Tarantino's WWII thriller still a hit with audiences

A month after its launch, Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” is showing no signs of running out of steam — particularly on the foreign front.

“Basterds” has turned out to be a sturdy foreign performer, this week becoming the 16th pic this year to go past the $100 million mark in international B.O. After bowing in 36 markets, the Nazi-hunting tale still has 26 territories in which to open, including Israel, Lebanon, Singapore and Spain this weekend.

After nearly a month in theaters, “Basterds” has topped $105 million domestically and finished third last weekend.

Tarantino has continued to promote the pic and received a warm response after introducing it at the Israeli premiere in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Haaretz.com headlined, “Israelis Go Wild for Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ ”

Producer Lawrence Bender and Austrian thesp Christoph Waltz, who portrays the pic’s key villain, also attended.

France has been the top “Basterds” territory so far with $18.9 million, followed by Germany with $17.3 million, the U.K. with $15.7 million, Australia with $9 million and Russia with $5.9 million.

Universal Pictures Intl. began the foreign marketing campaign with the world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May and a focus on the international cast and storyline. Besides Waltz, cast includes French actress Melanie Laurent and German thesps Michael Fassbender and Diane Kruger.

Universal and the Weinstein Co. are equal partners on “Basterds,” with TWC handling domestic and U overseas. Italy opens on Oct. 2, Brazil and Mexico on Oct. 9, South Korea on Oct. 29 and Japan on Nov. 20.

“Basterds” will soon become the top Tarantino performer on both the international and domestic fronts. “Pulp Fiction” cumed $106 million internationally and $107.9 million domestically; “Kill Bill Vol. 1″ cumed $110.9 million internationally vs. a domestic total of $70.1 million, while “Vol. 2″ grossed $86 million overseas vs. $66.2 million domestically.

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