Oscar noms boost B.O. overseas

'Beauty,' 'Ripley,' 'Mile' ride Acad wave to prosperity

Feeding off its Academy Awards noms and hype, “American Beauty” continued to dine out handsomely overseas last weekend, while the pre-Oscar attention appears to be adding some gravy for “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The Green Mile,” but not for “The Cider House Rules” or “The Insider.”

Sam Mendes’ “Beauty” minted about $8 million in 23 countries and its cume climbed to $97.4 million, streaking past domestic; within a couple of days it will become the third hit to cross $100 million this year.

The Kevin Spacey/Annette Bening starrer opened handily in three Asian markets that usually are not receptive to this kind of upscale fare, collecting $272,000 in four days at 14 houses in Hong Kong, $245,000 in two days on 48 in Taiwan and $165,000 on 13 in Singapore: in each case the per-screen average easily surpassed “Shakespeare in Love’s” entry. After nine days in South Korea, pic has pocketed a terrif $1.2 million.

“Mr. Ripley” fetched a sturdy $416,000 in two days on 70 in South Korea and a fair $187,000 on 12 in Hong Kong (butting heads with “Beauty”). Miramax’s pic dipped by just 21% in the U.K., scoring a solid $4.8 million in 10 days, and by 29% in Australia for a fine $2.4 million in 11 days. Cume is $16.6 million.

“The Green Mile” unspooled in France with a respectable $1.4 million in five days on 299, just ahead of “Meet Joe Black’s” bow, but No. 2 behind Gallic rookie “Le gout des autres,” successful screenwriter Agnes Jaoui’s helming debut about folks’ different tastes.

Frank Darabont’s drama snared a lively $403,000 on 50 in South Korea (topping “A Perfect World” by 73%), an estimated $394,000 on 150 in Brazil, $292,000 on 48 in Belgium (besting “Joe Black” by 23%) and $202,000 on 40 in Argentina. Cume ascended to $25.4 million, including a reasonable $2 million after its first weekend wide in the U.K. following a one-week platform in London.

Lasse Hallstrom’s “Cider House Rules” squeezed out a so-so $107,000 in three days on 15 prints in Spain and thus far in its foreign campaign has not managed to break out of the arthouse ghetto. The cume is $2.9 million in 10 territories, led by Australia’s modest $570,000 after its eighth frame.

“The Insider” didn’t catch fire in Taipei, Taiwan, mustering about $128,000 on 17, a distant second behind “American Beauty.”

“Three Kings” went to war in the U.K., capturing a swell $2.3 million on 307, on par with “The Jackal” and 10% higher than Warner Bros.’ estimate, and in Spain with $1 million on 251. But David O. Russell’s subversive pic struggled in Italy, taking $521,000 on 163, (probably hurt by freshman “The Bone Collector,” which made $1.1 million on 155 screens tracked by Cinetel) and was just OK in Denmark and Holland. Cume reached $20.2 million, including France’s $2.6 million in 12 days (plunging by 41%) and Taiwan’s $1.1 million in nine days.

“The Beach” picked up $8 million from 26 countries, elevating the cume to $54.6 million, including dashing, top-spot preems in Norway and New Zealand. The Fox film’s recurring problem is steep second weekend declines, typified by Italy’s 40% fall (tallying $2.9 million) and Spain’s 39% ($2.6 million), although Mexico’s erosion was just 24% ($2.2 million).

“Sleepy Hollow” jumped to $72.6 million, driven chiefly by Japan’s $6.4 million in nine days (sliding 30%) and Germany’s $4.4 million in 11 days (off just 19%).

New Line’s “Magnolia” stirred minimal interest in its debuts in Spain (coining $236,000 on 127), Switzerland and Greece, and has taken a moderate $3 million in nine days in Japan. “Double Jeopardy” landed in Japan with a mediocre $861,000 on 167 and was ho-hum in Sweden; Bruce Beresford’s pic has cumed $38.4 million, and while it’s yet to play in French and German-speaking markets, Spain and a host of smaller territories, has not matched its U.S. trajectory.

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