'Lost World,' 'Men' steamroll competish

Evil beasts in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Men in Black” had the time of their lives last week at the overseas box office, especially in Asia, Latin America and South Africa. Only the toughest villains, like those in “Speed 2: Cruise Control” and “Batman & Robin,” stood a chance in a wilting Euro frame.

UIP’s “Lost World” stole the show to join the foreign blockbuster club with a cume of $109.8 million from 19 Latin American and Far East territories, after a socko bow in Japan. Dinopic’s monster Nippon launch shattered records previously held by Fox’s “Independence Day,” with a huge $15.3 million from 284 screens.

Japan loves ‘World’

“Lost World’s” Japanese bow, which sent sophomore “The Empire Strikes Back” (cume: $52.2 million) tumbling by 33% over the weekend after an OK bow, marked the first time a weekend preem in Japan has surpassed $10 million.

But summertime in Europe can still be a challenge for even the most muscular actioners. While “Batman & Robin” (cume: $60.4 million) bowed in the top spot in France, it wasn’t as big as expected despite outperforming its prequels.

In Taiwan, “Batman & Robin” posted an excellent top spot bow, grossing $2.2 million from 41 prints. Batpic recorded the second-biggest bow of all time in the Philippines with $1.6 million from 76 prints, posted the biggest bow of the year in Argentina with $1 million from 61 screens and gave WB its best bow ever in Venezuela with $252,162 from 36 sites. Each launch was comfortably ahead of those of “Batman Forever.”

Belgian ‘Bat’

Batpic nabbed $126,549 from 30 cinemas in its first day in Belgium, while previews on 48 Singapore screens yielded $259,580.

Sony’s “Men in Black” (cume: $7.8 million) is being dubbed the first blockbuster of 1997 in Spain, where “Batman & Robin” and “Con Air” are falling fast and Brit pic “Brassed Off” took an OK $64,747 from 37 sites.

“Men in Black” had a fab week, hunting down a $1.4 million No. 1 bow on 160 screens in Brazil (the second-best bow after “Streetfighter”), and thrilling $356,042 from five prints in Colombia for CTSI’s best bow there.

Alien sleuth pic stormed into first place in Norway and Sweden, with $394,226 and $720,131 from 41 and 72 prints, respectively, while posting CTSI’s best bow in South Korea with $637,628 from 17 prints, behind Fox’s “Speed 2,” which splashed Fox’s second-largest South Korean bow ever, with $1.1 million from 52 screens.

“Speed 2″ (cume: $12.6 million) also was tops in Austria, with $433,710 from 70 prints, and South Africa, with $504,477 from 79 screens for Fox’s second-largest bow ever there (ahead of a tepid $20,075 from 10 prints for Polygram’s “Gridlock’d”).

‘Con’ still airworthy

BVI’s “Con Air” (cume: $56.5 million) flew high, grabbing No. 1 bows in Belgium and Malaysia, with $405,000 and $339,000 from 66 and 50 prints, respectively, while holding well in its third lap in South Korea, despite the competition of freshmen “Speed 2″ and “Men in Black.”

BVI’s “Hercules” (cume: $13 million) tooned in to $305,000 from 29 theaters in Hong Kong, that market’s biggest animation bow after “The Lion King.”

Polygram’s “Bean” (two-territory cume: $9.3 million) laughed an excellent $697,004 from 105 screens in Holland.

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