‘Die Hard’ hits o’seas $100 mil club

There are no prizes for guessing which U.S. blockbuster will be the first to hit $100 million overseas this summer: “Die Hard With a Vengeance” will cruise past that B.O. milestone by July 17.

Last week the Bruce Willis vehicle vaulted to $95.8 million, paced by Japan where it’s amassed $24.3 million in 12 days on 151 screens after a record opening week for Fox. That whipped “Rob Roy,” which managed $763,000 in five days on 110 screens. Fox expects gangbuster biz when Japanese schools go on vacation July 21.

John McTiernan’s pic has grossed $43.4 million in Buena Vista Intl.’s territories, and gave BVI its biggest live-action opening in Denmark, notching $843,000 in six days on 48. Handled by indies in other markets, the actioner has rung up about $28 million, including $7.9 million from Australia, $5.5 million from South Korea and $3.9 million from Hong Kong.

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Other sure bets to join the $100 million club abroad include “Batman Forever” (current cume $32.6 million), “Casper” ($28.9 million), “Braveheart” ($16.2 million) and “Pocahontas” ($9.9 million).

Already in the elite group that has topped $100 million this year are “Outbreak,” “The Specialist,” “Interview With the Vampire,” “Disclosure,” “Stargate” and “Pulp Fiction.”

It’s too early to call the chances of “First Knight,” which invaded the U.K., day-and-date with the U.S., with good but not great numbers. Jerry Zucker’s adventure was No. 1 in a market that has been soft for weeks, but the B.O. was sure to fire up at the weekend with the debut of “Batman Forever.”

The jury is out, too, on “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,” which had a moderate start to its foreign campaign in South Africa with $156,200 in six days on 59 screens. It was dwarfed by “Casper,” which initialed with $390,500 on 55.

“Congo” is emulating its domestic perf, plummeting by 48% in its sophomore session in Blighty. However, the African adventure had muscular debuts in Australia, Hong Kong ($1 million on 15 screens, averaging a socko $67,752) and South Korea ($835,000 in five days on 29).

“Batman Forever” had outstanding preems in Latin America, scoring $2.9 million on 140 in Brazil, $478,400 on 44 in Colombia and $234,300 on 10 in Chile.

“Casper” broke the B.O. drought in Spain with a boffo $1.8 million in six days on 170 screens, and materialized in Argentina with $543,000 in seven days on 25. Other tallies include $5.6 million in Brazil and $4.2 million in Mexico, both after 19 days.

“Pocahontas” pulled $425,000 on 14 screens in Hong Kong (second-highest preem for a BVI animated release behind “The Lion King”) and $850,000 after 10 days on eight screens in Korea.

During hectic school vacation trading Down Under, the Greater Union loop (the country’s largest) had its highest-grossing week in history. The previous record was set last September when “The Flintstones,” “The Lion King” and “True Lies” were in full flight. “Batman Forever” retained pole position in its second lap, off 29%, a terrific result against fresher “Congo” and “Casper,” which jumped 20% in its third frame.

The Bat sequel tumbled by 47% in the second round on 19 in Hong Kong, $2.3 million total, against fierce competition led by Chinese blockbuster “Out of the Dark,” but it’s still tracking well ahead of both its predecessors. Joel Schumacher’s pic fell by 44% in the second in Taiwan, $2.9 million thus far, and after the second in Thailand totaled $1.5 million, overtaking both “Batman” and “Batman Returns.” In New Zealand, its 13-day cume is a lusty $1.1 million.

“The Lion King” has rung up a tuneful $2.7 million in three weeks in India, and it debuted in China July 15 as BVI’s maiden release there.

Cop comedy “Bad Boys” gave the French B.O. a much-needed boost in the week ending July 11, but exhibs said the market dropped sharply heading into the Bastille Day long weekend. “Sleeping Beauty” isn’t proving as strong as the typical Disney re-issue, while gritty suburban drama “La Haine” (Hate) is doing well except in cities that don’t have ‘burbs.

After underperforming in Japan, “Johnny Mnemonic” took off in Singapore with a lively $263,000 weekend on 21 screens and was off 23% in its second on six in Korea, $650,000 to date.

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