Keeping a respectful distance from each other, “Batman & Robin” and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” invaded foreign lands with scintillating results over the weekend.
Rounding out a lively frame overseas, “Con Air” posted several high-flying debuts, “Speed 2: Cruise Control” had an encouraging launch in Singapore and “Anaconda” showed plenty of B.O. bite in Southeast Asia.
In the U.K., the Batpic nabbed $8.2 million from 593 prints playing on 720 screens (the widest-ever release in that market), the second-highest preem in history behind “Independence Day,” accounting for a whopping 69% of the B.O.
Joel Schumacher’s extravaganza devoured $2.9 million on 269 in Australia (the eighth-best opening weekend of all time, about 14% below the preem of “Batman Forever”) and a good but not extraordinary $2.3 million on 627 in Germany (a 31% market share, but 32% below the original “Batman’s” bow). Spain chipped in with $1.2 million on 204, a 32% market share.
Adding in excellent openings in Puerto Rico and Austria, “Batman & Robin’s” weekend haul totaled $15.2 million. The crucial key to its overall success abroad will be whether it can avoid the precipitous second weekend drop it just suffered domestically.
“Lost World” broke more industry records, this time in South Africa with $596,000 on 87 (42% ahead of its predecessor) and in Argentina at $1 million on 51. The three-day Mexican bow of $2.3 million on 321 was the biggest-ever in local currency, and New Zealand’s $799,000 on 43 was a UIP record.
The distrib reported a smash first day of $431,000 on 38 in Hong Kong, which suggests the dinosaurs were going to be a diversion from the handover ceremonies for a lot of folks.
In Taiwan, Steven Spielberg’s epic abated by a reasonable 25% for a socko $7.8 million in nine days, becoming the fastest film to surpass 100 million Taiwan dollars in Taipei (beating “Die Hard With a Vengeance,” which got there in 15 days). The foreign total raced to $53.5 million.
“Con Air” stole $1.2 million on 45 in South Korea (the third-best preem ever behind “Independence Day” and “Lost World”), $940,000 on 77 in Sweden (the highest opening weekend so far this year) and $550,000 on 92 in Holland.
Animated pic “Hercules” landed in Brazil with a solid $687,000 on 180 and in its sophomore sesh in Israel expanded from three to five theaters and topped $117,000.
In its offshore debut, the “Speed” sequel garnered $611,000 on 37 in Singapore. Some indication of whether the Fox film is capable of redeeming itself abroad after collapsing in the U.S. will be apparent after it unspools in the next two weeks in Germany, Taiwan, Korea, Holland, South Africa and the Philippines.
Stablemate “Volcano” took a 40% dive Down Under as the Batpic cruised in, scoring an OK $1.7 million in 11 days. Its four-territory cume is $12.7 million.