‘Brockovich’ boom

'Erin' thrives o'seas; kid pix draw crowds

Rescuing the overseas B.O. from its product-starved torpor, “Erin Brokovich” had winning debuts in seven European markets last weekend, “Stuart Little” charmed Aussie and Italo auds and “Pokemon: The Movie” drew hordes of kids in France and Belgium.

Among the frame’s other high points: With $226.8 million in the till, “Toy Story 2” zipped past “The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s” $225.6 million to rank as Disney’s fourth most popular animated release abroad.

Still basking in Oscar afterglow, “American Beauty’s” cume topped $161 million. Driven largely by Japan’s excellent $20.7 million through its third lap, “The Green Mile” is closing in on $100 million, standing at $95.7 million ($77.3 million from the Universal/UIP territories, $18.4 million from Warner Bros.’ markets).

Global gal

In its international preems, “Erin” minted $9.1 million from 1,978 screens, including a highly promising $564,000 from weekend sneaks at 159 houses in Oz. The Julia Roberts starrer fetched $3 million on 838 in Germany, $2.5 million on 419 in the U.K., $1.6 million on 302 in Spain and $496,000 on 94 in Austria (commanding a 48% market share). Similarly robust bows in Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal ponied up a combined $943,000.

In each case, “Erin’s” openings were a bit less than “Runaway Bride’s” entries, Columbia TriStar Intl. reported, but the distrib is confident the latest Roberts vehicle will have long legs, as it’s proving domestically.

“Stuart Little,” Sony’s mouse, trapped $1.7 million on 317 Down Under — Columbia TriStar’s second-highest debut ever behind “Men in Black” and 30% better than the second “Toy Story” — and $977,000 on 253 in Italy.

Long ‘Little’ run expected

Equally impressive was Colombia’s $305,000 on 55; “Stuart’s” cume reached $50 million, with plenty of upside to come with dates stretching from next weekend through summer in Europe and Japan.

“Pokemon” pocketed $2.6 million on 627 in France, 24% up on “A Bug’s Life” and 14% better than the original “Toy Story,” plus $310,000 from sneaks, placing second behind Gallic megahit “Taxi 2.” Warner’s kidpic made a solid $246,000 on 57 in Belgium and a terrif $1.1 million from 500 previews in the U.K. The cume in WB’s markets (excluding Japan and the rest of Asia) is $21.2 million.

“Scream 3” charged into Spain just a whisker below “Erin,” coining $1.5 million on 317, and fetched a hearty $310,000 on 17 in Taiwan. Miramax’s pic fell by an acceptable 39% in Japan for a nine-day tally of $2.4 million.

After a solid first foreign outing in Israel, “Mission to Mars” clocked a so-so $705,000 on 122 Down Under and a fairly lively $220,000 on 28 in Singapore.

In its first international engagements, “Galaxy Quest” took an ordinary $537,000 on 186 in Oz and a pedestrian $102,000 on 40 in New Zealand.

Dandy ‘Deuce’

After its lucrative run in Australia, “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” (cume: $12 million) grabbed a dandy $580,000 on 187 in Mexico and $515,000 on 126 in Brazil but did badly in Argentina, a market that usually hankers for more sophisticated fare. “Deuce” begins its Euro campaign in Germany and Austria next weekend.

“Double Jeopardy” collected a respectable $1.3 million on 329 in France and a subpar $109,000 on 38 in Belgium; its cume is $49.5 million.

Japan looks like a tough sell for “Three Kings” after its first weekend yielded just $711,000 from 171; it’s cumed $46.3 million.

“Any Given Sunday” enjoyed its best Euro preem thus far in Italy, scoring $758,000 on 169, but stumbled in Mexico with an estimated $280,000 on 220. One worrying sign: Oliver Stone’s pic collapsed by 50% in the U.K., tallying $1.2 million in 10 days.

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