Euro B.O. sweating

'Scream 2' a bright spot; 'Lolita' bows in U.K.

After the “Titanic” heights of the first quarter, the B.O. in many offshore territories fell into a hole.

“Thank goodness for (sophomores) ‘Scream 2’ and ‘Sliding Doors,’ ” one U.K. booker said, as two local entries, “Martha Meet Frank, Daniel and Lawrence,” a romantic comedy about three guys who fall for the same woman, and “Something to Believe In,” fared poorly.

A combo of cinema-unfriendly hot weather and lukewarm product had European exhibitors griping last week, but the tide was expected to turn over the weekend as “Deep Impact” rolled into Germany, Italy, the U.K., Spain, Mexico and South Africa on the heels of its boffo domestic bow.

Adrian Lyne’s “Lolita” opened in London, stirring up the expected media controversy and uncovering a lusty $43,000 in six days at just two cinemas.

“The Man in the Iron Mask” provided one of the frame’s few highlights, nabbing a beefy $619,000 on 50 in Argentina, an OK $589,000 on 27 in Hong Kong, and a swell $185,000 in three days on 36 in Turkey. The cume is $80.4 million and heading for $100 million.

At least “Titanic” is keeping some cinemas alive, pocketing $10.9 million in its 21st voyage, now on 4,444 screens in 57 markets. The foreign cume stood at $1.080 billion, including Japan’s $143.7 million and China’s extraordinary $33.2 million after its sixth lap.

Buena Vista’s “Mr. Magoo” had a fairly droll debut in Germany, a market with a soft spot for slapstick comedies, but was underwhelming in depressed Italy. The Leslie Nielsen vehicle has collected just $7.5 million from 20 markets after its domestic run yielded $20 million.

In Italy, most holdovers tumbled by 60% to 70%, and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and sea-serpent thriller “Deep Rising” stiffed. “The Big Lebowski” expanded from 35 to 62 prints in its second lap with pleasing results; Polygram’s pic has earned an estimated $9.5 million from 10 territories.

Italo distrib Lucky Red is slowly rolling out “Rehearsal for War,” Mario Martone’s drama about conflicts within a theater troupe, in advance of its preem in the Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes, garnering rave reviews and decent figures.

Harold Becker’s “Mercury Rising” delivered a solid $369,000 in six days on 49 in Thailand but collapsed in its second lap in France, tallying $2.1 million thus far. The Bruce Willis starrer has collected a fine $2.3 million after its soph in Italy and $972,000 in 13 days in South Korea. Early in its run, the cume is $13.3 million.

Stuart Baird’s “U.S. Marshals” is taking few prisoners overseas. The pattern seems to be a pretty good opening followed by a steep decline. The cume is $27.6 million from 32 markets, including $3.3 million after its third round in the U.K., $2.5 million in four weeks in France, $2.5 million in Germany, $2.3 million in Taiwan, $2.1 million in Australia and $1.2 million in Mexico, all after its second.

“Event Horizon” continued its undistinguished foreign excursion with blah bows in France and Belgium. The sci-fier’s cume is $20.5 million.

Down Under, one programmer described trading as terrible, despite “The Object of My Affection’s” lively $852,000 entry on 106 in its first foreign engagement. Jocelyn Moorhouse’s “A Thousand Acres,” Jon Amiel’s “The Man Who Knew Too Little” and “Deep Rising” all corpsed.

Rowan Woods’ tough Oz drama “The Boys” got lots of media attention and a creditable $72,000 at just seven cinemas, posting the frame’s highest screen average.

But Aussie audiences are not hip to “Blues Brothers 2000,” which dropped by 49% after a so-so opening.

“Great Expectations” can’t seem to find auds anywhere. Fox’s romantic drama had dismal debuts last week in six markets including France, Thailand and Taiwan. The cume is $16.3 million from 17 territories. “Starship Troopers” ($65.1 million cume) abated by 43% in Japan, its last major market, scoring a moderate $4.7 million in 11 days.