'Element' set to join; 'Bat,' 'Con' strong

It’s the salad days of summer abroad as the season looks fairly certain to propel “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Batman & Robin” and “Con Air” to higher altitudes than their domestic results.

It’s too soon to call “Men in Black’s” destiny overseas, but the omens are terrific as the sci-fi comedy has harvested $18.5 million from initial engagements in 10 territories.

“Hercules,” with $19 million in the till from 12 Latino and Asian markets and Israel before its July 26 debut in Japan, appears likely to follow the Disney animation tradition of outstripping its U.S. tally.

$100 mil for the ‘Fifth’

Gaumont’s “The Fifth Element” is due to cross $100 million this week, the ninth title to reach that milestone this year.

In its first major Euro date, “Lost World” plundered a jaw-dropping $13.7 million in six days on 477 screens in the U.K. — a record for distrib UIP and the market’s second- highest preem in history behind “Independence Day.”

Steven Spielberg’s juggernaut posted a UIP record in Israel at $448,000 in six days on 32, and nabbed $231,000 in five days on 22 in Peru, that market’s best non-holiday debut. In Japan, the dinopic has chomped down a stunning $27.6 million in 12 days, abating by just 18%. The foreign cume is a majestic $144 million.

“Men in Black” scored $953,000 on 18 screens in Taiwan (a Col TriStar weekend record, more than doubling the previous high set by “Johnny Mnemonic”) and $600,000 on 74 in Argentina (also a company record, besting “Philadelphia”). Barry Sonnenfeld’s pic sported generally healthy legs in its sophomore sessions in Brazil, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and Norway.

“Batman & Robin” steamed along to $76.8 million, fueled by muscular entries in Mexico ($1.9 million in six days on 313, a Warner Bros. record), Hong Kong ($1.3 million on 30) and Malaysia ($1 million on 72, Warner’s second-highest debut ever behind “Eraser”).

Wes Craven’s “Scream” had a frightfully good bow in France, elevating the cume to $31.6 million; best results thus far are the U.K.’s $13.2 million and Australia’s $5 million.

“Con Air” took off Down Under with a swell but not spectacular $2.4 million on 210 as the B.O. cooled off considerably after the school vacation. The actioner’s cume is $64.9 million, highlighted by Germany’s $15.1 million, the U.K.’s $9 million and South Korea’s $9 million.

“Speed 2: Cruise Control” set sail with a lively $743,000 in five days on 59 in Switzerland, $411,000 in six days on 48 in Norway and $159,000 in five on 30 in Finland. Defying gravity rather better overseas than it did at home, the Sandra Bullock starrer was steady in Germany ($6.9 million in 13 days) and Holland ($1.7 million in 20 days). The Fox pic’s cume is $22.5 million in 13 territories.

“Liar Liar” landed in Sweden with a jolly $495,000 in six days on 58 and its foreign total reached $95.8 million — another contender for the $100 million club.

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