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‘American’ travels

'Beauty' captivating amid dumpy o'seas bows

Giving some luster to an otherwise dull frame, “American Beauty” last week became the third hit to blast past $100 million overseas this year, while “Toy Story 2” and “Three Kings” energized the U.K., and “The Green Mile” had solid bows in five territories.

Exhibs in some markets bemoaned the lack of potent releases as “Bicentennial Man” bombed in Spain, “The Hurricane” looked groggy in Germany and Sweden, and “Magnolia” didn’t enthuse many in France or Spain, though it had a so-so soph session in Japan.

No kudos kick

Seven Academy Award noms for “The Cider House Rules” haven’t put much oomph into the tills for Lasse Hallstrom’s pic, which had a modest launch on 15 prints in Spain and has squeezed only $3.5 million from 10 territories, mostly minor.

Nor are “The Insider’s” seven nods doing a lot for Michael Mann’s drama, which had a lively entry in Mexico but didn’t catch fire in Taiwan. Its cume is a mere $11 million from 23 territories.

“American Beauty” minted about $12.6 million in 23 countries, and its cume topped $103 million, streaking past domestic. An eventual score of $130 million appears to be a no-brainer, and a fistful of Oscars could push it higher still. The Kevin Spacey-Annette Bening starrer opened handily in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, and Sam Mendes’ pic has raked in terrif $1.3 million in 12 days in South Korea and a rich $13.3 million in nearly seven weeks in Italy.

“Toy Story 2’s” cume soared to $177 million on the back of an $11.6 million frame, driven chiefly by its buoyant fifth lap in the U.K., where the Oscar nom for Janet McTeer failed to pique interest in “Tumbleweeds.”

‘Mile’ chugs on

After platforming superbly in London, “The Green Mile” did not live up to expectations as it rolled out nationally in the U.K., but Frank Darabont’s drama had rousing preems in France, and in South Korea, Brazil, Belgium and Argentina. All told, pic delivered $9.3 million, and its cume reached $28.1 million.

“Three Kings” had nifty openings in the U.K. and Spain, but struggled in Italy. “Three Kings” was OK in Denmark and Holland; cume is $26.3 million.

“A Chinese in a Coma,” a new laugher from actor-director Carlo Verdone bowed in Italy below the standard of his usual entries.

“The Talented Mr. Ripley” ($18.4 million cume) opened smartly in South Korea, was only fair in Hong Kong (butting heads with “Beauty”), and had reasonable holds in its second laps in the U.K. and Australia.

“The Beach” picked up $10.4 million from 26 countries, elevating the cume to $57 million, including dashing, top-spot preems in Norway and New Zealand. The Fox film went into steep second-week declines, like in Italy and Spain, although Mexico’s dip was less severe.

“Sleepy Hollow” hit $73 million, buoyed by solid soph sessions in Germany (off just 15%) and Japan. “Double Jeopardy” had tepid receptions in Japan and Sweden.

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