The sleepy spring B.O. overseas finally sprang to life over the weekend, powered by the world preem of “Notting Hill,” the first international engagements for “EDtv” and the continued rollouts of “The Matrix,” “Entrapment” and “Analyze This.”
Platformed at London’s Odeon Leicester Square, “Notting Hill” romanced a terrif $247,000 in three days ahead of its U.S. launch and wide release in the U.K. May 28.
Entering its second major market after Australia, “She’s All That” took the Blighty top spot, clocking a handsome $1.9 million on 312, setting the stage for a fascinating tussle in its second weekend vs. the Julia Roberts-Hugh Grant starrer.
Benefiting from a new campaign that accentuated the three leads and featured an extensive screening program, Ron Howard’s domestic under-achiever “EDtv” debuted Down Under in pole position, snaring $621,000 in four days on 179 screens.
Evidently avoiding the comparisons with “The Truman Show” that bedeviled the pic in the U.S., “EDtv” also chalked up a healthy $136,000 in four days on 24 in Singapore, ahead of fellow rookie “8MM’s” $117,000 on 21. The latter’s cume is $48.8 million.
“The Matrix” ruled as the frame’s top earner abroad, pocketing $6.9 million from nearly 1,500 screens in 14 countries as its foreign cume rocketed to $30.4 million.
The Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures’ sci-fier collared $1.2 million on 214 in Brazil (the eighth-highest opening ever for WB there, on par with “Deep Impact”); $992,000 on 340 in Mexico (Warner’s seventh-best bow); and $985,000 on 120 in Thailand (an all-time record for the distrib, topping “Batman & Robin”).
Socko bows in Hong Kong, Colombia and Chile contributed a further $1.1 million to the Keanu Reeves starrer’s coffers. Australia is “Matrix’s” top territory thus far, generating a hot $12.4 million through its seventh outing (off just 13%), followed by Italy’s $4.7 million in its third and South Korea’s remarkable $3.3 million after its soph session.
‘Entrapment’ snares B.O.
“Entrapment” was the second-highest moneymaker, ringing up $6.3 million on 1,085 screens in 11 territories. In France, fueled by media coverage from its Cannes screening and a promo tour by helmer Jon Amiel and thesp Catherine Zeta-Jones, Fox’s romp nabbed an estimated $2.3 million on 485; it took $1.9 million on 253 in Spain and $641,000 on 27 in Taiwan (the best opening of the year thus far and Fox’s fifth best).
Holland trapped $463,000 on 89, and similarly robust preems in Israel, Portugal and Switzerland ponied up a total of $675,000.
“Analyze This” delivered a hearty $2.3 million on 462 in Germany, accounting for 43% of the top five titles’ business, a reasonably good $603,000 on 220 in Italy and a strong $305,000 on 56 in Austria.
In its first offshore date, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” awoke to a tepid $317,000 on 124 in Australia, where Scottish adventure “Plunkett & Macleane” also had a lukewarm response.
In Japan, “Payback” plunged by a worrying 40% in its second lap on 26 in the nine key cities for a total of $2 million (nationwide figure wasn’t available).
Excluding Japan, its cume is $66.5 million — adequate but not one of Mel Gibson’s stellar performances.
‘Blade’ fails to make cut
New Line did not have much to celebrate in Japan as “Blade” chimed in with a bloodless $341,000 in two days on 80 (foreign cume $57.8 million) and “Pleasantville” added to its string of failures with $209,000 on 58.
However, New Line savored the weekend in Germany where “Rush Hour” became its first film ever to collect a Golden Screen award for selling 3 million tickets, translating to a gross of $20.8 million out of the actioner’s haul of $102.8 million.
The Martians have not landed in most of the 12 countries where BVI has released “My Favorite Martian,” with Germany as the latest casualty, raking in just $500,000 on 300 screens. Mexico’s $1.9 million through the third weekend is the best result to date.
“I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” ($42.1 million cume) bombed in Italy, but that was no surprise since the original didn’t click there.