Effervescent preems by the “Star Wars” prequel, plus socko international bows of “The Mummy” and a dazzling second round by “Notting Hill” in the U.K. put plenty of fizz into the foreign B.O. last weekend.
“Entrapment” juiced the wickets in Latin America, and to a lesser extent in Hong Kong and the Philippines, but biz remained flat in product-starved Spain, France, Italy and the Far East.
“Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace” delivered an unprecedented $5.9 million in four days on 372 screens in Australia, beating “Independence Day’s” prior record by 18%.
In shrewd counterprogramming, Universal sneaked “Notting Hill,” racking up a handsome $1.1 million in three days at 245 bijoux, the second-highest-paid previews ever behind “Godzilla.” The Julia Roberts/Hugh Grant starrer rolls out Thursday on 301 prints in Oz.
George Lucas’ epic hauled in $755,000 on 42 in Singapore and $511,000 on 41 in Malaysia — in both territories, 20th Century Fox’s fourth-biggest debut ever. Almost certainly, the sci-fier’s takings were robbed by the fact that many folks have seen pirated video compact disc versions.
“The Mummy” notched the seventh-highest opening in history in Germany, capturing $7.7 million in four days on 673 screens. That was 7% better than “Goldeneye,” 57% ahead of “Mission: Impossible” and more than double “Deep Impact.”
The Brendan Fraser vehicle also nabbed a sturdy $751,000 in four days on 74 in Austria, 15% higher than “Goldeneye.”
Roger Michel’s “Notting Hill” eased by a trifling 14% in its second weekend wide in the U.K., romancing $4.4 million on 392, elevating the total to a massive $18.3 million.
“Entrapment” reigned as the highest-grossing title overseas during the frame, minting $11.7 million in 31 territories, propelling the cume to $36.3 million. Jon Amiel’s caper seized pole position in nine of the 10 countries in which it launched.
The Sean Connery/Catherine Zeta-Jones headliner scored $1.2 million on 190 in Brazil and $1 million on 265 in Mexico — Fox’s third-highest bow in both territories and the highest opening this year. The pic netted $452,000 on 33 in Hong Kong and $406,000 on 58 in the Philippines, and has accumulated a terrif $7.7 million through its third weekend in France, and $3.8 million in 11 days in Germany (improving 8%, despite “Mummy’s” invasion).
“The Faculty” took top spot in France, initialing with a reasonably hearty $1.9 million in five days on 424; its cume is $22.4 million from 20 countries.
In Japan, Vincent Ward’s under-achiever “What Dreams May Come” opened with a nightmarish $774,000 on 139, placing second behind “Ronin,” which eased by 12% for a moderate $3.1 million in nine days. The latter’s cume is $51.8 million.
“The Waterboy” arrived in Mexico with $288,000 on 123, a fair result in a market which hasn’t embraced Adam Sandler or goofy teen comedies. “Waterboy’s” cume is $23 million, with dates to come in five major Euro markets, Japan and most of Latin America.
“The Matrix” climbed to $46.4 million, spurred by solid holdovers in the Philippines ($1.1 million through its soph session), Brazil ($3.8 million in its third lap), Mexico ($3.4 million in the same period) and Thailand ($1.8 million).
Ron Howard’s “EDtv” misfired in Spain ($209,000 in three days on 151), Taiwan, South Africa and South Korea, and wilted against the fierce competition in Australia, where it’s taken a decent $1.6 million in 18 days.