D’Works’ comet pic packs o’seas punch

'Deep' makes impact, 'Alien' passes $100 mil mark

One film can’t singlehandedly transform the sleepy spring box office overseas, but “Deep Impact” gave exhibs and audiences something to cheer about as the DreamWorks picture had explosive debuts in 15 territories last weekend.

Mimi Leder’s “Deep Impact” posted results that ranged from very good to excellent, harvesting a total of $14.7 million from 2,100 screens, and beating “Twister’s” bow in Spain, Mexico and Israel.

In the major markets, the sci-fi disaster minted a strong but not extraordinary $2.9 million in three days on 379 in sweltering heat in the U.K.; and a uniformly superb $3.1 million in four days on 596 in Germany; $2.2 million in three days on 288 in Italy; $1.8 million on 239 in Mexico; and $1.7 million on 205 in Spain.

The Robert Duvall/Tea Leoni headliner fetched $581,000 in two days on 35 in South Korea, $530,000 on 67 in Austria, $317,000 on 59 in South Africa, $254,000 on 49 in German-speaking Switzerland and $228,000 on 56 in Sweden.

In Denmark, “Impact’s” $220,000 on 39 screens was bested by fellow rookie “Starship Troopers’ ” $298,000 on 30. Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fier has cumed $66.4 million.

In one of the frame’s few highlights, “Titanic” cruised past animated click “The Princess Mononoke” in Japan to seize the crown as all-time B.O. champ.

“Titanic” raked in $8.7 million from 3,835 screens in 57 territories, propelling the cume to an astounding $1.093 billion. Expect James Cameron’s juggernaut to peak at $1.1 billion next weekend.

Unbroken run

In Japan, the romantic drama pocketed $2.1 million in its 22nd weekend on 237 screens, continuing its unbroken run in the No. 1 spot, and the tally reached $147.3 million.

In its seventh lap in China, “Titanic’s” take dipped below $1 million for the first time, scoring $947,000 on 500 screens, for a total of $36.2 million.

Using the Cannes fest as a launch pad does not appear to have generated much curiosity in France for “Primary Colors,” which opened at third in Paris, selling just 26,000 tickets at 33 theaters, behind Gallic pics “Le Diner de Cons” and “Taxi.”

Australian auds are still toasting “The Wedding Singer,” which earned a lively $770,000 in its fifth outing, bringing the cume to $8 million.

“Wild Things” landed in second spot in Oz with a decent $670,000 on 124, while fellow frosh “The Assignment,” “Mr Magoo” and “Twilight” did not make much of an impression.

Some Aussie exhibs were disgruntled to learn last week that Columbia TriStar has decided to sneak “Godzilla” on the June 6-8 holiday weekend before its June 11 preem, forcing UIP to switch “Deep Impact” from June 4 to June 18. Exhibs are ruing that gap in the release sked, and UIP is not pleased at having its campaign disrupted by having to push back the date.

‘Alien’ still strong

“Alien Resurrection” moved up to $105.3 million, spurred by Japan’s fine $12.8 million through its fourth frame.

Warner Bros. estimated “U.S. Marshals” arrested $2.8 million on about 1,500 screens in some 30 countries, pushing the cume to $31 million or so. Stuart Baird’s pic had OK openings in Argentina ($248,000 on 40, third behind “Titanic” and “The Man in the Iron Mask”), Holland ($139,000 on 73) and New Zealand.

“The Big Lebowski” arrived in Spain with a reasonable $268,000 on 83, generating good reviews and word of mouth; the cume is $10.3 million from 12 markets.

In the U.K., “Sliding Doors” slid by 35% in its third weekend, rocked by “Deep Impact,” but has tallied an impressive $6.9 million. After platforming at two London theaters, Adrian Lyne’s “Lolita” rolled out on 75 prints with disastrous results, making just $73,000, for a cume of $121,000.