In an overseas frame more memorable for its milestones than its releases, “The Mummy” crossed $200 million — the second blockbuster to reach that pinnacle this year after “Phantom Menace” — while “Entrapment” was set to become the ninth title to cross $100 million.
In Japan, where the Obon vacation spurred the B.O., local toon “Pocket Monsters Revelation Lugia” passed the 4-million tickets sold mark Aug. 18, amassing a socko 4.4 billion yen ($36.9 million) in 33 days.
“Entrapment” stole a sparkling $2.1 million in two days on 177 screens in Japan, its last major engagement (later figures weren’t available due to the holiday), coming in third behind “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace,” which surged by 28% to $71.1 million in its sixth weekend, and “Eyes Wide Shut,” which improved by 26% for a potent $14.5 million in 19 days.
Generally it was left to holdovers to sustain biz as there was minimal uplift from rookies “Holy Man” and “Varsity Blues” in France, the “Austin Powers” sequel and “Muppets in Space” in Mexico, “In Dreams” in Australia and “Lake Placid” in Brazil
“Wild Wild West” roped in a robust $5.8 million in six days on 425 screens in the U.K., including previews. A promo visit by Will Smith helped counter negative reviews, but the U.K. figure wasn’t as strong as its entries in France and Germany.
The Barry Sonnenfeld pic’s cume hit $62 million after corralling $19.2 million on 3,423 screens in 30 countries. It minted a sturdy $596,000 on 55 in Argentina and a moderate $462,000 on 30 in Hong Kong, but dipped by a worrying 47% in its second lap in France. In its third round in Germany, one exhib said “West” is losing steam and is below expectations.
Dire word-of-mouth and walkouts plagued Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes” in its soph session as it plunged by 52% after a lusty preem in Australia, where “Arlington Road” surprised some bookers by drawing well in up-market locations.
“The Mummy” wrapped up $9.5 million in 17 countries, highlighted by Thailand’s hot $1.5 million on 121. Its cume zoomed to $200.6 million.
“Notting Hill” had a reasonably bright debut in provincial areas of France before rolling out in Paris and other key cities Aug. 18, and pulled sizable crowds in Belgium. The comedy fetched $11 million abroad and its total levitated to $131 million.
“Runaway Bride” had lively launches in South Korea ($610,000 in five days on 32) and Taiwan, but dropped by 49% in Hong Kong, romancing $1.3 million in 12 days.
The shortcomings of some debutantes might be blamed on cultural differences between the U.S. and non-English speaking markets. Hence Adam Sandler’s unexceptional preems in Asia for “Big Daddy” in Malaysia and Taiwan after middling perfs in Singapore and Thailand.
Sandler’s “The Waterboy” had a token release in seven cinemas in Japan’s nine key cities and scored strongly only in Australia and the U.K., which together account for nearly 50% of its $28.7 million cume.