‘World’ conquers Japan; o’seas B.O. off slightly

The foreign B.O. came off the boil a bit last weekend due to a scarcity of strong U.S. entries in major markets, but “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” continued to sizzle in Japan and the U.K., and “Men in Black” posted scorching debuts in three territories.

“Speed 2: Cruise Control” launched in four Euro markets with generally solid figures, and the consistent “Con Air” collected $4.5 million over the weekend from two openings and holdovers.

“Batman & Robin’s” foreign cume topped $82 million after reasonably good sophomore sessions in Mexico (tallying $3.5 million to date, off 35%), Hong Kong ($1.8 million), Singapore ($1.1 million) and Belgium ($558,000).

“The Lost World” rocketed to $161.3 million, powered by a phenom $21.6 million in 10 days in the U.K. (slipping just 24%) and a dazzling $34.2 million after 16 days in Japan, despite typhoon Rosie, which wreaked havoc in western Japan Saturday. One distrib estimated receipts in the Osaka region dived by 35%.

‘Hercules’ powerless

“Hercules” looked like a 90-pound weakling as it bowed in Japan with $700,000 on 96 screens, obviously ranking as third choice or lower behind the dinosaurs and Nippon click “The Princess Mononoke.” However distrib Buena Vista Intl. is hoping that adding 65 dubbed prints this weekend will perk “Herc”; the animated pic has harvested $22.5 million from 13 territories.

“The Return of the Jedi” landed in Japan with a fair $1 million on 135, bringing its cume since re-issue to $37 million. “Star Wars” ($114.6 million this time around) has minted $14.8 million in Japan.

“Men in Black” snared $882,000 on 71 in Holland, $186,000 on 44 in Portugal (in both, a Columbia TriStar record) and $302,000 on 38 in Venezuela (an all-time high). The sci-fi comedy’s cume is $28 million in 14 markets, highlighted by Brazil’s $5.7 million, Spain’s $5 million, South Korea’s $3.7 million (all after the third frame), Taiwan’s $2 million and Argentina’s $1.5 million, both through the second.

The “Speed” sequel checked into France in pole position with $1.3 million on 448 (taking 24% of the market), Spain at $1 million on 215, Belgium for $509,000 on 70, and Sweden with a fair $259,000 on 79. The cume in 17 markets is $29.2 million.

‘Bean’ counters

Polygram’s laffer “Bean” tickled funny bones in Spain with $1 million on 150 and continued to rake in coin in Australia ($11.3 million in 25 days), Holland ($3.2 million in 18 days) and New Zealand ($928,000 in 11 days). The cume from those four markets is $16.5 million.

“Con Air” charged along to $69 million after flying into Taiwan with a sturdy $665,000 on 11 screens (about 20% below “The Rock’s” preem) and South Africa at $305,000 on 82. The actioner eased by an acceptable 30% Down Under for $3.7 million in 11 days, where the Bette Midler vehicle “That Old Feeling” fizzled with $397,000 on 123.

The Julia Roberts starrer “My Best Friend’s Wedding” unspooled in Puerto Rico, a market not noted normally for embracing romantic comedies, with an encouraging $185,000 on 32. Its first major date is Sept. 19 in the U.K.

“Jungle 2 Jungle” had its best opening thus far in Germany — $1.5 million on 399 — in an undistinguished foreign journey that has yielded just $11 million in 20 markets. Teutonic auds stayed away from “Private Parts”; distrib UIP has released the Howard Stern bio in five territories for a puny $371,000.

‘Love’s’ take

“Addicted to Love” delivered a pleasing $1.1 million on 322 in Germany and quite good figures in Switzerland, Austria and Israel. “Warriors of Virtue” died a horrible death in the U.K.

“Volcano” erupted in Thailand with $700,000 on 100, Fox’s second highest debut in history there behind “Independence Day.” Its six-territory total is $17.3 million.

“Liar Liar” is knocking on the door of the $100 million grossers’ club, advancing to $98 million after a lively preem in Finland and a steady second in Sweden.

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