Scaring up o’seas

'I Know,' 'Faculty' head of exhibition class

Top-ranking teen horror films “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” and “The Faculty” may have been slaying auds in the aisles across Europe this week, but the real horror was experienced by exhibs after new offerings underwhelmed at the B.O.

Fewer than a million people hit cinemas in Germany on what was described as “the worst” weekend of the year by nervous exhibitors stunned by the success of “I Still Know” bowing at No. 1.

“It’s just amazing,” one exhib said, adding, “You could practically call it a B film. It just shows that nothing else is there.” Another astonished exhib said the pic accounted for 45% of all revenues in one nine-screen house in the eastern region where auds crave horror.

Also ranked No. 1 in Austria and No. 2 in Spain, “I Still Know,” which bowed in the U.K. this weekend, was out in Germany on 446 prints doing three times the screen average of its nearest competitor, “Faculty.”

“Faculty” slid 50% in its 2nd week but is still among the top three, echoing its U.K. run, where the film remains in the top five after 4 weeks, its cume tipping $16.3 million.

‘Waterboy’ refreshes U.K.

Buoying the otherwise disappointing U.K. box office this week, the cheerleading bow of “The Waterboy” scored $2 million from 401 sites despite negative reviews and star Adam Sandler’s low Blighty profile. Also ranking second in Turkey with an early cume of $17.1 million, pic should continue to do well with the weeklong Whitsun U.K. school holidays.

David Cronenberg’s “eXistenZ” opened in the U.K. to both critical acclaim and a promising $0.9 million from 180 sites over 6 days. However, debutantes “At First Sight,” “In Dreams” and “The Honest Courtesan” all bombed.

The bad news was perhaps a sad reflection of the overall U.K. first-quarter cinema admissions, which the Cinema Advertising Assn. reported as being down a depressing 16% over last year.

Unfortunately, it was no better in France, where exhibs described B.O. as nightmarish. Paris admissions were 525,000 for the week, down from 930,000 last year.

‘Derriere’ out front

At the top, “Le Derriere,” helmed by and starring comic actress Valerie Lemercier, is the story of a woman getting to know her long-lost gay father by pretending she’s a guy. Surprisingly impressive auds were also boxed in by cult sci-fi pic “Cube,” driven by excellent word of mouth.

On the upside, “The Matrix” booted up spectacularly in Puerto Rico, and is also still the top ranker in Oz with a whopping $9.9 million cume, despite dropping 35% in its 4th week.

Indeed, B.O. Down Under was comparatively strong on the back of a cracking good $1.2 million first week for the No. 2-ranking Oz comedy, “The Craic” (title is Gaelic slang for “a good time”), the biggest Oz pic bow in five years.

Meanwhile, BVI should be ecstatic about “Enemy of the State” drawing $8.9 million in Japan over 3 weeks, plus another $1.4 million from China, for a cume of $133.6 million. Hopefully the Chinese reception for “A Bug’s Life” (cume $195.2 million) will be equally as warm.