 days in Japan, and it had lively entries in Taiwan ($876,000 on 37) and Korea ($776,000 on 30, slightly better than “Twister’s” preem there). Roger Donaldson’s pic has hauled in $13.5 million in seven territories, including $2.1 million in Mexico, $1.2 million in Malaysia and $1.3 million in Singapore, all after the second outing.

Mandalay’s mobster pic “Donnie Brasco” muscled into France with an estimated $1.5 million on 312 screens, and into Spain with about $440,000 on 121, earning highly positive reviews in both markets.

‘Maguire’s’ money

Cameron Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire” scored $8.6 million over the weekend, elevating the total to $58.1 mil-lion. The Tom Cruise starrer has collected an impressive $8.7 million in the U.K. and $5.9 million in Australia (both through the third frame), $5.1 million in Korea and $3.5 million after the third in Italy. But it’s been rela-tively soft in France and Germany.

Miramax’s “The English Patient” advanced to $35.6 million, paced by Germany’s $5.5 million in 24 days, Brazil’s $4 million, the U.K.’s $4.9 million in its sophomore session (off 17%) and France’s $2.4 million in ditto.

Down Under, UIP sneaked “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America” on 96 screens for a nifty $250,000, ahead of its Thursday preem. Aussie exhibs are expecting a huge Easter break with the debuts of “Beavis,” “Dante’s Peak” and “The Devil’s Own,” and with “Star Wars,” “Jerry Maguire” and “The English Patient” continuing strongly.

Sony is unleashing “The Devil’s Own” in 27 territories this weekend, day-and-date with the U.S.

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