MAJOR MOTION PICS
KEEP ROLLING ON
Copyright 2001 www.variety.com
[ November 5th 2001 ]
scored in small markets last week while the B.O.
drooped in most major territories, suffering from
a paucity of compelling new releases. Among the
sparse highlights, "The Others" wowed Hong Kong,
"American Pie 2" was a riot in Norway and Sweden,
and "Moulin Rouge" lit up South Korea.
films world preemed with very mixed results. Launched
on 140 screens in the U.K., Joel and Ethan Coen's
"The Man Who Wasn't There" ranked No. 1 in the
capital and was the Coens' second-highest opener
in Blighty, behind "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
Exhibs said the Billy Bob Thornton/Frances McDormand
starrer was a sizable draw at upscale locations
but less alluring in multiplexes.
Fleder-helmed "Impostor," featuring Gary Sinise
and Madeleine Stowe, blended into the background
in Japan, released on 110 prints by Gaga. Miramax
is discounting that result and intends to give
the futuristic thriller a wide release domestically
top earner, the "American Pie" sequel, minted
$14 million from 2,242 engagements in 15 countries,
hoisting cume to $77.3 million. Laffer grabbed
$749,000 in six days on 40 in Norway (14% ahead
of the original and 75% better than "Austin Powers:
The Spy Who Shagged Me") and $517,000 on 50 in
Sweden (60% up on the first "Pie").
Artificial Intelligence" had a spirited bow in
France, its last major stop, beating "Cast Away"
by 80%, but it couldn't unseat the soph session
of the rampaging "Pie." The sci-fier posted Warner
Bros.' biggest debut of the year in Belgium; its
total uploaded to $147.7 million.
by school vacation, some 4 million people visited
cinemas in France last week, the healthiest turnout
since the Fete du Cinema ticket promotion in June.
"Moulin Rouge" rang up $1.1 million in six days
on 98 in South Korea, Fox's biggest nonholiday
opening ever there, and held well in its second
round in Germany. Tuner's cume hit $82.5 million.
Douglas starrer "Don't Say a Word" had a mediocre
preem Down Under, trailing "The Man Who Sued God,"
a comedy headlining Billy Connolly as a fisherman
who sues the Almighty after his boat is destroyed
by lightning. "Word" was No. 1 in a weak frame
in Brazil and was trounced in Hong Kong by "The
Princess Diaries" saw lively biz in its second
chapter in Mexico, but the Disney pic didn't translate
in France, Italy or Hong Kong. The Keanu Reeves/Charlize
Theron coupling "Sweet November" wooed a handy
$2.8 million in five days in Japan, its last major
market, behind local champ "Spirited Away." A
flop in the rest of Asia, Australia, the U.K.
and France, and an O.K. performer in Germany,
Brazil, Italy and Spain, "November" has cumed
a modest $20.5 million.
Score" scored in Spain and had a decent second
outing in Italy. More than halfway through its
foreign travels, the Robert De Niro headliner
has about $22 million in the till -- not tracking
anywhere near as strongly as at home, where it
banked $71 million.
an off week at the Spanish wickets, where not
even Antonio Banderas could save "Original Sin"
from itself; "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"
attracted little attention, limited to just 20
screens in Madrid and Barcelona; and "The Pledge"
stiffed. But Spanish exhibs were cheered by "Amelie's"
juicy second lap and local sleeper "Mad Love,"
the saga of lovestruck 16th century monarch Joan
Came a Spider" drew a fair number of thrill-seekers
in Italy, where films of that genre like "The
Bone Collector," "Double Jeopardy" and "Kiss the
Girls" go down well. In general, however, the
Morgan Freeman/Monica Potter starrer hasn't caught
fire overseas, cuming about $27 million, with
Japan the only major market on the horizon.
Schumacher's Vietnam-set "Tigerland" was greeted
with strong reviews but public indifference in
Italy; timing's probably bad for a war movie.
Gallic comedy "Le Placard," snappily retitled
"Appearance Deceives," drew a tepid response in
Italy and is unlikely to match the popularity
of "The Dinner Game."
biz didn't get much uplift from local rookies
"Santa Maradona," a comedy-drama about a young
graduate's attempts to pass from student life
into the working world. Also tepid was "Three
Wives," Marco Risi's comedy about three femmes
who travel to Argentina to trace their errant
Mummy Returns" has pocketed a fine $2.2 million
in 17 days in China, where "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider"
stumbled with $312,000 in five days on 157. That's
a rare blemish for the Angelina Jolie vehicle,
which has earned $128.5 million abroad, with Italy
Harbor" is the year's top grosser in China with
$12.4 million, helping to push its cume to $250